Michael Winkelman E-mail address: michaeljwinkelman gmail. Read the full text. Tools Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Volume 23 , Issue 2 Fall Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. With sexual selection, an unattractive individual is more likely to have access only to an inferior mate who is likely to pass on many deleterious mutations to their joint offspring, who are then less likely to survive.
Sexual selection is often thought to be a likely explanation for other female-specific human traits, for example breasts and buttocks far larger in proportion to total body size than those found in related species of ape. That human female breasts typical mammalian breast tissue is small  are found sexually attractive by many men is in agreement with sexual selection acting on human females secondary sexual characteristics. Sexual selection for intelligence and judging ability can act on indicators of success, such as highly visible displays of wealth.
Growing human brains require more nutrition than brains of related species of ape. It is possible that for females to successfully judge male intelligence, they must be intelligent themselves. This could explain why despite the absence of clear differences in intelligence between males and females on average, there are clear differences between male and female propensities to display their intelligence in ostentatious forms.
This absence of difference is now known to exist at the middle of distributions. Average intelligence doesn't differ much between genders, but because female selection is restricted more towards males at the top end of male-male hierarchies or those increasingly above average in physical attractiveness, male trait distributions often have longer tails; that is to say the lowest and highest intelligences and many more traits in male populations extend further out into the lowest and highest values of the distribution than for female traits.
This is because it paid to be a highly variable male, as average males would have consistently low opportunity, but variable males had a chance of falling on the preferred side of the trait distribution. While sexually selected ornaments such as peacock feathers and moose antlers develop either during or after puberty, timing their costs to a sexually mature age, human brains expend large amounts of nutrients building myelin and other brain mechanisms for efficient communication between the neurons early in life. These costs early in life build facilitators that reduce the cost of neuron firing later in life, and as a result the peaks of the brain's costs and the peak of the brain's performance are timed on opposite sides of puberty with the costs peaking at a sexually immature age while performance peaks at a sexually mature age.
Critical researchers argue that this means that the costs that intelligence is a signal of reduce the chances of surviving to reproductive age, does not signal fitness of sexually mature individuals and, since the disability principle is about selection for disabilities in sexually immature individuals that evolutionarily increase the offspring's chance of surviving to reproductive age, would be selected against and not for by its mechanisms. These critics argue that human intelligence evolved by natural selection citing that unlike sexual selection, natural selection have produced many traits that cost the most nutrients before puberty including immune systems and accumulation and modification for increased toxicity of poisons in the body as a protective measure against predators.
The number of people with severe cognitive impairment caused by childhood viral infections like meningitis , protists like Toxoplasma and Plasmodium , and animal parasites like intestinal worms and schistosomes is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. Thus, widespread, virulent , and archaic infections are greatly involved in natural selection for cognitive abilities.
People infected with parasites may have brain damage and obvious maladaptive behavior in addition to visible signs of disease. Smarter people can more skillfully learn to distinguish safe non-polluted water and food from unsafe kinds and learn to distinguish mosquito infested areas from safe areas. Smarter people can more skillfully find and develop safe food sources and living environments. When people search for mates based on their success, wealth, reputation, disease-free body appearance, or psychological traits such as benevolence or confidence; the effect is to select for superior intelligence that results in superior disease resistance.
A predominant model describing the evolution of human intelligence is ecological dominance-social competition EDSC ,  explained by Mark V. Flinn, David C. Geary and Carol V. Ward based mainly on work by Richard D. According to the model, human intelligence was able to evolve to significant levels because of the combination of increasing domination over habitat and increasing importance of social interactions. As a result, the primary selective pressure for increasing human intelligence shifted from learning to master the natural world to competition for dominance among members or groups of its own species.
As advancement, survival and reproduction within an increasing complex social structure favored ever more advanced social skills, communication of concepts through increasingly complex language patterns ensued. Since competition had shifted bit by bit from controlling "nature" to influencing other humans, it became of relevance to outmaneuver other members of the group seeking leadership or acceptance , by means of more advanced social skills. A more social and communicative person would be more easily selected. Human intelligence is developed to an extreme level that is not necessarily adaptive in an evolutionary sense.
Firstly, larger-headed babies are more difficult to give birth to and large brains are costly in terms of nutrient and oxygen requirements.
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Since , scientists have been evaluating genomic data on gene variants thought to influence head size, and have found no evidence that those genes are under strong selective pressure in current human populations. While decreased brain size has strong correlation with lower intelligence in humans, some modern humans have brain sizes as small as Homo Erectus but normal intelligence based on IQ tests for modern humans.
Increased brain size in humans may allow for greater capacity for specialized expertise. The two major perspectives on primate brain evolution are the concerted and mosaic approaches. Simian primate brain evolution studies show that specific cortical regions associated with high-level cognition have demonstrated the greatest expansion over primate brain evolution.
