In paleoneurology, all we have is the form of the brain, as molded and imprinted in the neurocranial morphology. Minor correlation between brain geometry and cognition has been recently evidenced, which may have been more relevant at evolutionary level when considering the largest differences between species (Bruner et al., 2011a).https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Extending-mind,-visuospatial-integration,-and-the-Bruner-Iriki/cfd7305ce8eff9790d0b116c6a127f1d6f23f0b6
Useful reference. No mention of melonheads though. This Bruner fellow has a lot of papers that would go into an “Intro to Edenism” e-book.
You know, that Figueredo guy is also at Arizona University. I wonder if they know each other. You’d figure interesting people would tend to become friends if they ever ran into each other, and interesting academic work isn’t as common of a thing as you’d think at a university. The existence of two of them in the same place almost makes me want to go there.
In recent years, genetic and neurological research has expanded the study of the emergence of religion. In 2018, the cultural anthropologist Margaret Boone Rappaport published her analysis of the sensory, neurological, and genetic differences between the great apes, Neanderthals, H. s. sapiens, and H. s. idaltu. She interprets the H. s. sapiens brain and genome as having a unique capacity for religion through characteristics such as expanded parietal lobes, greater cognitive flexibility, and an unusually broad capacity for both altruism and aggression. In Rappaport’s framework, only H. s. sapiens of the hominins is capable of religion for much the same reason as the tools and artworks of prehistoric H. s. sapiens are finer and more detailed than those of their Neanderthal contemporaries; all are products of a unique cognition.
The development of religious capacity is reflected physically in the geometric manner of the final expansion of human parietal lobes, especially the precuneus (Bruner and Iriki 2016; Bruner et al. 2017)https://repository.arizona.edu/bitstream/handle/10150/628191/Rappaport_Corbally_2018_Paper_One.pdf?sequence=1
Yes, I’m aware that Neanderthal tools and artwork were better than they’re portrayed here. I’m the guy who argued that Neanderthals were engineers, plz no bully.