Michelle Scalise Sugiyama

Researcher and Instructor at the University of Oregon, Eugene

My research and teaching explore the role that storytelling, art, play and other “recreational” activities played in human evolution by looking at the knowledge it takes to make a living as a hunter-gather and the skill and knowledge sets these behaviors build. My work integrates research and theory from cognitive psychology, human life history, evolutionary anthropology, archaeology, primatology, ethology, and oral tradition to identify continuities of form and function between ancestral and modern expressions of these behaviors. Learn more at