The unpredictable species : what makes humans unique

Bibliographic Collection: 
CARTA-Inspired Publication
Publication Type: Book
Authors: Lieberman, Philip.
Year of Publication: 2013
Number of Pages: 272
Publisher: Princeton University Press
City: Princeton, NJ
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 9780691148588 (cloth : alk. paper)
Call Number: QP376 .L563 2013
Keywords: Brain Evolution., Evolutionary psychology., Human evolution.

The Unpredictable Species argues that the human brain evolved in a way that enhances our cognitive flexibility and capacity for innovation and imitation. In doing so, the book challenges the central claim of evolutionary psychology that we are locked into predictable patterns of behavior that were fixed by genes, and refutes the claim that language is innate. Philip Lieberman builds his case with evidence from neuroscience, genetics, and physical anthropology, showing how our basal ganglia--structures deep within the brain whose origins predate the dinosaurs--came to play a key role in human creativity. He demonstrates how the transfer of information in these structures was enhanced by genetic mutation and evolution, giving rise to supercharged neural circuits linking activity in different parts of the brain. Human invention, expressed in different epochs and locales in the form of stone tools, digital computers, new art forms, complex civilizations--even the latest fashions--stems from these supercharged circuits.


Philip Lieberman.illustrations ; 24 cmBrainworks -- Brain design by rube goldberg -- Darwin got it right -- Chimpanzee brain 2.0 -- Stones, bones, and brains -- The gene game -- What makes us tick.