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Social Brain, Distributed Mind - British Academy Scholarship Online
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Social Brain, Distributed Mind

Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble, and John Gowlett


To understand who we are and why we are, we need to understand both modern humans and the ancestral stages that brought us to this point. The core to that story has been the role of evolving cognition — the social brain — in mediating the changes in behaviour that we see in the archaeological record. This volume brings together two powerful approaches — the social brain hypothesis and the concept of the distributed mind. The volume compares perspectives on these two approaches from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, psychology, philosophy, sociology and the cognitive and evolutiona ... More

Keywords: modern humans, hominin evolution, evolving cognition, social brain, distributed mind, archaeology, psychology, sociology, material culture, social networks

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780197264522
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264522.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robin Dunbar, editor
Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford; Fellow of the British Academy

Clive Gamble, editor
Professor of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London; Fellow of the British Academy

John Gowlett, editor
Professor of Archaeology, University of Liverpool

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Part I Framing The Issues: Evolution of The Social Brain

1 The Social Brain and the Distributed Mind

Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble, and John Gowlett

Part II The Nature of the Network: The Bonds of Sociality

4 Social Networks and Social Complexity in Female-bonded Primates

Julia Lehmann, Katherine Andrews, and Robin Dunbar

Part III Evolving Bonds of Sociality

9 The Evolution of Altruism via Social Addiction

Julie Hui, and Terrence Deacon

Part IV The Reach of the Brain: Modern Humans and Distributed Minds

14 The Socio-religious Brain: A Developmental Model

Daniel N. Finkel, Paul Swartwout, and Richard Sosis

Part V Testing the Past: Archaeology and the Social Brain in Past Action

End Matter