By David Bjorklund, Evolutionary Psychology, 14:4, October 17, 2016. The abstract:

“Developmental thinking is gradually becoming integrated within mainstream evolutionary psychology. This is most apparent with respect to the role of parenting, with proponents of life history theory arguing that cognitive and behavioral plasticity early in life permits children to select different life history strategies, with such strategies being adaptive solutions to different fitness trade-offs. I argue that adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and children’s behavior/cognition/brains. The concept of evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms is introduced, defined as information processing mechanisms evolved to solve recurrent problems faced by ancestral populations that are expressed in a probabilistic fashion in each individual in a generation and are based on the continuous and bidirectional interaction over time at all levels of organization, from the genetic through the cultural. Early perceptual/cognitive biases result in behavior that, when occurring in a species-typical environment, produce continuous adaptive changes in behavior (and cognition), yielding adaptive outcomes. Examples from social learning and tool use are provided, illustrating the development of adaptations via evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms. The integration of developmental concepts into mainstream evolutionary psychology (and evolutionary concepts into mainstream developmental psychology) will provide a clearer picture of what it means to be human.”