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Felix Riede

The adaptive evolution of early human symbolic behavior

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  • Katrin Heimann
  • Riccardo Fusaroli
  • Sergio Gonzalez de la Higuera Rojo
  • ,
  • Niels Nørkjær Johannsen
  • ,
  • Felix Riede
  • Nicolas Fay, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Marlize Lombard, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Kristian Tylén
Dating back as far as 100 ka, the Blombos ochre and the
Diepkloof ostrich egg engravings are considered among the
earliest fossil evidence of human symbolic behavior. The
engravings found on the same sites spanOf special interest to
this study is the temporal trajectory spanning more than 50 k
years from earlier simpler parallel line patterns to later
complex cross-hatchings suggesting adaptive compositional
development. Through a series of three psychophysical
experiments we test the hypotheses that the line engravings 1)
evolved to become more salient to the human perceptual
system, 2) more discriminable from each other, and 3)
increasingly associated with symbolic intent. Our finding
suggest that just as instrumental tools have been found to
undergo cumulative refinements in adaptation to their
function, the ochre and egg shell engravings evolved
adaptively to become more fit for their cognitive function as
signs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCogSci 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jul 201729 Jul 2017

Conference

ConferenceCogSci 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period26/07/201729/07/2017

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 140746199

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