Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/27054
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Tracing the evolutionary trajectory of verbal working memory with neuro-archaeology
Author(s): Putt, Shelby S
Wijeakumar, Sobanawartiny
Contact Email: sobanawartiny.wijeakumar@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: visual working memory
auditory working memory
ventral premotor cortex
protolanguage
stone tools
Early Stone Age
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2018
Citation: Putt SS & Wijeakumar S (2018) Tracing the evolutionary trajectory of verbal working memory with neuro-archaeology. Interaction Studies, 19 (1-2), pp. 272-288. https://doi.org/10.1075/is.17042.put.
Abstract: We used optical neuroimaging to explore the extent of functional overlap between working memory (WM) networks involved in language and Early Stone Age toolmaking behaviors. Oldowan tool production activates two verbal WM areas, but the functions of these areas are indistinguishable from general auditory WM, suggesting that the first hominin toolmakers relied on early precursors of verbal WM to make simple flake tools. Early Acheulian toolmaking elicits activity in a region bordering on Broca's area that is involved in both visual and verbal WM tasks. The sensorimotor and mirror neurons in this area, along with enhancement of general WM capabilities around 1.8 million years ago, may have provided the scaffolding upon which a WM network dedicated to processing exclusively linguistic information could evolve. In the road map going forward, neuro-archaeologists should investigate the trajectory of WM over the course of human evolution to better understand its contribution to language origins.
DOI Link: 10.1075/is.17042.put
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Interaction Studies by John Benjamins Publishing. The original publication is available at: https://doi.org/10.1075/is.17042.put The publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint the material in any form.

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