Early morning ferry at UW's Friday Harbor Labs, San Juan Island




Brief Bio
The Bookshelf

William H. Calvin
it's an image, you need to type it, not copy it (spam...)

 University of Washington
                         SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98195-1800 USA  


William H. Calvin
Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle

The Evolution of Human Minds:
The Ice Age Emergence of Higher Intellectual Functions

Monday, February 3, 2003      Chicago

The suite of higher cognitive functions includes syntax, multi-stage planning, structured music, chains of logic, games with arbitrary rules, and our fondness for discovering hidden patterns.  It's likely that they share some neural machinery.  But the archeological record suggests that they are late-comers - that the three-fold enlargement of the ape brain into the human brain was complete about 150,000 years ago, but that these "behaviorally modern" aspects were seldom seen before about 50,000 years ago.  What happened to reorganize the brain, to make it more creative and versatile, back during the middle of the most recent ice age?

 You can read more on the subject in my recent book, 

A Brain for All Seasons:
Human Evolution and Abrupt Climate Change

from the University of Chicago Press (2002), which just won the Phi Beta Kappa book award for science. 

For the brain side of things, you will find many of the references in my earlier books,

More generally (the links to Amazon include descriptions and reviews):

To order a copy of one of my more recent books, click on a cover for the link to amazon.com. 

A Brain for All Seasons, 2002
A Brain for All Seasons

Lingua ex Machina:  Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the Human Brain (Calvin & Bickerton, 2000)
Lingua ex Machina

The Cerebral Code:  Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind (1996)
The Cerebral Code

How Brains Think:  Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now (1996)
How Brains Think

Conversations with Neil's Brain:  The Neural Nature of Thought and Language (Calvin & Ojemann, 1994)
Conversations with
Neil's Brain

The River That Flows Uphill
The River That
Flows Uphill


The Throwing Madonna:  Essays on the Brain
The Throwing Madonna

copyright ©2003 by William H. Calvin

William H. Calvin
Home Page - Books - Research - Talks - The Bookshelf - Brief Bio
My mailing address
: UW, Box 351800, Seattle WA 98195-1800 USA