Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Did Autistic Attention To Detail And Collaborative Morality Drive Human Evolution?


tandfonline |  Selection pressures to better understand others’ thoughts and feelings are seen as a primary driving force in human cognitive evolution. Yet might the evolution of social cognition be more complex than we assume, with more than one strategy towards social understanding and developing a positive pro-social reputation? Here we argue that social buffering of vulnerabilities through the emergence of collaborative morality will have opened new niches for adaptive cognitive strategies and widened personality variation. Such strategies include those that that do not depend on astute social perception or abilities to think recursively about others’ thoughts and feelings. We particularly consider how a perceptual style based on logic and detail, bringing certain enhanced technical and social abilities which compensate for deficits in complex social understanding could be advantageous at low levels in certain ecological and cultural contexts. ‘Traits of autism’ may have promoted innovation in archaeological material culture during the late Palaeolithic in the context of the mutual interdependence of different social strategies, which in turn contributed to the rise of innovation and large scale social networks.

physorg | The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art, according to researchers at the University of York. 



Around 30,000 years ago realistic art suddenly flourished in Europe. Extremely accurate depictions of bears, bison, horses and lions decorate the walls of Ice Age archaeological sites such as Chauvet Cave in southern France.

Why our ice age ancestors created exceptionally realistic art rather than the very simple or stylised art of earlier modern humans has long perplexed researchers.

Many have argued that psychotropic drugs were behind the detailed illustrations. The popular idea that drugs might make people better at art led to a number of ethically-dubious studies in the 60s where participants were given art materials and LSD.

The authors of the new study discount that theory, arguing instead that individuals with "detail focus", a trait linked to , kicked off an artistic movement that led to the proliferation of realistic cave drawings across Europe.
The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art, according to researchers at the University of York.
Around 30,000 years ago realistic art suddenly flourished in Europe. Extremely accurate depictions of bears, bison, horses and lions decorate the walls of Ice Age archaeological sites such as Chauvet Cave in southern France.
Why our ice age ancestors created exceptionally realistic art rather than the very simple or stylised art of earlier modern humans has long perplexed researchers.
Many have argued that psychotropic drugs were behind the detailed illustrations. The popular idea that drugs might make people better at art led to a number of ethically-dubious studies in the 60s where participants were given art materials and LSD.
The authors of the new study discount that theory, arguing instead that individuals with "detail focus", a trait linked to , kicked off an artistic movement that led to the proliferation of realistic cave drawings across Europe.