Massive Redeployment and the Evolution of Cognition

Part of understanding the functional organization of the brain is understanding how it evolved. This talk presents evidence suggesting that while the brain may have originally emerged as an organ with functionally dedicated regions, the creative re-use of these regions has played a significant role in its evolutionary development. This would parallel the evolution of other capabilities wherein existing structures, evolved for other purposes, are re-used and built upon in the course of continuing evolutionary development (“exaptation”: Gould & Vrba 1982). There is psychological support for exaptation in cognition (e.g. Cosmides 1989), theoretical reason to expect it (Anderson 2003; in press-a; in press-b) and neuroanatomic evidence that the brain evolved by preserving, extending, and combining existing network components, rather than by generating complex structures de novo (Sporns & Kötter 2004). However, there has been little evidence that integrates these perspectives, bringing such an account of the evolution of cognitive function into the realm of cognitive neuroscience (although see, e.g., Barsalou 1999).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Massive Modularity and Brain Evolution.Edouard Machery - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):825-838.
Climate, Culture and the Evolution of Cognition.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 2000 - In Celia Heyes & Ludwig Huber (eds.), The Evolution of Cognition. MIT Press. pp. 329--45.
Can Evolution Explain Insanity?Dominic Murphy - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):745-766.
Evolution of the Reasoning Hominid Brain.Herman T. Epstein - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):408-409.
What’s Wrong with the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism?Geoff Childers - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (3):193-204.


Added to PP index

Total views
35 ( #327,449 of 2,519,516 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,153 of 2,519,516 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes