Morten H. Christiansen

Morten H. Christiansen is Professor of Psychology and Codirector of the Cognitive Science Program at Cornell University.

  • Creating Language

    Creating Language

    Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing

    Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater

    A work that reveals the profound links between the evolution, acquisition, and processing of language, and proposes a new integrative framework for the language sciences.

    Language is a hallmark of the human species; the flexibility and unbounded expressivity of our linguistic abilities is unique in the biological world. In this book, Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater argue that to understand this astonishing phenomenon, we must consider how language is created: moment by moment, in the generation and understanding of individual utterances; year by year, as new language learners acquire language skills; and generation by generation, as languages change, split, and fuse through the processes of cultural evolution. Christiansen and Chater propose a revolutionary new framework for understanding the evolution, acquisition, and processing of language, offering an integrated theory of how language creation is intertwined across these multiple timescales.

    Christiansen and Chater argue that mainstream generative approaches to language do not provide compelling accounts of language evolution, acquisition, and processing. Their own account draws on important developments from across the language sciences, including statistical natural language processing, learnability theory, computational modeling, and psycholinguistic experiments with children and adults. Christiansen and Chater also consider some of the major implications of their theoretical approach for our understanding of how language works, offering alternative accounts of specific aspects of language, including the structure of the vocabulary, the importance of experience in language processing, and the nature of recursive linguistic structure.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £30.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00
  • Cultural Evolution

    Cultural Evolution

    Society, Technology, Language, and Religion

    Peter J. Richerson and Morten H. Christiansen

    Leading scholars report on current research that demonstrates the central role of cultural evolution in explaining human behavior.

    Over the past few decades, a growing body of research has emerged from a variety of disciplines to highlight the importance of cultural evolution in understanding human behavior. Wider application of these insights, however, has been hampered by traditional disciplinary boundaries. To remedy this, in this volume leading researchers from theoretical biology, developmental and cognitive psychology, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, history, and economics come together to explore the central role of cultural evolution in different aspects of human endeavor.

    The contributors take as their guiding principle the idea that cultural evolution can provide an important integrating function across the various disciplines of the human sciences, as organic evolution does for biology. The benefits of adopting a cultural evolutionary perspective are demonstrated by contributions on social systems, technology, language, and religion. Topics covered include enforcement of norms in human groups, the neuroscience of technology, language diversity, and prosociality and religion. The contributors evaluate current research on cultural evolution and consider its broader theoretical and practical implications, synthesizing past and ongoing work and sketching a roadmap for future cross-disciplinary efforts.

    Contributors Quentin D. Atkinson, Andrea Baronchelli, Robert Boyd, Briggs Buchanan, Joseph Bulbulia, Morten H. Christiansen, Emma Cohen, William Croft, Michael Cysouw, Dan Dediu, Nicholas Evans, Emma Flynn, Pieter François, Simon Garrod, Armin W. Geertz, Herbert Gintis, Russell D. Gray, Simon J. Greenhill, Daniel B. M. Haun, Joseph Henrich, Daniel J. Hruschka, Marco A. Janssen, Fiona M. Jordan, Anne Kandler, James A. Kitts, Kevin N. Laland, Laurent Lehmann, Stephen C. Levinson, Elena Lieven, Sarah Mathew, Robert N. McCauley, Alex Mesoudi, Ara Norenzayan, Harriet Over, Jürgen Renn, Victoria Reyes-García, Peter J. Richerson, Stephen Shennan, Edward G. Slingerland, Dietrich Stout, Claudio Tennie, Peter Turchin, Carel van Schaik, Matthijs Van Veelen, Harvey Whitehouse, Thomas Widlok, Polly Wiessner, David Sloan Wilson

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00

Contributor

  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Sixth Edition

    David Poeppel, George R. Mangun, and Michael S. Gazzaniga

    The sixth edition of the foundational reference on cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that covers the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The sixth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. It offers entirely new material, reflecting recent advances in the field, covering the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies.

    This sixth edition treats such foundational topics as memory, attention, and language, as well as other areas, including computational models of cognition, reward and decision making, social neuroscience, scientific ethics, and methods advances. Over the last twenty-five years, the cognitive neurosciences have seen the development of sophisticated tools and methods, including computational approaches that generate enormous data sets. This volume deploys these exciting new instruments but also emphasizes the value of theory, behavior, observation, and other time-tested scientific habits.

    Section editors Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Ulman Lindenberger, Kalanit Grill-Spector and Maria Chait, Tomás Ryan and Charan Ranganath, Sabine Kastner and Steven Luck, Stanislas Dehaene and Josh McDermott, Rich Ivry and John Krakauer, Daphna Shohamy and Wolfram Schultz, Danielle Bassett and Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Marina Bedny and Alfonso Caramazza, Liina Pylkkänen and Karen Emmorey, Mauricio Delgado and Elizabeth Phelps, Anjan Chatterjee and Adina Roskies

    • Hardcover $225.00 £174.00
  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fifth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fifth Edition

    Michael S. Gazzaniga and George R. Mangun

    The fifth edition of a work that defines the field of cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that reflects recent advances in the field.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fifth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. It offers entirely new material, reflecting recent advances in the field.

    Many of the developments in cognitive neuroscience have been shaped by the introduction of novel tools and methodologies, and a new section is devoted to methods that promise to guide the field into the future—from sophisticated models of causality in brain function to the application of network theory to massive data sets. Another new section treats neuroscience and society, considering some of the moral and political quandaries posed by current neuroscientific methods.

    Other sections describe, among other things, new research that draws on developmental imaging to study the changing structure and function of the brain over the lifespan; progress in establishing increasingly precise models of memory; research that confirms the study of emotion and social cognition as a core area in cognitive neuroscience; and new findings that cast doubt on the so-called neural correlates of consciousness.

    • Hardcover $200.00 £154.00