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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Prefrontal cortex activation supports the emergence of early stone age toolmaking skill
Author(s): Putt, Shelby S J
Wijeakumar, Sobanawartiny
Spencer, John P
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Keywords: Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2019
Date Deposited: 27-May-2019
Citation: Putt SSJ, Wijeakumar S & Spencer JP (2019) Prefrontal cortex activation supports the emergence of early stone age toolmaking skill. NeuroImage, 199, pp. 57-69.
Abstract: Trends toward encephalization and technological complexity ∼1.8 million years ago may signify cognitive development in the genus Homo. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, we measured relative brain activity of 33 human subjects at three different points as they learned to make replicative Oldowan and Acheulian Early Stone Age tools. Here we show that the more complex early Acheulian industry recruits left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when skills related to this task are first being learned. Individuals with increased activity in this area are the most proficient at the Acheulian task. The Oldowan task, on the other hand, transitions to automatic processing in less than 4 h of training. Individuals with increased sensorimotor activity demonstrate the most skill at this task. We argue that enhanced working memory abilities received positive selection in response to technological needs during the early Pleistocene, setting Homo on the path to becoming human.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.05.056
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. Accepted refereed manuscript of: Putt, S.S.J., Wijeakumar, S., Spencer, J.P., Prefrontal cortex activation supports the emergence of early stone age toolmaking skill, NeuroImage (2019) 199, pp. 57-69, doi: © 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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