- July 16, 2007 at 6:06 am #7960
The large neocortex makes all the difference between a human being and a chimp. We can act against our instincts if we want to only because of the larger neocortex.
So, what lead to its evolution? ❓
Why didn’t the others (reptiles, nearest primates etc.) grow it? What was different in us that made its evolution possible?
- July 16, 2007 at 10:21 am #74615
Hmmm. So a large neocortex is what makes us human, yes? I put it to you that certain cetaceans are more human than we are if your logic follows…
Things really are never this simple.
- July 16, 2007 at 3:22 pm #74620khenwoodParticipantquote ragav.payne:
So you’re saying other animals always act with their first instinct?
- July 16, 2007 at 6:33 pm #74624DarbyParticipant
One possibility is that evolved because it could – with our ancestors shifting to an upright terrestrial stance, infants could be born much less cerebrally developed (they could be carried rather than having to "ride" or move themselves), and could spend a decent amount of infancy developing a brain with larger capacity. There are a few advantages to a bigger brain (but some disadvantages as well – don’t denigrate instinct).
- July 17, 2007 at 4:33 am #74632
Okay, may be I lack some insight into animal behaviour and its causes. I do know that some animals can create social hierarchy, ethics etc. But, I do believe that the exaggerating difference between how animals get to where they want to get and how humans do it is because of the larger neocortex.
After all the cortex is the thinking part of the brain isn’t it?
I don’t intend to act condescending. I really have to agree that I know very little about brain and how it relates to our behaviour. So, please correct me if I’m missing a serious link.
So, why did we grow a larger neocortex? Was it because of the physical shape and structure or was it due to androgen levels or anything of that sort?
Please let me know your views.
- July 17, 2007 at 12:18 pm #74639Dr.SteinParticipant
We have to remember the function of brain cortex. The answer is there 😉
- July 17, 2007 at 2:07 pm #74640quote Dr.Stein:
mm….so, what is it? Can you be specific?
I don’t have formal education in neuroscience or evolution theories. So, no metaphors or hints. Pleae give me solid reasoning, if you can, to get the stuff into my head.
So, what is it with the brain cortex? I presume that the cortex is where the cognitive processes happen. How does that help?
- July 17, 2007 at 5:01 pm #74642DarbyParticipant
I think you’re looking for a simple answer when there isn’t one. What makes a larger neocortex isn’t reducible to a single event, but a whole pattern. Current theory says that we’re building a brain with the same genes as other apes, but the relative expression of those genes is different. But I don’t think anyone is particularly close to finding a list of which genes, exactly, are expressed differently, or how the expression differs.
- July 30, 2007 at 1:02 pm #74867Heronumber0Participant
Does it make more sense to measure the size/volume of the neocortex in relation to another part of the brain to make a rough index. We could then compare it to cetacean neocortex indices.
As for the evolution of a neocortex, there are 4 theories for the ontology of this structure: epiphenomenal, developmental, social and ecological. The most appealing view is the ‘man as social animal’ hypothesis – the social view.
There is no reason why the soul did not develop as humans did or that God gave humans a soul at the proper time of development a la biblical allegory about Adam and Eve.
- July 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm #74869
Where did this topic just go?
- July 30, 2007 at 6:10 pm #74874wbla3335Participant
I think it went south.
- July 31, 2007 at 10:18 am #74895
Aah, my favourite place.
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