The neural correlates of work and play: What brain imaging research and animal cartoons can tell us about social displays, self-consciousness, and the evolution of the human brain
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (s 10-11):93-121 (2008)
Children seem to have a profound implicit knowledge of human behaviour, because they laugh at Bugs Bunny cartoons where much of the humour depends on animals behaving like humans and our intuitive recognition that this is absurd. Scientists, on the other hand, have problems defining what this 'human difference' is. I suggest these problems are of cultural origin. For example, the industrial revolution and the protestant work ethic have created a world in which work is valued over play, object intelligence over social intelligence, and science and technology over the arts. This may explain why we have so many imaging studies of tool-use and object manipulation, but only four studies of dance, two of pretend play, and one of role-play. Yet in order to understand child development, the evolution of the brain, and the emergence of human self-consciousness, we need to look at social displays-- such as dance, song, image-making and role-play-- which underpin human culture, cooperation and the arts. I will discuss recent brain imaging research on playful versus instrumental behaviour and show how, in conjunction with archaeological data, we can use this to make sense of human evolution.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (2003). Child's Play: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. Human Studies 26 (4):409-430.
Gregory S. Berns (2003). Neural Game Theory and the Search for Rational Agents in the Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):155-156.
D. H. Ffytche (2000). Imaging Conscious Vision. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Neural Correlates of Consciousness. MIT Press.
Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2007). The Role of Intuitive Ontologies in Scientific Understanding – the Case of Human Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):351-368.
Osmo Kivinen & Tero Piiroinen (2011). On the Distinctively Human: Two Perspectives on the Evolution of Language and Conscious Mind. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (1):87-105.
A. Jonker (1987). The Origin of the Human Mind: A Speculation on the Emergence of Language and Human Consciousness. Acta Biotheoretica 36 (3):129-77.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #237,322 of 1,096,439 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #231,754 of 1,096,439 )
How can I increase my downloads?