Evo-devo and Cognitive Science

  • Annemie PloegerEmail author
  • Frietson GalisEmail author
Living reference work entry


Evo-devo is an approach that integrates knowledge on evolution and development. Cognitive science is a research field that tries to unravel the functioning of the mind and the underlying processes. In this chapter, the main subfields within cognitive science that have contributed to a better understanding of the evolution and development of the mind are discussed. Highlighted are the subfields of evolutionary cognitive science, developmental systems theory, genes × environment interaction research, epigenetics, comparative cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience. Finally, the question what cognitive scientist can learn from research in evolutionary developmental biology is addressed. Many evo-devo biologists study morphogenesis, which is relevant for cognitive development, but it is not always straightforward how to apply their knowledge to cognitive science research. Interdisciplinary research is strongly recommended, so scholars from different fields such as morphology, genetics, neuroscience, primatology, and psychology can learn from each other and contribute to the unraveling of the working of the mind.


Evo-devo Cognitive science G×E interactions Epigenetics Developmental systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Naturalis Biodiversity CenterLeidenThe Netherlands

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