Document Type

Article

Media Type

Text

Abstract

Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically specified” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that, while the adult human mind/brain typically contains a degree of modularization, its “modules” are neither genetically specified nor evolutionary adaptations. Rather, they result from the brain's developmental plasticity, which allows environmental task demands a large role in shaping the brain's information-processing structures. The brain's developmental plasticity is our fundamental psychological adaptation, and the “modules” that result from it are adaptive responses to local conditions, not past evolutionary environments. If different individuals share common environments, however, they may develop similar “modules,” and this process can mimic the development of genetically specified modules in the evolutionary psychologist's sense.

DOI

10.1023/A:1011573226794

Publication Date

12-1-2000

Comments

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.

Department

Department of Philosophy

Language

eng

Publisher

Springer Verlag

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