Evolutionary Psychology, Meet Developmental Neurobiology: Against Promiscuous Modularity

  title={Evolutionary Psychology, Meet Developmental Neurobiology: Against Promiscuous Modularity},
  author={David J. Buller and Valerie Gray Hardcastle},
  journal={Brain and Mind},
Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically specified” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that, while the adult human mind/brain typically contains a degree of modularization, its “modules” are neither genetically specified nor evolutionary adaptations. Rather, they result from the brain's developmental plasticity, which allows environmental task demands a large role in shaping the brain's… 

Developmental objections to evolutionary modularity

It is argued that the anti-adaptionist consequences of these positions should be rejected and that small numbers of genes can function to determine diverse phenotypical outcomes through evolutionarily selected developmental systems.

Evolutionary Psychology and the Problem of Neural Plasticity

Evidence of the effect of culturally-mediated behaviors on cognitive architecture, specifically the effects of literacy and musicianship is reviewed, which suggests possible alternative explanations for the presence of complex cognitive mechanisms aside from the Evolutionary Psychologists claim that they must be adaptations to the EEA.

Cognitive evolutionary psychology without representational nativism

As an organism develops, cognitive capacities that are highly canalized as the result of heritable learning biases might result in an organism that is behaviourally quite similar to an organism whose innate modules come on line as a result of various environmental triggers.

Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology

In Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology, Robert Richardson takes a critical look at evolutionary psychology by subjecting its ambitious and controversial claims to the same sorts of methodological and evidential constraints that are broadly accepted within evolutionary biology.

From computers to cultivation: reconceptualizing evolutionary psychology

It is argued that evolutionary psychology is a mainstream computational theory, and that its arguments for domain-specificity often rest on shaky premises, and it is suggested that the various forms of e-cognition represent a true alternative to standard computational approaches.

Developmental dynamics: toward a biologically plausible evolutionary psychology.

Recent advances in genetics, embryology, and developmental biology that have transformed contemporary developmental and evolutionary theory are reviewed and how these advances challenge gene-centered explanations of human behavior that ignore the complex, highly coordinated system of regulatory dynamics involved in development and evolution is explored.

Cognitive Evolutionary Psychology: A Prospective But Temperate View

A mingling of both the branches has produced a plethora of scientific experimental literature that could guide global framework designs of the mind in the future.

Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

David Buller argues that the authors' minds are not adapted to the Pleistocene, but, like the immune system, are continually adapting, over both evolutionary time and individual lifetimes.

Huskie Commons Huskie Commons Evolutionary Psychology: A Critique Evolutionary Psychology: A Critique

‘It is improbable that the authors' species evolved complex adaptations even to agriculture, let alone to postindustrial society’, Evolutionary Psychologists argue, and this paradigm, which I will call ‘‘Evolutionary Psychology’’ (capitalized) to distinguish it from the field of inquiry (‘’evolutionary psychology’) is the focus of this chapter.

Function, selection, and construction in the brain

It is argued that neural selection should be construed, by the selected effect theorist, as a distinct type of function-bestowing process in addition to natural selection.



Evolutionary Psychology and the Massive Modularity Hypothesis

  • R. Samuels
  • Psychology
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 1998
In recent years evolutionary psychologists have developed and defended the Massive Modularity Hypothesis, which maintains that our cognitive architecture—including the part that subserves ‘central

The Adapted mind : evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture

Although researchers have long been aware that the species-typical architecture of the human mind is the product of our evolutionary history, it has only been in the last three decades that advances

Phantom limbs, neglect syndromes, repressed memories, and Freudian psychology.

Origins of domain specificity: The evolution of functional organization

From this emerging integrated perspective, the domain-specific mechanisms or modules cognitive psychologists have been studying can be readily recognized for what they are evolved adaptations, produced by the evolutionary process acting on the authors' hunter-gatherer ancestors.

The Mind Doesn't Work That Way : The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology

In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture of cognition is massively modular, and that the

Synaptic Activity and the Construction of Cortical Circuits

The sequential combination of spontaneously generated and experience-dependent neural activity endows the brain with an ongoing ability to accommodate to dynamically changing inputs during development and throughout life.

Exuberant development of connections, and its possible permissive role in cortical evolution

[Neuronal plasticity].

The concept of brain plasticity is frequently used to explain the favourable clinic evolution in a lot of cases with severe brain injury, and can be studied through electrophysiology, MR, positron emission tomography, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and obviously by histology.

Brain Waves and Brain Wiring: The Role of Endogenous and Sensory-Driven Neural Activity in Development

The formation of precise neural circuits in the visual system is used to illustrate the principles of activity-dependent development and to revolutionize the ability to identify, prevent, and treat developmental disorders resulting from disruptions of neural activity that interfere with the formation of precisely neural circuits.