Media:

   What Gave Humans the Edge Over Neanderthals? It Was Art, a New Study Claims     https://news.artnet.com/art-world/prehistoric-art-helped-hunters-1224005   Turns out art does make you smarter—at least according to one expert.  A new study suggests that prehistoric humans evolved to become the world’s dominant species, in part, because they created art. The hand-eye coordination and visualization skills developed by creating prehistoric cave drawings helped Homo sapiens master essential hunting skills, the study suggests, giving humans an advantage over their artless cousins, the Neanderthals.  The paper was written by psychologist Richard Coss of the University of California-Davis, an expert on art and human evolution, and a former drawing instructor. It was published in the  Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture  journal....   Read more.     

What Gave Humans the Edge Over Neanderthals? It Was Art, a New Study Claims

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/prehistoric-art-helped-hunters-1224005

Turns out art does make you smarter—at least according to one expert.

A new study suggests that prehistoric humans evolved to become the world’s dominant species, in part, because they created art. The hand-eye coordination and visualization skills developed by creating prehistoric cave drawings helped Homo sapiens master essential hunting skills, the study suggests, giving humans an advantage over their artless cousins, the Neanderthals.

The paper was written by psychologist Richard Coss of the University of California-Davis, an expert on art and human evolution, and a former drawing instructor. It was published in the Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture journal.... Read more.

 

   Can evolutionary psychology and personality theory explain Trump’s popular appeal?     https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/11/09/can-evolutionary-psychology-and-personality-theory-explain-trumps-popular-appeal/   One year ago today, Donald J Trump, a man with no political or military experience, defied expectations, winning the election to become the 45th president of the United States. Nearly 63 million voted for him, including, and in spite of his reputation for sexism, over half of all white women. In an  open-access paper  in Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Dan McAdams, one of the world’s leading experts in personality psychology, proposes an explanation for Trump’s popular appeal that is grounded in evolutionary psychology, personality theory and the social psychology of leadership....   Read more

Can evolutionary psychology and personality theory explain Trump’s popular appeal?

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/11/09/can-evolutionary-psychology-and-personality-theory-explain-trumps-popular-appeal/

One year ago today, Donald J Trump, a man with no political or military experience, defied expectations, winning the election to become the 45th president of the United States. Nearly 63 million voted for him, including, and in spite of his reputation for sexism, over half of all white women. In an open-access paper in Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Dan McAdams, one of the world’s leading experts in personality psychology, proposes an explanation for Trump’s popular appeal that is grounded in evolutionary psychology, personality theory and the social psychology of leadership.... Read more

   Neanderthals' Terrible Art Might Explain Why They Died Out     https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/neq43d/neanderthals-might-have-died-out-because-they-were-crap-at-art   It's a new theory on the evolution of the human brain.  Unlike the nimble-fingered Homo sapiens who came later, Neanderthals just could not seem to draw people and animals that resembled people and animals.  New research now appears to show that this failing — essentially one of hand-eye coordination (or lack thereof) — can be linked to their increasingly redundant hunting skills. Which, unsurprisingly, probably led to their disappearance 40,000 years ago....   Read more

Neanderthals' Terrible Art Might Explain Why They Died Out

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/neq43d/neanderthals-might-have-died-out-because-they-were-crap-at-art

It's a new theory on the evolution of the human brain.

Unlike the nimble-fingered Homo sapiens who came later, Neanderthals just could not seem to draw people and animals that resembled people and animals.

New research now appears to show that this failing — essentially one of hand-eye coordination (or lack thereof) — can be linked to their increasingly redundant hunting skills. Which, unsurprisingly, probably led to their disappearance 40,000 years ago.... Read more

   A new theory claims Homo sapiens beat out Neanderthals because of art     https://qz.com/1205270/art-made-homo-sapiens-smarter-than-neanderthals-and-better-equipped-to-survive/   When considering what humans need to survive, art doesn’t seem high on the list. A hungry person will pick a sandwich over a painting, say. But there was a time when our ancestors’ survival was inextricably linked with their ability to create images. Prehistoric cave art helped make Homo sapiens into the brainy beings we are today.  A new study published in the journal  Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture  proposes that our ancestors’ skill at art, as well as hunting, was essential to their ability to thrive....   Read more

A new theory claims Homo sapiens beat out Neanderthals because of art

https://qz.com/1205270/art-made-homo-sapiens-smarter-than-neanderthals-and-better-equipped-to-survive/

When considering what humans need to survive, art doesn’t seem high on the list. A hungry person will pick a sandwich over a painting, say. But there was a time when our ancestors’ survival was inextricably linked with their ability to create images. Prehistoric cave art helped make Homo sapiens into the brainy beings we are today.

