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Mental attention, not language, may explain evolutionary growth of human intelligence and brain size

  • Juan Pascual-Leone (a1)
Abstract

Using neoPiagetian theory of mental attention (or working memory), I task-analyze two complex performances of great apes and one symbolic performance (funeral burials) of early Homo sapiens. Relating results to brain size growth data, I derive estimates of mental attention for great apes, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and modern Homo sapiens, and use children's cognitive development as reference. This heuristic model seems consistent with research.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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