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Doubling the brain. By Janet Dunaif-Hattis. New York Peter Lang Publishing. 1984. xi + 213pp. figures tables appendix references index. $27

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mans is more subtle and may involve simply very young children, that infanticidal mothplacing the child in a dangerous situation, ers are usually young and unmarried, and
abandonment, “accidents” that have the ap- that children are at greater risk in stepparpearance of being arranged, excessive physi- ent households than in natural-parent housecal punishment, or neglect.
holds. Johansson draws on a variety of
A second difference between infanticide historical data from Europe and colonial
among human and nonhuman species con- America in a n extremely interesting discuscerns its apparent function. As noted above, sion of the relation between economic sysinfanticide in nonhumans is generally com- tems and differential investment in offspring
patible with a hypothesis based on intra- as measured by excess female mortality. She
sexual competition: males kill infants to in- presents data suggesting that, in traditional
crease their reproductive success as com- agricultural societies where children of either
pared with that of other males. In contrast, sex were equally valuable, sex-biased mortalamong humans infanticide most commonly ity is not pronounced. The commercialization
occurs in circumstances where the death of and modernization of agriculture, however,
a n infant improves the chances for survival caused parents to devalue daughters relative
of either the mother or existing subsequent to sons, leading in some cases to abnormally
offspring. Many societies, for example, allow high female mortality. Finally, subsequent
one infant to die when twins are born, kill industrialization and urbanization minia n infant if its mother dies, and kill physi- mized the differential economic value of sons
cally or mentally deformed infants. In addi- and daughters, producing in turn a less
tion, selective infanticide of one sex, usually strongly skewed sex bias in mortality.
Infanticide: Comparative and Evolutionary
females, occurs in many societies where, for
instance, the cost of rearing daughters is high Perspectives focuses on a n issue of central
owing either to low prestige or to the need to importance to the behavioral sciences and is
accumulate a dowry. In striking contrast to packed with useful information. For those
infanticide among nonhumans, infanticide interested in the mechanisms and evolution
among humans is usually performed by the of behavior and in possible links between
human and nonhuman species, it cannot be
infant’s mother or father.
Daley and Wilson use data from the Hu- recommended too strongly.
man Relations Area File, as well as data
from homicides in Canada where children
were the victimis, to test a variety of hyDepartment of Anthropology
potheses about the function of infanticide in
University of California
humans. They show, among other things,
Los Angeles, California
that infanticide by parents is restricted to
THE BRAIN.By Janet DunaifHattis. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
1984. xi + 213 pp., figures, tables, appendix,
references, index. $27.00 (cloth).
The bottom line for assessing a n academic
book is its usefulness. Will the reader go
back to it after it is read and placed on the
shelf? Doubling the Brain is a thorough and
synthetic review of the pre-1980 literature on
neurological asymmetries in primates (including humans), which should become a n
important resource for anthropologists, psychologists, primatologists, and paleontologists.
The book addresses controversies in the
study of brain asymmetry, possible mechanisms for hemispheric dominance, development, and evolution of brain lateralization,
asymmetries in nonhuman primates (including handedness), and the evolution of human
brain lateralization. The author does not confine herself to primates; interesting information is summarized for invertebrates as well
as vertebrates including birds, marsupials,
and dolphins. As most books do, this one has
its drawbacks. Based on a Ph.D. dissertation,
the text sometimes seems overly cautious (a
common result of satisfying a committee).
There are typos, consistent use of “data is”
rather than “data are,” and occasional misinformation (e.g., locating the language area
for production of speech in the temporal
rather than in the frontal lobe; p. 141). On
the positive side, the book is divided into
eight well-written chapters with a text that
contains numerous appropriate headings as
well as useful summaries for the middle six
All-in-all, Doubling the Brain presents a
thoroughly researched overview of the multifaceted literature on brain lateralization.
Synthesizing this information cannot have
been a n easy task. I am particularly im-
pressed with this work because it maintains
a n evolutionary perspective, views behavior
as a product of neurophysiological processes,
and concludes that human brain lateralization should be “viewed on a n evolutionary
and phylogenetic continuum with other
forms of animal brain organization.” No, this
book will not gather dust on my shelf!
ASIA. Edited by J.R.
Lukacs. New York: Plenum Press. 1984.
xxiv + 465 pp., figures, tables, references,
index. $55.00 (cloth).
separate contributions can be discussed in a
brief review. I shall, therefore, direct most
comments to items of interest for the nonspecialist on India, as the specialist will want to
read the entire volume.
The first chapter, by Badgley, Kelley, Pilbeam, and Ward, presents a n excellent summary of the Miocene hominoids of India and
Pakistan. The anatomy, paleoecology, and
taxonomy of this important group of hominoids are discussed. Those who now argue
that there are no transitional forms in the
fossil record should consider these fossils.
They all seem transitional, one to another.
This is the real source of difficulty in the
Siuapithecus/Ramapithecusdiscussions that
have dominated this literature in recent
years. The authors avoid dogmatic positions
and convey the complexity of the fossil record
in the 13 to 7 million year period.
Kenneth Kennedy shows the early Mesolithic inhabitants of India to have some features common to most Upper Paleolithic
peoples: tall stature, robusticity of muscle
attachments, and large teeth. These features
become reduced in the Indian record somewhat later than in Europe and the Middle
East. These trends continue into the Neolithic. It is not clear what set of factors accounts for this nearly worldwide trend.
Kennedy reviews some of the suggestions and
seems to favor the biocultural hypotheses of
In the paleoanthropology contributions
there are also chapters on the Harappans
(Dutta), the Indo-Aryan invasion myth (Shaf-
The subcontinent of India has long fascinated not only foreigners but also Indian nationals with the biological and cultural
diversity to be found there. In consequence,
major surveys of biological diversity are a
tradition going back to the first decade of this
century with the publication of Risley’s (1915)
The People of India. Risley’s compilation was
in the tradition of the day; its objective was
a taxonomy of peoples as well as a n explanation of peoples in terms of the taxonomy, to
the extent that there was explanation.
And, just as in the West, this tradition continued too long. The large, largely anthropometric surveys continued to be carried out
and were largely oriented toward taxonomic
ends through the 1950s. Indian biological anthropology has now emerged into a more
problem-oriented approach to human diversity. The editor of this volume, John R. Lukacs, sets forth to display the breadth and
intellectual vitality of this approach to biological diversity in India. As a one-sentence
summary, the effort is totally successful.
The breadth of studies is reflected in the 28
contributors, 16 of whom are from the Indian
subcontinent and 12 from the United States.
Eight chapters are on paleoanthropology,
broadly defined, and 12 are concerned with
the biological anthropology of living populations. With such a broad survey not all the
Department of Anatomy
University of Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
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doubling, 213pp, publishing, figuren, dunaif, 1984, references, index, brain, new, york, appendixes, hatti, lang, jane, tablet, peter
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