The work of two University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professors is featured in the Science Magazine article, "Did working memory spark creative culture?" in the April 9 edition.
Tom Wynn, professor of anthropology, and Fred Coolidge,professor of psychology, are featured in the piece detailing their decade-long partnership that led to a theory of a new type of memory – working memory – as well as theories about human evolution.
Wynn and Coolidge believe humans have an enhanced capacity to hold and manipulate information while carrying out specific tasks. This ability, called working memory, is considered essential for language, planning and other conscious experiences including art.
The theory represents a shift in thinking that is making a splash in academic circles. "Current Anthropology" is planning an online supplement devoted to the subject and Wynn and Coolidge will present this month at a meeting on the evolution of language in the Netherlands.