“Evolution, Development, and Culture of Math and Logic”
Primitive logical and perceptual processes form the basis of human cognitive development. Our research focuses on the origins of human mathematical cognition. It tests the relative influences of evolution, culture, and human development on mathematical cognition through comparative studies from multiple populations and methods including non-human animal research, developmental fMRI, and cross-cultural research in the Amazon. The studies reveal universal numerical processes in innumerate Amazonian adults and Western populations, human evolutionary homologs of mathematical thought in non-human primates, mechanisms of the representation and logic of mathematics, and its neural origin in humans. By conducting research at multiple levels of analysis we begin to disentangle the evolutionary influences on human cognition from the more proximal influences of culture and individual learning.