Project #79780 - Psychology Evolution of Brain

Let’s think about evolution and the brain.  Do bigger brains mean smarter animals?  Not necessarily!  Brain size has a lot to do with sensation and motor control of large bodies.  Intelligence is related more to the amount of cortex within the brain, than to overall brain size.  The cortex is a thin layer (about 3 mm thick) at the top of the cerebral hemispheres, and is folded and convoluted with many grooves (sulci and fissures) and ridges (gyri).  See a summary of animal brain size here at "Neuroscience for Kids"   (it’s also an excellent resource for adults).  

Think about why the human cortex became larger through natural selection, but also consider how the world we live in today is quite different than that of our human ancestors.  What we will evolve into is an open question that is compounded by technological influences, as discussed in this article.  (If you’d like some more background information on evolution, you can explore this PBS website or this one.) 

Please provide an answer the following discussion question (don’t worry, you can have fun speculating here – there is no “right” answer):   

Today’s world is very different from that of ancient man.  Given this new environment we live in, what might be one or two physical or psychological adaptations that might occur in humans, based on our experiences, environment, and needed skills to succeed in today’s world?  In your answer, think about the role of natural selection, adaption, survival, and sexual selection, and other concepts from the NOBA “Evolutionary Theories in Neuroscience” chapter.  

 

At least 100 words for this assignment

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 08/21/2015 12:00 am
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