Question about neural connections.

Leonard Robichaud len.robichaud at
Tue Mar 14 08:26:55 EST 2000

About your question regarding humour - I think it is too simplistic to
relate all things to natural selection. While natural selection undoubtedly
has played a part in the evolution of the mind I don't think its necessary
to show that each and every characteristic of the mind has an adaptive
value that has been directly selected for. Some characteristics may be
neutral or even maladaptive 'side effects' of adaptive traits that will
persist as long as their consequences don't outweigh the benefits of those
adaptive traits (in the long run). One way to look at humour is as a result
of information processing in the brain: when information is organized in a
certain way it gives rise to the experience of humour. You may want to read
Edward De Bono's Mechanism of Mind for details.

Ev wrote:

> This may seem silly and obvious but I'm confused. Since every neuron
> can have up to 10,000 dendrites but only 1 axon it seems to me that
> there is a mismatch of inputs and outputs. What am I missing? Can a
> single axon terminal sit on more than 1 dendrite?
> Also, I posed the following question to a newsgroup on evolutionary
> biology but the responses were not very convincing: what is the purpose
> of laughter and why do we have areas in the brain devoted to finding
> things comical and humorous? Can anyone help with this?
> Sent via
> Before you buy.

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