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Dietrich StoutProfessor


PhD, Indiana University, 2003



  • Evolution of brain and cognition
  • Paleolithic archaeology
  • Lithic technology
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Cognitive neuroscience

Research Projects and Collaborations

Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project, Afar, Ethiopia. Led by Dr. Sileshi Semaw of the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre laEvolución Humana in Burgos, Spain. Multidisciplinary investigations of fossil and artifact bearing deposits dating from the Miocene to Middle Pleistocene, including the earliest known stone tools in the world.

Learning to be Human: skill acquisition and the development of the human brain. A Leverhulme Trust funded project in collaboration with Bruce Bradley (Exeter University), James Steele (University College London), and Thierry Chaminade (Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone). Three-year longitudinal study of modern experimental subjects learning to make Lower and Middle Paleolithic stone tools, including structural and functional MRI, DTI, behavioral observation, and lithic analysis.

Acheulean technology and cognition at Boxgrove, UK. Leakey and Wenner-Gren Foundation funded project in collaboration with Jan Apel (Lund University) and Mark Roberts (University College London). Lithic analyses of excavated collections from the Middle Pleistocene site of Boxgrove using 2D and 3D image analysis to identify skill-related variation and specific production techniques.

Action organization in stone tool-making. In collaboration with Aldo Faisal (Imperial College London). Statistical modeling of the hierarchical organization of experimental tool making action sequences.

Comparative chimpanzee/human brain structure and function. Project led by Erin Hecht (postdoctoral researcher, Paleolithic Technology Laboratory) in collaboration with colleagues in at Emory University, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the University of Parma. FDG-PET and DTI investigations of the neurophysiology and white-matter connectivity supporting tool use and social learning in chimpanzees and humans. Funding includes NIH, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, and Emory Center for Systems Imaging.