Editors' Review and Introduction: The Cultural Evolution of Cognition

Sieghard Beller, Andrea Bender, Fiona Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


This topic addresses a question of key interest to cognitive science, namely which factors may have triggered, constrained, or shaped the course of cognitive evolution. It highlights the relevance of culture as a driving force in this process, with a special focus on social learning and language, conceptual tools, and material culture. In so doing, the topic combines two goals: to provide an overview of current empirical and theoretical work leading this field, tailored for a wider cognitive science audience, and to investigate the potential for integrating multiple perspectives across several timescales and levels of analysis, from the microlevel of individual behavior to the macrolevel of cultural change and language diversification. One key purpose is to assess the extent to which the different research approaches can cross-fertilize each other, thereby also contributing to the advancement of cognitive science more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-653
Number of pages10
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number2
Early online date4 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020


  • cognitive evolution
  • culture
  • social learning
  • language
  • conceptual tools


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