Studies on cortical expansions in the brain have been used to examine the evolutionary basis of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Fred H Previc
However, other researchers found no correlation between expanded cortical regions in the human brain and the development of Alzheimer's disease. Human brain evolution involves cellular, genetic, and circuitry changes. Group selection theory contends that organism characteristics that provide benefits to a group clan, tribe, or larger population can evolve despite individual disadvantages such as those cited above. The group benefits of intelligence including language, the ability to communicate between individuals, the ability to teach others, and other cooperative aspects have apparent utility in increasing the survival potential of a group.
In addition, the theory of group selection is inherently tied to Darwin's theory of natural selection. Specifically, that "group-related adaptations must be attributed to the natural selection of alternative groups of individuals and that the natural selection of alternative alleles within populations will be opposed to this development".
Between-group selection can be used to explain the changes and adaptations that arise within a group of individuals. Group-related adaptations and changes are a byproduct of between-group selection as traits or characteristics that prove to be advantageous in relation to another group will become increasingly popular and disseminated within a group.
In the end, increasing its overall chance of surviving a competing group. However, this explanation cannot be applied to humans and other species, predominantly other mammals that live in stable, established social groupings. This is because of the social intelligence that functioning within these groups requires from the individual. Humans, while they are not the only ones, possess the cognitive and mental capacity to form systems of personal relationships and ties that extend well beyond those of the nucleus of family.
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The continuous process of creating, interacting, and adjusting to other individuals is a key component of many species' ecology. These concepts can be tied to the social brain hypothesis, mentioned above. This hypothesis posits that human cognitive complexity arose as a result of the higher level of social complexity required from living in enlarged groups. These bigger groups entail a greater amount of social relations and interactions thus leading to a expanded quantity of intelligence in humans.
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In fact, the size of a species' brain can be much better predicted by diet instead of measures of sociality as noted by the study conducted by DeCasien et. Diets deficient in iron , zinc , protein , iodine , B vitamins , omega 3 fatty acids , magnesium and other nutrients can result in lower intelligence   either in the mother during pregnancy or in the child during development. While these inputs did not have an effect on the evolution of intelligence they do govern its expression. A higher intelligence could be a signal that an individual comes from and lives in a physical and social environment where nutrition levels are high, whereas a lower intelligence could imply a child, its mother, or both, come from a physical and social environment where nutritional levels are low.
Previc emphasizes the contribution of nutritional factors, especially meat and shellfish consumption, to elevations of dopaminergic activity in the brain, which may have been responsible for the evolution of human intelligence since dopamine is crucial to working memory, cognitive shifting, abstract, distant concepts, and other hallmarks of advanced intelligence.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The development of intelligence in humans and association with evolution of the brain and the origin of language. Hominin events for the last 10 million years. Hominin timeline. This box: view talk edit. Homo habilis. Homo erectus. Homo sapiens. Earlier apes. Gorilla split. Possibly bipedal. Chimpanzee split.
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Earliest bipedal. Stone tools. Exit from Africa. Earliest fire use. Earliest cooking.
“Messing with the mind”: evolutionary challenges to human brain augmentation
Earliest clothes. See also: Life timeline , and Nature timeline. Further information: Primate empathy , Great ape language , and Lucy Temerlin.
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Further information: Homo. Further information: Intelligence , Archaic humans , Behavioral modernity , and Early human migration. See also: Sexual selection in human evolution. Concepts of Genetics Tenth ed. Lay summary 16 May Assuming that chimpanzees and humans last shared a common ancestor about 6. Indiana University. Retrieved Anthropological Notebooks. Mathieu ed. Experimental Archaeology. British Archaeological Reports International Series. Archived from the original on Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.
Series B, Biological Sciences. Contributions to Zoology. Washington, D. Cerebral Cortex. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews. The areas are named either anatomically the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or because it reminded the anatomist of yore of some other important anatomical structure the mammilary bodies.
Or for some other obscure reason the tegmentum? Oh, that's Latin for "covering. Dopamine is made in two little areas in the deep animal recesses of the brain—the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area. From these starting gates, the dopamine tracts reach out to various segments. It brings dopamine from the substantia nigra to the striatum or "basal ganglia. Death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leads to the symptoms of Parkinson's disease—tremor, stiffness, loss of voluntary movement though someone with advanced Parkinson's may not be able to toss a ball to you, if you toss a ball to him, he might be able to use different reflex motor brain tracts and catch it.
This pathway is also affected in various choreas, such as the possibly wheat-related Huntington's Chorea. The limbic system of the brain controls reward and emotion, and includes the hippocampus and the medial frontal cortex. This is the pathway that is thought to be responsible for addiction and psychosis.
This is the pathway responsible for planning, responsibility, prioritizing, motivation , and some elements of emotional response. This is one of the damaged areas in ADHD and depression. It's a dopamine pathway between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, and the most important part is that dopamine inhibits prolactin release. So blocking dopamine means prolactin increases, enabling breastfeeding and whatnot.
Yup—prolactin is one of the hormones responsible for lactation! I love it when the names make sense like that. Having fun yet? In psychiatric terms, the mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways are by far the most important. They have a lot to do with how we behave, and who we are. There, we are done! The hard part is over! We'll have some real fun with speculation about the differences between men and women and psychiatric illness and personality disorders in the very next post. Stay tuned!
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