Neuroimaging supports the representational nature of the earliest human engravings

Abstract : The earliest human graphic productions, consisting of abstract patterns engraved on a variety of media, date to the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic. They are associated with anatomically modern and archaic hominins. The nature and significance of these engravings are still under question. To address this issue, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain activations triggered by the perception of engraved patterns dating between 540000 and 30000 years before the present with those elicited by the perception of scenes, objects, symbol-like characters and written words. The perception of the engravings bilaterally activated regions along the ventral route in a pattern similar to that activated by the perception of objects, suggesting that these graphic productions are processed as organized visual representations in the brain. Moreover, the perception of the engravings led to a leftward activation of the visual word form area. These results support the hypothesis that these engravings have the visual properties of meaningful representations in present-day humans, and could have served such purpose in early modern humans and archaic hominins.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [71 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02174430
Contributor : Gin Hal <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 5, 2019 - 9:54:34 AM
Last modification on : Monday, September 9, 2019 - 3:18:21 PM

File

rsos.190086.pdf
Files produced by the author(s)

Licence


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Identifiers

Collections

GIN | CEA

Citation

Emmanuel Mellet, Mathilde Salagnon, Ana Majkić, Sandrine Cremona, Marc Joliot, et al.. Neuroimaging supports the representational nature of the earliest human engravings. Royal Society Open Science, The Royal Society, 2019, 6 (7), pp.190086. ⟨https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.190086⟩. ⟨10.1098/rsos.190086⟩. ⟨hal-02174430⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

34

Files downloads

61