I am a Research Fellow at the Department of Psychosocial Science, working in the ERC Synergy Project 'Evolution of Cognitive Tools for Cuantification' QUANTA and I am affiliated to the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour, SapienCE.
My main research interests are the evolutionary origins of human mind and behaviour with a special focus on visual art practices, which I see as a good case study for understanding cognitive and cultural evolution, in general. At SapienCE, I collaborate in the subproject The Symbolic Mind, Cognition, and Social Organisation. I also conduct research at Leiden University (Netherlands) on the perception and production of visual signs in phylogeny and ontogeny, funded by The John Templeton Foundation.
My doctoral thesis dealt with evolutionary models of the origins of visual art, and was completed at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society. I obtained a Master’s degree in Human Origins at the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University, and I hold a licentiate degree in archaeology from the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH), in Mexico City.
- (2022). Visual Attention Bias for Self-Made Artworks. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
- (2021). The Peacock Fallacy: Art as a Veblenian Signal. Frontiers in Psychology. 5320 .
- (2021). Ochre Across Deep Time: A conversation exploring ochre's enduring role in human behavior and evolution, and in protecting Earth-systems knowledge.
- (2022). Origins of Art: the Intersection of Cognitive and Cultural Evolution.
- (2021). When, how and why did symbolic practices emerge and become more complex?
- (2021). Visual art origins: Assessing cognition, communication, and material culture.
- (2021). The dual role of culture for (early) human cognition.
- (2021). Human cognition: species or culture specific?
- (2021). Cognitive and Cultural Diversity in Human Evolution.
- (2020). Unravelling past cognition: Approaches across disciplines.
- (2020). The Symbolic Capacity as a Basis of Human Cognition in Evolution and Development.
- (2020). Enculturing cognition: integrating material culture in human cognitive evolution.
Mendoza Straffon, L. (2019). Evolution and the Origins of Visual Art: An archaeological perspective. Handbook of Evolutionary Research in Archaeology. A. Prentiss (Ed.), Springer. Pp. 407-435.
Mendoza Straffon, L. (2019). The Uses of Cultural Phylogenetics in Archaeology. Handbook of Evolutionary Research in Archaeology. A. Prentiss (Ed.), Springer. Pp. 149-160.
Kret, M. & L. Mendoza Straffon (2018). Reply to Crivelli et al.: The different faces of fear and threat. Evolutionary and cultural insights. Journal of Human Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.11.006
Mendoza Straffon, L. (2016). The Applications and Challenges of Cultural Phylogenetics in Archaeology: An Introduction. Cultural Phylogenetics: Concepts and Applications in Archaeology. L. Mendoza Straffon (Ed.), Interdisciplinary Evolution Research, Springer. Pp. 1-15.
Mendoza Straffon, L. (2016). Signalling in Style: On Cooperation, Identity and the Origins of Visual Art. Understanding Cultural Traits: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Cultural Diversity. F. Panebianco & E. Serrelli (Eds.), Springer. Pp. 356-374.
Mendoza Straffon, L. (2014). Art in the Making: The Evolutionary Origins of Visual Art as Communication Signal. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 978-90- 8555-090-7