The AHRC Culture and the Mind project is a major five-year interdisciplinary research project based in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sheffield. The project is funded primarily through a major research grant of £538,000 from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (to the project director, Stephen Laurence).

The project brings together top scholars in a broad range of disciplines-including anthropology, archaeology, cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, developmental psychology, economics, history, neuroscience, and philosophy-to investigate the philosophical consequences of the impact of culture on the mind and the cognitive and evolutionary foundations of culture. (See also the related AHRC Innateness and the Structure of the Mind project).

The AHRC Culture and the Mind Project is organized around three subprojects.

  1. Folk Psychology & Folk Epistemics (2006-2009)
  2. Norms & Moral Psychology (2007-2010)
  3. Artefacts & Material Culture (2008-2011)

Each subproject involves a number of workshops and philosophically informed anthropological fieldwork, and will culminate in a major international conference that will be open to the public. Information regarding publications based on project research will be posted under the project subheadings and on the project publications page.


Bailey R. House , Joan B. Silk, Joseph Henrich, H. Clark Barrett,Brooke A. Scelza, Adam H. Boyette, Barry S. Hewlett, Richard McElreath, and Stephen Laurence (2013). Ontogeny of prosocial behavior across diverse societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110.36, pp. 14586-14591. [Supplementary Information (pp. 1-32)].

See Project Publications for more publications.

Project Fieldsites

Amazonian Ecuador Belém, Brazil Peru Western Ukraine Namibia Himba Kenya East Africa Congo Basin Tanzania Hadza Central India New Ireland, New Guinea Fiji Faroe Islands China Fieldsite Western Australia Fieldsite Sumtra Indonesia Bolivia Fieldsite Fieldsite map


This project is sponsored by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council with additional funding provided by the University of Sheffield Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies and the Rutgers University Research Group on Evolution and Higher Cognition.

Core Group