Campus Box 1125
Evolution and Culture: Professor Boyer aims to describe neuro-cognitive systems that [a] are part of the normal make-up of human minds as a result of evolution by natural selection and [b] support the acquisition of cultural knowledge, concepts and norms. A good part of this research consists in experimental studies of adults and young children in natural and lab contexts. Current studies focus on anxiety and ritual behavior, on source memory and on early numerical capacities.
Naturalness of Religion: This cognitive framework was developed to account for the recurrent properties of religious concepts and norms in different cultures. The latter are parasitic upon standard cognitive systems that evolved outside of religion, such as agency-detection, moral intuition, coalitional psychology and contagion-avoidance. Religious concepts and norms can be explained as a by-product of standard cognitive architecture.
Individual and Collective Memory: The aim of the Luce Program in Individual and Collective Memory is to provide a forum where processes of individual and cultural memory can be studied as an integral field transcending disciplinary boundaries.
- Why Ritualized Behavior? Precaution Systems and Action-Parsing in Developmental, Pathological and Cultural Rituals. Boyer, Pascal & Lienard, Pierre. Forthcoming, Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
- Whence Collective Ritual? A Cultural Selection Model of Ritualized Behavior. Lienard, Pierre & Boyer, Pascal American Anthropologist 108: 814-827, 2006.
- Religion Explained. Random House (UK) and Basic Books (USA): May 2001.
- Naturalness of Religious Ideas. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
- Tradition as Truth and Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
- Introduction to Memory Studies
- Autobiographical Memory
- Cognition and Culture