The Social Brain and the Distributed Mind

Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble and John Gowlett

in Social Brain, Distributed Mind

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264522
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734724 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Social Brain and the Distributed Mind

Show Summary Details


Human nature is the product of a long history that has brought us, over the course of some 6–8 million years, from our common ancestor with the chimpanzee lineage to modern humans. The aim of this particular volume has been to bring together two powerful approaches that deal, respectively, with explanations of the evolution of human brains and understandings of cognition as a distributed system, in order to illuminate the changes that took place during the later stages of human evolution. It aims to compare inter-disciplinary perspectives on these key issues across a range of disciplines. A particular focus is provided by consideration of the role that material culture plays as a scaffold for distributed cognition, and how almost 3 million years of artefact and tool use and manufacture provide the data for tracing key changes in areas such as language, technology, kinship, music, and social networks.

Keywords: social brain; artefact use; human nature; human evolution; material culture

Chapter.  5042 words. 

Subjects: Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.