Larissa Mendoza Straffon's picture

Larissa Mendoza Straffon

  • E-maillarissa.straffon@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 32 35
  • Visitor Address
    Christies gate 12
    5015 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7807
    5020 Bergen

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.

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2023). The Dual Role of Culture for Reconstructing Early Sapiens Cognition. Psychological review. 25 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Development and preliminary validation of a questionnaire to measure parental support for drawing. Thinking Skills and Creativity. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Visual Attention Bias for Self-Made Artworks. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
  • Show author(s) (2021). The Peacock Fallacy: Art as a Veblenian Signal. Frontiers in Psychology. 5320 .
Popular scientific lecture
  • Show author(s) (2021). Ochre Across Deep Time: A conversation exploring ochre's enduring role in human behavior and evolution, and in protecting Earth-systems knowledge.
Academic lecture
  • Show author(s) (2022). Origins of Art: the Intersection of Cognitive and Cultural Evolution.
  • Show author(s) (2021). When, how and why did symbolic practices emerge and become more complex?
  • Show author(s) (2021). Visual art origins: Assessing cognition, communication, and material culture.
  • Show author(s) (2021). The dual role of culture for (early) human cognition.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Human cognition: species or culture specific?
  • Show author(s) (2021). Cognitive and Cultural Diversity in Human Evolution.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Unravelling past cognition: Approaches across disciplines.
  • Show author(s) (2020). The Symbolic Capacity as a Basis of Human Cognition in Evolution and Development.
Short communication
  • Show author(s) (2023). Beyond the image: Interdisciplinary and contextual approaches to understanding symbolic cognition in Paleolithic parietal art. Evolutionary Anthropology (print).
  • Show author(s) (2020). Enculturing cognition: integrating material culture in human cognitive evolution.
Academic literature review
  • Show author(s) (2023). The different paths to cultural convergence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Selected publications 

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