UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Can the Archaeology of Manual Specialization Tell Us Anything About Language Evolution? A Survey of the State of Play

Steele, J; Uomini, N; (2009) Can the Archaeology of Manual Specialization Tell Us Anything About Language Evolution? A Survey of the State of Play. CAMB ARCHAEOL J , 19 (1) 97 - 110. 10.1017/S0959774309000067. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
16305.pdf

Download (402kB)

Abstract

In this review and position paper we explore the neural substrates for manual specialization and their possible connection with language and speech. We focus on two contrasting hypotheses of the origins of language and manual specialization: the language-first scenario and the tool-use-first scenario. Each one makes specific predictions about hand-use in non-human primates, as well as about the necessity of an association between speech adaptations and population-level right-handedness in the archaeological and fossil records. The concept of handedness is reformulated for archaeologists in terms of manual role specialization, using Guiard's model asymmetric bimanual coordination. This focuses our attention on skilled bimanual tasks in which both upper limbs play complementary roles. We review work eliciting non-human primate hand preferences in co-ordinated bimanual tasks, and relevant archaeological data for estimating the presence or absence of a population-level bias to the right hand as the manipulator in extinct hominin species and in the early prehistory of our own species.

Type: Article
Title: Can the Archaeology of Manual Specialization Tell Us Anything About Language Evolution? A Survey of the State of Play
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0959774309000067
Keywords: CHIMPANZEES PAN-TROGLODYTES, COORDINATED-BIMANUAL TASKS, NONHUMAN PRIMATE BRAINS, RESONANCE-IMAGING MRI, MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM, HAND PREFERENCES, PLANUM TEMPORALE, WILD CHIMPANZEES, MOTOR CORTEX, GREAT APES
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/16305
Downloads since deposit
359Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item