How did Neandertals experience their world? How did their cognition and culture differ from ours? Were they pragmatic? Callous or cold-hearted? Did they love, were they charitable? Were they tough? Dogmatic? Xenophobic?
Join Professor Frederick L. Coolidge for our online course Neandertal Cognition. Together, we will explore the mind of some of our recent ancestors to compare and contrast similarities and differences between our behavior and the behavior of these archaic humans. After a century of suffering the negative biases of early scholars, Neandertals are emerging from the shadows of prehistory to take their rightful place as explorers and innovators who fought to survive in a heretofore uninhabitable clime. Our course reviews the archaeological evidence via empirical models of cognition in an effort to understand the cognitive and behavioral strategies employed by Homo neanderthalensis during their nearly half million years of existence. Classes begin August 24 and end December 19.
Interested in learning when, where, and how modern human aesthetics evolved?
Join Professor Manuel Martín-Loeches of the Complutense University of Madrid for our online course Neurocognition of Art. This course explores the biopsychological basis of human artistic behavior by investigating its neurocognitive and biological underpinnings. We expand our understanding of this otherwise bizarre activity in natural terms, thereby contextualizing art within the framework of Natural Selection. This approach provides a suitable foundation for exploring the possible evolutionary origins of art, its development, as well as its major milestones along human evolution. Although the course is mainly focused in visual art, much of its content can be applied to other forms of artistic behavior. Classes begin August 24 and end December 19.
How did humankind’s belief in an afterlife evolve? What is a ritual? What rituals are uniquely human? How did ritual evolve? What adaptive purposes do rituals serve?
Join Professor Matt Rossano for our online course The Evolution of Ritual and Religion. The course will explore the role ritual and religion have played in making us human. Together, we will take a highly inter-disciplinary approach using archaeology, anthropology, primatology, and cognitive science to define what ritual and religion are. From the earliest traces of supernaturalization to the rise of morality and monotheism, this course explores the evolution of the form and functions of human spirituality. Classes begin August 24 and end December 19.
The Center for Cognitive Archaeology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is now offering three courses for the Fall 2020 semester. Fall 2020 semester starts August 24 through December 19. Graduate and undergraduate level training is offered in each class. For more information about the Center for Cognitive Archaeology and enrolling in courses, please visit us at: https://www.uccs.edu/lases/programs-a-l/cca
Deadline to register for courses is September 10, 2020
This month’s featured book that the Center for Cognitive Archaeology faculty want to highlight is Squeezing Minds From Stones, a collection of essays edited by UCCS alum Karenleigh A. Overmann and UCCS Professor Frederick L. Coolidge.
Cognitive archaeology is an exciting interdisciplinary science that interprets ancient artifacts—stone tools, beads, figurines, and art forms—using insights from cognitive science in order to understand the minds of their makers. Squeezing Minds From Stones is a collection of essays co-edited by cognitive archaeologist Karenleigh A. Overmann and neuropsychologist Frederick L. Coolidge. The essays range from early pioneers in the field, archaeologists like Thomas Wynn and Iain Davidson and evolutionary primatologist William McGrew, to ‘up and coming’ newcomers like Shelby Putt, Ceri Shipton, Mark Moore, James Cole, Natalie Uomini, and Lana Ruck. The essays address a wide variety of topics in contemporary cognitive archaeology: the evolutionary bases for cognition, how stone tools may reflect the brains and minds of their makers, when and how stone tools move from the practical to the aesthetic, and the social implications of archaeological artifacts and their relationships to attention, language, working memory, materiality, and numbers.