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Subject:

Postgraduate Doctoral studentship

From:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 21 Jan 2004 12:17:16 -0000

Content-Type:

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Postgraduate funding opportunity in Archaeology

Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins, 
University of Southampton, UK

Applications are invited for a Postgraduate Doctoral studentship funded by
the British Academy centenary project "from Lucy to Language: the archaeology of the social brain". The studentship will be awarded to the best applicant in one of the following three topics. The award will commence in October 2004.


Manual Dexterity: An evaluation of the archaeological evidence for laterality and motor control (supervisors Dr Sonia Zakrzewski and Dr James Steele Archaeology, Southampton)

Group Size and the Social Brain Hypothesis:  Solutions to the Free Rider Problem (supervisors Dr Mark Van Vugt, Social Psychology, Southampton and Prof. Robin M. Dunbar, Evolutionary Psychology, Liverpool)

The Palaeolithic evidence for changing group size and social interaction  (supervisors Professor Clive Gamble and Dr John McNabb, Archaeology, Southampton)

The award will be equivalent to a fully funded three year AHRB studentship including UK/EU fees and maintenance. Application forms for the University of Southampton are available from Ms Sue Wood. Postgraduate Office, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BF ([log in to unmask]). Applicants should also submit a short CV and a 500 word statement of their research interests relevant to one of the three topics. Where appropriate candidates are also encouraged to apply to the 2004 AHRB Postgraduate competition. 

For further information about the topics and the Centenary Project please contact

Professor Clive Gamble ([log in to unmask]). Tel: 02380 592297
Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins
Avenue Campus
University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BF

Closing date 1 March 2004 


 
Further particulars 

Manual Dexterity: An evaluation of the archaeological evidence for laterality and motor control (supervisors Dr Sonia Zakrzewski and Dr James Steele Archaeology, Southampton)

This PhD project will use comparative methodologies to investigate the interrelationship between hand, brain and artefact. 
Although there is evidence for manual dexterity in non-human primates, human control of motor facility seems to imply a grade shift in this ability within hominins. In both humans and non-human primates, relationships exist between the motor control of the hands and those associated with oral cavity control. This association links mouth movement, through cognitive systems, with manual dexterity. The archaeological evidence for group formation and cohesion can therefore provide further insights into both the evolution of speech and forms of non-verbal group manipulation. What factors influenced this evolution of greater motor control and related cognitive faculties?

Group Size and the Social Brain Hypothesis:  Solutions to the Free Rider Problem (supervisors Dr Mark Van Vugt, Social Psychology, Southampton and Prof. Robin M. Dunbar, Evolutionary Psychology, Liverpool)

According to the social brain hypothesis (Dunbar, 1993), the relatively large brain size among humans results from the complexity of our social world - the memory and social skills that are needed to maintain cooperation in large social groups.   Understanding how group size and dispersion may affect the cohesion of social groups and the ability to detect and punish freeriders is essential for understanding the evolution of human sociality.  
        This project investigates the role of group size in the development of cooperation by comparing the performance of groups with varying sizes and dispersal rates on Prisoner's Dilemma tasks within the laboratory environment.  The crucial difference between small groups (3-8 members) and larger groups lies in the interdependence structure of the situation.  In small groups interpersonal dependence dominates:   Cooperation between individuals is based on strong interpersonal links.  To establish cooperation in larger groups, however, group dependence must prevail: Cooperation can only be achieved if people interact with each other in the name of the group (rather than as individuals).   
        We believe that one of the main vehicles for achieving cooperation in larger dispersed groups is through group identification, the (unique) human ability to feel emotionally attached to a group (De Cremer & Van Vugt, 1999; Van Vugt & Hart, 2003).   This project will investigate:

     Cooperation differences between small vs. large groups;
     Cooperation differences between co-located vs. dispersed groups;
     The moderating role of group identification in cooperation within larger, dispersed groups;
     Different markers of group identification - e.g., physical similarity (sex, race), psychological similarity (language), and proximity (interpersonal distance) and their effects on cooperation and trust in groups.

The Palaeolithic evidence for changing group size and social interaction  (supervisors Professor Clive Gamble, Archaeology, Southampton)

The social brain hypothesis postulates a co-evolutionary process between encephalisation and the capacity to monitor and interact with other individuals in increasingly larger groups. The aims of this PhD project are to test the predictions by: (1) examining the archaeological evidence for the expansion of group size and (2) using these data to develop group and network models of social interaction on a Palaeolithic timescale. The data to be studied will consist of two forms. (1) A selection of published Palaeolithic campsites and living areas will be digitised and analysed to determine how the materiality of face-to-face interaction changed through time. (2) The regional scale of social interaction will then be addressed by analysing the changing distribution of raw materials, primarily stone and shell, how far they were transferred from source and the technology and typologies involved.

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