A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture proposes that our ancestors’ skill at art, as well as hunting, was essential to their ability to thrive.... Read more

   Scholars who believe nurture trumps nature also tend to doubt the scientific method     https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/08/01/scholars-who-believe-nurture-trumps-nature-also-tend-to-doubt-the-scientific-method/   How far has evolutionary thinking permeated through academia? A survey of more than 600 scholars from 22 disciplines, ranging from psychology and economics through to gender studies, sociology and the humanities, finds that there remain two distinct cultures in the academe, at least regarding views on the principal causes of human behaviour and human culture....   Read more

Scholars who believe nurture trumps nature also tend to doubt the scientific method

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/08/01/scholars-who-believe-nurture-trumps-nature-also-tend-to-doubt-the-scientific-method/

How far has evolutionary thinking permeated through academia? A survey of more than 600 scholars from 22 disciplines, ranging from psychology and economics through to gender studies, sociology and the humanities, finds that there remain two distinct cultures in the academe, at least regarding views on the principal causes of human behaviour and human culture.... Read more

   Homo sapiens' drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques     https://phys.org/news/2018-02-homo-sapiens-ability-techniques.html   .Neanderthals had large brains and made complex tools but never demonstrated the ability to draw recognizable images, unlike early modern humans who created vivid renderings of animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls. That artistic gap may be due to differences in the way they hunted, suggests a University of California, Davis, expert on predator-prey relations and their impacts on the evolution of behavior....   Read more

Homo sapiens' drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-homo-sapiens-ability-techniques.html

.Neanderthals had large brains and made complex tools but never demonstrated the ability to draw recognizable images, unlike early modern humans who created vivid renderings of animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls. That artistic gap may be due to differences in the way they hunted, suggests a University of California, Davis, expert on predator-prey relations and their impacts on the evolution of behavior.... Read more

   It's an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common     https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/14/donald-trump-alpha-male-chimpanzee-behavior   From early 1974 through most of 1976, a male chimpanzee named Yeroen held the position of alpha leader in the large, open-air chimpanzee colony at Burgers zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands. His reign was roughly coterminous with the presidential administration of Gerald R Ford in the United States.  Yeroen became famous (among Homo sapiens) when the Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal showcased his leadership style in a classic 1982 book, Chimpanzee Politics. In their Machiavellian machinations and power games, De Waal argued, chimps turn out to be a lot like human beings.  The curious case of Donald Trump, however, now shows that human beings turn out to be a lot like chimps....   Read more

It's an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/14/donald-trump-alpha-male-chimpanzee-behavior

From early 1974 through most of 1976, a male chimpanzee named Yeroen held the position of alpha leader in the large, open-air chimpanzee colony at Burgers zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands. His reign was roughly coterminous with the presidential administration of Gerald R Ford in the United States.

Yeroen became famous (among Homo sapiens) when the Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal showcased his leadership style in a classic 1982 book, Chimpanzee Politics. In their Machiavellian machinations and power games, De Waal argued, chimps turn out to be a lot like human beings.

The curious case of Donald Trump, however, now shows that human beings turn out to be a lot like chimps.... Read more

   BBC - Culture - Our fiction addiction: Why humans need stories     http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180503-our-fiction-addiction-why-humans-need-stories   ...Today, we may not gather around the camp fire, but the average adult is still thought to spend at least 6% of the waking day engrossed in fictional stories on our various screens.From an evolutionary point of view, that would be an awful lot of time and energy to expend on pure escapism, but psychologists and literary theorists have now identified many potential benefits to this fiction addiction. One common idea is that storytelling is a form of cognitive play that hones our minds, allowing us to simulate the world around us and imagine different strategies, particularly in social situations. “It teaches us about other people and it’s a practice in empathy and theory of mind,” says Joseph Carroll at the University of Missouri-St Louis.   Read more

BBC - Culture - Our fiction addiction: Why humans need stories

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180503-our-fiction-addiction-why-humans-need-stories

...Today, we may not gather around the camp fire, but the average adult is still thought to spend at least 6% of the waking day engrossed in fictional stories on our various screens.From an evolutionary point of view, that would be an awful lot of time and energy to expend on pure escapism, but psychologists and literary theorists have now identified many potential benefits to this fiction addiction. One common idea is that storytelling is a form of cognitive play that hones our minds, allowing us to simulate the world around us and imagine different strategies, particularly in social situations. “It teaches us about other people and it’s a practice in empathy and theory of mind,” says Joseph Carroll at the University of Missouri-St Louis. Read more

Lessons from a terrified horror researcher | Mathias Clasen | TEDxAarhus

Horror researcher Mathias Clausen tells us the science of why we love to be scared half to death. Mathias Clasen is a specialist in horror media and has spent years getting to the bottom of the paradox of horror: Why do people seek out the kind of entertainment that's designed to make them feel bad?


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