Skip to main content

The Evolution of Scenario Visualization and the Early Hominin Mind

  • 1906 Accesses

Part of the Biosemiotics book series (BSEM,volume 8)

Abstract

In this chapter, I argue that scenario visualization—viz., a mental activity whereby visual images are selected, integrated, and then transformed and projected into visual scenarios for the purposes of solving problems in the environments one inhabits—emerged in our hominin past and accounts for certain kinds of vision-related creativity. The kinds of problems with which our hominin ancestors were confronted most likely were of the spatial relation and depth relation types related to basic survival—such as judging the distance between an object and oneself, determining the size of an approaching object, matching an object to any number of associated memories, and anticipating the need for a particular kind of tool to accomplish a task—and so the capacity to scenario visualize would have been useful for their survival. Thus, scenario visualization has been and continues to be relevant for vision-related forms of creative problem-solving.

Keywords

  • Bissociation
  • Cognitive fluidity
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Hominin
  • Mithen
  • Scenario visualization
  • Visual imagery

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5419-5_7
  • Chapter length: 17 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   149.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-007-5419-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    I have argued for my scenario visualization view in the past (Arp 2005a, b, 2006, 2008), and not only has it been applauded as “innovative and interesting,” and even “ambitious” (Downes 2008; Jarman 2009; Thomas 2010; O’Connor et al. 2010), it also has been utilized by numerous philosophical psychologists, cognitive scientists, A.I. researchers, and others (Sloman and Chappell 2005; Gomila and Calvo 2008; Weichart 2009; Sugu and Chatterjee 2010; Arrabales et al. 2008, 2010; Rivera 2010; Bullot 2011; Langland-Hassan 2009; Boeckx and Uriagereka 2011). Thus, the view likely has at least initial plausibility. Still, I have critics (Kaufman and Kaufman 2009; Picciuto and Carruthers 2008), and I welcome the continued dialogue concerning the evolution of the human mind. Although I desire to explain the specific ways various researchers have utilized my scenario visualization view, as well as offer numerous responses to my critics, given space limitations here—coupled with the nature of this book--I will stick to the basic plan of explaining and arguing for scenario visualization as a plausible hypothesis associated with the evolution of our mental architecture.

References

  • Aiello, L. (1997). Brain and guts in human evolution: The expensive tissue hypothesis. Brazilian Journal of Genetics, 20, 141–148.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ambrose, S. (2001). Paleolithic technology and human evolution. Science, 291, 1748–1753.

    PubMed  CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Arp, R. (2005a). Scenario visualization: One explanation of creative problem solving. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12, 31–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arp, R. (2005b). Selectivity, integration, and the psycho-neuro-biological continuum. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 6&7, 35–64.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arp, R. (2006). The environments of our Hominin ancestors, tool usage, and scenario visualization. Biology and Philosophy, 21, 95–117.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Arp, R. (2008). Scenario visualization: An evolutionary account of creative problem solving. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arrabales, R., Ledezma, A., & Sanchis, A. (2008). Criteria for consciousness in artificial intelligent agents. In Proceedings of the autonomous agents and multiagent systems conference, 2008, Estoril, Portugal (pp. 11871192).

    Google Scholar 

  • Arrabales, R., Ledezma, A., & Sanchis, A. (2010). ConsScale: A pragmatic scale for measuring the level of consciousness in artificial agents. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17, 131–164.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blackmore, S. (1999). The meme machine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boden, M. (1990). The creative mind: Myths and mechanisms. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boeckx, C., & Uriagereka, J. (2011). Biolinguistics and information. In G. Terzis & R. Arp (Eds.), Information and living systems: Philosophical and scientific perspectives (pp. 353–370). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bullot, N. (2011). Attention, information, and epistemic perception. In G. Terzis & R. Arp (Eds.), Information and living systems: Philosophical and scientific perspectives (pp. 309–352). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Buss, D. (2009). The great struggles of life: Darwin and the emergence of evolutionary psychology. The American Psychologist, 64, 140–148.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Byrne, R. (2001). Social and technical forms of primate intelligence. In F. DeWaal (Ed.), Tree of origin: What primate behavior can tell us about human social evolution (pp. 145–172). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (1994). The social learning of tool use by orangutans (Pan pygmaeus). Human Evolution, 9, 297–313.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Calvin, W. (2004). A brief history of the mind: From apes to intellect and beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Churchill, S., & Rhodes, J. (2009). The evolution of the human capacity for “killing at a distance”: The human fossil evidence for the evolution of projectile weaponry (Vertebrate paleobiology and paleoanthropology: Special issue on the evolution of Hominin diets, pp. 201–210). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Confer, J., Easton, J., Fleischman, D., Goetz, C., Lewis, D., Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. (2010). Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations. The American Psychologist, 65, 110–126.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1987). From evolution to behavior: Evolutionary psychology as the missing link. In J. Dupre (Ed.), The latest on the best: Essays on evolution and optimality (pp. 27–36). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1994). Origins of domain specificity: The evolution of functional ­organization. In L. Hirschfeld & S. Gelman (Eds.), Mapping the mind: Domain specificity in cognition and culture (pp. 71–97). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crick, F. (1994). The astonishing hypothesis. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crick, F., & Koch, C. (2003). A new framework for consciousness. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 119–126.

    CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Damasio, A. (2000). A neurobiology for consciousness. In T. Metzinger (Ed.), Neural correlates of consciousness (pp. 111–120). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawkins, R. (1976). The selfish gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dawkins, R. (2005). The ancestor’s tale: A pilgrimage to the dawn of evolution. New York: Mariner Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • De Beaune, S., Coolidge, F., & Wynn, T. (2009). Cognitive archeology and human evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dennett, D. (1995). Darwin’s dangerous idea: Evolution and the meanings of life. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dominowski, R. (1995). Productive problem solving. In S. Smith, T. Ward, & R. Finke (Eds.), The creative cognition approach (pp. 73–96). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Donald, M. (1997). The mind considered from a historical perspective. In D. Johnson & C. Erneling (Eds.), The future of the cognitive revolution (pp. 355–365). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Downes, S. (2008). Evolutionary psychology. In Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evolutionary-psychology/

  • Fauconnier, G., & Turner, M. (2002). The way we think: Conceptual blending and the mind’s ­hidden complexities. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fodor, J. (1998). In critical condition: Polemical essays on cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goguen, J., & Harrell, D. (2004). Style as a choice of blending principles. In S. Argamon, S. Dubnov, & J. Jupp (Eds.), Style and meaning in language, art, music and design (pp. 49–56). New York: American Association for Artificial Intelligence Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gomila, T., & Calvo, P. (2008). Directions for an embodied cognitive science: Toward an ­integrated approach. In P. Calvo & T. Gomila (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive science: An embodied approach (pp. 1–26). Oxford: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gregory, R. (Ed.). (2004). The Oxford companion to the mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hampton, S. (2010). Essential evolutionary psychology. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Isaac, G. (1986). Foundation stones: Early artifacts as indicators of activities and abilities. In G. Bailey & P. Callow (Eds.), Stone age prehistory (pp. 221–241). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jarman, R. (2009). Review of scenario visualization: An evolutionary account of creative problem solving. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 16, 199–208.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kandel, E., Schwartz, J., & Jessell, T. (Eds.). (2000). Principles of neural science. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kant, I. (1929). Critique of Pure Reason, Norman Kemp Smith, trans. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaufman, A., & Kaufman, J. (2009). Review of scenario visualization: An evolutionary account of creative problem solving. American Journal of Human Biology, 21, 199–208.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Koestler, A. (1964). The act of creation. New York: Dell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Langland-Hassan, P. (2009). A puzzle about visualization. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 10, 145–173.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lonsdorf, E., Ross, S., & Matsuzawa, T. (Eds.). (2010). The mind of the chimpanzee: Ecological and experimental perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayer, R. (1995). The search for insight: Grappling with Gestalt psychology’s unanswered questions. In R. Sternberg & J. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of insight (pp. 3–32). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGrew, W. (2004). The cultured chimpanzee: Reflections on cultural primatology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McHenry, H. (1998). Body proportions in A. afarensis and A. africanus and the origin of the genus Homo. Journal of Human Evolution, 35, 1–22.

