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The Origin of Mind : Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence - David C. Geary

The Origin of Mind

Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence

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Darwin considered an understanding of the evolution of the human mind and brain to be of major importance to the evolutionary sciences. This groundbreaking book sets out a comprehensive, integrated theory of why and how the human mind has developed to function as it does. Geary proposes that human motivational, affective, behavioral, and cognitive systems have evolved to process social and ecological information (e.g., facial expressions) that covaried with survival or reproductive options during human evolution. Further, he argues that the ultimate focus of all of these systems is to support our attempts to gain access to and control of resources - more specifically, the social (e.g., mates), biological (e.g., food), and physical (e.g., territory) resources that supported successful survival and reproduction over time. In this view, Darwin's conceptualization of natural selection as a ""struggle for existence"" becomes, for us, a struggle with other human beings for control of the available resources. This struggle provides a means of integrating modular brain and cognitive systems such as language with those brain and cognitive systems that support general intelligence. To support his arguments, Geary draws on an impressive array of recent findings in cognitive science and neuroscience as well as primatology, anthropology, and sociology. The book also explores a number of issues that are of interest in modern society, including how general intelligence relates to academic achievement, occupational status, and income. Readers will find this book a thought-provoking read and an impetus for new theories of mind.

List of Figuresp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Introduction and Overviewp. 3
Natural and Sexual Selectionp. 23
Hominid Evolution and the Motivation to Controlp. 45
Evolution and Development of Brain and Cognitionp. 83
Modular Domains of the Human Mindp. 125
Heuristics and Controlled Problem Solvingp. 163
Evolution of Control-Related Mental Modelsp. 201
Evolution of General Intelligencep. 253
General Intelligence in Modern Societyp. 307
Afterwordp. 339
Referencesp. 343
Author Indexp. 419
Subject Indexp. 437
About the Authorp. 459
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781591471813
ISBN-10: 1591471818
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 459
Published: 1st January 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 18.42  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 1.02