Prehistoric Art in Armenia: new discoveries, new interpretations and new methods of research
Professor Gregori Vahanyan
Yerevan State Academy of Arts, Armenia,
the Head of the “Computer Graphics Art” Department,
Assistant Professor of the Psychology Department Alla Stepanyan
Yerevan State Medical University,
Tel.: (3741) 584270, (3741) 588188, E-mail
The anthropologists have various ideas about the cognition processes of different nations. Proceeding from the concept of brain asymmetry, they suggest several conceptions. Most of the anthropologists confirm, that, in spite of cultural differences, the “average” brains function identically. They also confirm that the basic ways of thinking of different nations differ depending on their cultural factors.
The anthropologists’ conclusion is, that the ability of the right cerebral hemisphere of radically different cultural groups (the ability of figurative thinking) develops similarly, while the left cerebral hemisphere (the ability of thinking-in-words) delays in its development, because of the impossibility of getting education. The representatives of another school promote another theory: they think that there exist qualitative different public, national, racial, personal methods of thinking.
One can suppose that generally and entirely, the human brain has more abilities, than a single type of thinking processes, but the representatives of different cultural group’s differ depending on the kinds, thinking processes and the degree of their participation in the formation and the development of the nations, their traditions, cultures.
We are attracted by the idea that the brain consists of two structures (right and left hemispheres), they have abilities for qualitative different thinking processes, which develop differently for each nation. Taking into account the latter idea, we have to get an answer to the following question: is it possible to explain the cognition methods for different cultures on the basis of differences in the development of right and left hemispheres. According to the studies of the famous neuropathology’s and neurophysiologists, we know that the right hemisphere is dominating in the perception and processing of certain irritations in real time and space.
The right hemisphere is important in the formation of many creative (artistic, musical) abilities. It can feel, recognize and integrate the irritations of various modalities, percept figures and compare them with the standard of memory. The right hemisphere is not able to execute tasks, which demand thinking-in-words, evaluating and decision-making through the language (letters, text information, lingual signals).
The linguistic and mathematical abilities are concentrated exclusively in the left hemisphere. It analyzes various signs in picture in sequence; it can speak, bent for consistent analytic thinking-in-words. Studying the rich cultural heritage, which we’ve got from our forefathers, particularly the pictures on the rocks, discovered in the territory of modern Armenia, proceeding from brain asymmetry concept, the authors promote some ideas about Armenian people’s cognition processes, according to which they have considerations about the development stages of lateralization of the hemispheres and underline the idea of the early existence of speech (and, obviously, conscious) in prehistoric Armenia.