    PubMed  CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McNabb, J., & Ashton, N. (1995). Thoughtful flakers. Cambridge Archeological Journal, 5, 289–301.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Merchant, L., & McGrew, W. (2005). Percussive technology: Chimpanzee baobab smashing and the evolutionary modeling of hominid knapping. In V. Roux & B. Bril (Eds.), Stone knapping: The necessary conditions of a uniquely hominid behaviour (McDonald Institute monograph series, pp. 339–348). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mithen, S. (1996). The prehistory of the mind: The cognitive origins of art, religion and science. London: Thames and Hudson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mithen, S. (1999). Handaxes and ice age carvings: Hard evidence for the evolution of consciousness. In S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak, & D. Chalmers (Eds.), Toward a science of consciousness: The third Tucson discussions and debates (pp. 281–296). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mithen, S. (2001). Archeological theory and theories of cognitive evolution. In I. Hodder (Ed.), Archeological theory today (pp. 98–121). Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mithen, S. (2005). The singing Neanderthals: The origins of music, language, mind and body. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Norris, J., & Papini, M. (2010). Comparative psychology. In I. Weiner & W. Craighead (Eds.), The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology (pp. 507–520). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Connor, M., Fauri, D., & Netting, F. (2010). How data emerge as information: A review of ­scenario visualization. The American Journal of Psychology, 123, 371–373.

    Google Scholar 

  • Palmer, J., & Palmer, A. (2002). Evolutionary psychology: The ultimate origins of human behavior. Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearce, J. (2008). Animal learning and cognition: An introduction. New York: Psychology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pelegrin, J. (1993). A framework for analyzing stone tool manufacture and a tentative application to some early stone industries. In A. Berthelet & J. Chavaillon (Eds.), The use of tools by human and non-human primates (pp. 302–314). Oxford: Clarendon.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Picciuto, E., & Carruthers, P. (2008). Creativity explained? Review of scenario visualization: An evolutionary account of creative problem solving. Evolutionary Psychology, 6, 427–431.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rivera, F. (2010). Toward a visually-oriented school mathematics curriculum: Research, theory, practice, and issues. London: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ruse, M. (2006). Darwinism and its discontents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Searle, J. (1992). The rediscovery of the mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Singer, W. (2000). Phenomenal awareness and consciousness from a neurobiological perspective. In T. Metzinger (Ed.), Neural correlates of consciousness (pp. 121–138). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sloman, A., & Chappell, J. (2005). The altricial-precocial spectrum for robots. In Proceedings of the international joint conferences on artificial intelligence: 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland (pp. 1–8).

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S., Ward, T., & Finke, R. (Eds.). (1995). The creative cognition approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sugu, D., & Chatterjee, A. (2010). Flashback: Reshuffling emotions. Cognitive Computation, 1, 109–133.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tallerman, M. (Ed.). (2005). Language origins: Perspectives on evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, N. (2010). Mental imagery. In Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mental-imagery/

  • Tononi, G., & Edelman, G. (1998). Consciousness and integration of information in the brain. Advances in Neurology, 77, 245–279.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Velmans, M. (1992). Is consciousness integrated? The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 15, 229–230.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • von Bayern, A., Heathcote, R., Rutz, C., & Kacelnik, A. (2009). The role of experience in problem solving and innovative tool use in crows. Current Biology, 19, 1965–1968.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Watanabe, S., & Huber, L. (2006). Animal logics: Decisions in the absence of human language. Animal Cognition, 9, 235–245.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Weichart, A. (2009). Sub-symbols and icons. International Journal on Humanistic Ideology, 1, 342–347.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whiten, A. (2010). A coming of age for cultural panthropology. In E. Lonsdorf, S. Ross, & T. Matsuzawa (Eds.), The mind of the chimpanzee: Ecological and experimental perspectives (pp. 87–100). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Whiten, A., Goodall, J., McGrew, W., Nishida, T., Reynolds, V., Sugiyama, Y., Tutin, C. E. G., Wrangham, R. W., & Boesch, C. (1999). Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature, 399, 682–685.

    PubMed  CrossRef  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wynn, T. (1993). Layers of thinking in tool behavior. In K. Gibson & T. Ingold (Eds.), Tools, language and cognition in human evolution (pp. 389–406). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert Arp .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Arp, R. (2013). The Evolution of Scenario Visualization and the Early Hominin Mind. In: Swan, L. (eds) Origins of Mind. Biosemiotics, vol 8. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5419-5_7

Download citation