The Identity Model: a theory to access visual display and hominin cognition within the Palaeolithic.
Human Origins, 1, .
The question of the development of hominin social communication is a subject that is of continual interest to researchers of human development, behaviour and cognition. Language development has in particular been related to studies in cognitive capacity and the ability for mind reading, often termed a theory of mind (ToM). There has only really been one successful attempt to correlate a cognitive scale of complexity that incorporates a ToM, in the form of intentionality orders, to the archaeological record and hominin phylogeny, and that is the Social Brain Hypothesis (Aiello and Dunbar 1993; Dunbar 1996; 1998a; 2003; 2004). However, a method is still lacking that allows a correlation of the orders of intentionality (and by inference a ToM and language development) to the archaeological signatures that represent the physical expression of hominin behaviour. This paper is primarily concerned with introducing a new theoretical framework – termed the identity model – which suggests a heuristic correlation between a scale of cognitive acuity, hominin behaviour and the archaeology. The aim of this paper is to refresh debates corresponding to hominin behaviour by illustrating a different and innovative approach in relating the Palaeolithic record to cognitive development, and not to make definitive statements.
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