[feed] pefprints@pef.uni-lj.si | [feed] Atom [feed] RSS 1.0 [feed] RSS 2.0 |
  Logo Login | Create Account

The interplay of natural and cultural cognition in the development of complex cognition

Zarja Muršič (2014) The interplay of natural and cultural cognition in the development of complex cognition. MSc thesis.

Download (1222Kb)


    The main focus of the present thesis is to answer what lead to the development of human mathematical abilities and number cognition. I present and compare some basic ideas from the literature about human evolution and the development of human cognition. In the introduction I focus mainly on different theories of natural as well as cultural evolution of humans with a special emphasis on the development of cognition. Since we cannot see humans just as the products of natural evolution, I present culture and its features such as accumulation of knowledge and different crafts. The cumulative culture is one of the fundamental parts of humans. It also separates “human” culture from “primate” culture. I conclude the introduction by presenting the field of neuroanthropology in which scholars compare different people, their cognition, customs and study their brains at the same time. In the second part I review the comparative behavioural studies of number cognition in animals, especially primates. We see that animals do have sense of numerosity, they recognise different quantities. Some primates in captivity even learnt how to count. Afterwards I examine the research in the field of developmental psychology. Toddlers already possess the ability to recognise quantity and values up to the number of four. A few studies evidently proved that very young children understand addition and subtraction of one. Later in the learning process children start to understand number on a linear scale and they begin to use numbers. The age when that happens depends on the environment and the culture in which they grow up. In next chapter I focus on cross cultural studies of number cognition. People have a sense of numerosity that does not depend on language and words for numbers. The understanding of values and numbers differs across cultures. However, anyone was able to learn to count and simple arithmetics, if they had an option to do that. After cross cultural studies I ponder in the field of neuroscientific research of numerical cognition where the general consensus is that the features of numerical cognition are culturally conditioned. Cultural evolution was therefore necessary for the development of arithmetics as we know it today. Natural evolution lead to simple universal capabilities that we share with other animals. Examples are: recognition of quantities, numerosity sense and the ability to do simple addition of one value. Later symbolic communication, cooperation and usage of outer environment lead to the invention of numbers as we use today.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: evolution of cognition, cultural socio-cognitive niche, culture, numerosity, arithmetics
    Number of Pages: 64
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    red. prof. dr. Olga MarkičMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10266185)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2579
    Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2014 14:16
    Last Modified: 22 Oct 2014 14:16
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2579

    Actions (login required)

    View Item