Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos
Year of Publication: 2016
Journal: J Anthropol Sci
Volume: 94
Pagination: 81-97
Date Published: 2016 Jun 20
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 2037-0644

Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution.

DOI: 10.4436/JASS.94025
Alternate Journal: J Anthropol Sci