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  • Cited by 3
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Heiphetz, Larisa Lane, Jonathan D. Waytz, Adam and Young, Liane L. 2016. How Children and Adults Represent God's Mind. Cognitive Science, Vol. 40, Issue. 1, p. 121.

    Ferretti, Francesco and Adornetti, Ines 2014. Biology, Culture and Coevolution: Religion and Language as Case Studies. Journal of Cognition and Culture, Vol. 14, Issue. 3-4, p. 305.

    Sanderson, Stephen K. 2008. Adaptation, evolution, and religion. Religion, Vol. 38, Issue. 2, p. 141.


Why ritual works: A rejection of the by-product hypothesis

  • Candace Storey Alcorta (a1) and Richard Sosis (a1) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 08 February 2007

We argue that ritual is not a by-product as Boyer & Lienard (B&L) claim, but rather an evolved adaptation for social communication that facilitates non-agonistic social interactions among non-kin. We review the neurophysiological effects of ritual and propose neural structures and networks beyond the cortical-striato-pallidal-thalamic circuit (CSPT) likely to be implicated in ritual. The adaptationist approach to ritual offers a more parsimonious model for understanding these effects as well as the findings B&L present.

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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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