[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?
Entertained by my own EIMC
(by write_to_eimc from ozemail.com.au)
Tue Sep 4 09:00:38 EST 2007
> "rAgAv" <ragav.payne from googlemail.com> wrote in message
> news:1184469559.678291.133340 from o11g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
>> I've been wondering why human beings alone have that big, unique and
>> complex cortex. Can you help me with your views?
This is a boring answer but basically true:
We are not unique since amongst cetaceans dolphins have a similar brains
size relative to their bodily bulk.
Our brains (other brains) are big because brains are physically chemically
and physiologically allowed to (can) grow big and because of the sum total
of all evolutionary pressures (forces/factors) that without exception
pertained to our phylogenetic patterning in this.
Although chance and happenstance can play a pivotal part in the evolution of
any species it is most interesting and satidfying to discover some of the
phylogenetically important themes and patterning principles.
Of all the relevant factors (of the evolutionary pressure totality) to have
been involved in the phylogenetic patterning and natural selection of the
human brain (and how our brains make us behave - as they individually
develope and interact with their/our respective milieu) I am most keen to
put under people's purportedly knowledge pursuing "noses" the factors (or
evolutionary pressures) that are the least likely to be taken into account
(least likely because we - and our brains - evolved to become exceptionally
Against a background of evolutionary pressures of "opportunity type" [here
basically any evolutionarily pattern-building type of probabilistic
patterning predisposition, event, or approximately definable category of
interactivity, that is directly or primarily constructive and that can
consistently be correlated with an immediate or eventual increase of the
functional complexity of the individuals of any phylogenetic lineage],
some of all imaginable adverse environmental influences (that affect/involve
neural/neuro-muscular individuals) are of a character such that they demand
(in order to be individually coped with - in order that they don't prevent
the individual's reproductive survival), or can in a manner of
speaking/writing be said to "implore" _specific/synaptic "hibernation"_.
The last expression "specific/synaptic hibernation" is an unusually indepth
and thorough way of describing how certain known neural mechanisms can
prevent self-defeating distress or a seriously futile flight or fight
response by blocking excitatory neural signals from being relayed across
certain synapses that specifically would channel such motivational
messages/energy toward potentially overly onerous or overload incurring
[Such neural mechanisms are known to exist with such a sufficiency, or with
such a degree of certainty, that the expression (specific/synaptic
hibernation) deserves/qualifies to be seen to have been prudently
'philosophically siphoned off' from a 'SEPTIC think-tank'. This zany concept
was deliberately contrived to be derived from by something along the lines
of "by Science (as a broadly defined whole) securely established principles,
theories, insights, correlations corroborations, conclusions, concepts.]
Of "specific/synaptic hibernation imploring (and - if survived - also
inducing) type" predicaments, those that are survived do normally become
significantly "conditioned-in" (so to speak/write).
That is, SHI-type predicaments (or ditto: situations, stressors, or
environmental sources of stimulation) normally become automatically
'transformed' or 'translated' into dynamic memory-states (or imprints) -
meaning that the originally centrally involved neurons have acquired a
permanently elevated action potential pumping metabolic work-rate. This also
means that every time individuals get into a SHI-type situation they are
left with a chronic threat consisting of that such memories might turn into
physiologically intolerable pain in the brain (or in the "actention
selection serving system").
I often prefer to label this kind of memories - i.e. discrete brain states
automatically caused by lifetime predicaments that caused certain neurons to
become "conditioned" to forthwith "unconsciously remember" (alt. ~ to
"reverberate" or to "ring subconsious motivational registers of") stressors
(specifically SHI-type stressors) and to thereby *effect symptoms* - with
the acronym CURSES.
However, Arthur Janov has since long been calling the same dynamically
stored insidious factor either "Pain" (with a capital) or "primal pain".
CURSES (and to a relevant extent SHI-type predicaments whereby CURSES are
"conditioned-in") constitute both an important *sub* type of evolutionary
pressures of adversity type and a very important insidiously operating
endogenous co-motivating factor behind personalities (our individual
psychophysiologies) and cultures/cultural institutions, and "societal
The fact that it has been only natural that survived "SHI-type stressors
come CURSES", must be contained (or handled) more or less adaptively (or
more or less maladaptively) has caused CURSES (and SHITS - for short) to _IN
CONJUNCTION with every relevant *opportunity type* evolutionary pressure and
opportunity type lifetime challenge be BOTH a selective pressure
(specifically within the phylogeny of fauna) in the direction of
increasingly "AEVASIVE" _individual_ behavioral (actentional) capabilities
AND and a potentially or actually insidiously motivating (or symptom
generating) or potentially or actually advantageously (beneficially)
What AEVASIVE stands for seems might be beyond the most people's (ironically
also including professors with relevant scientific specialization) capacity
However, I might as well mention that the first capital of this, with
exceptional pragmatism - and plenty of error plagued trials of various not
so eloquent textual patterns - contrived acronymic concEPT makes use of the
non-acronymic concEPT "ambiadvantageous";
More precisely, "ambiadvantageous" is by help of equally purposeful trials
of suitable "sem_antics" made to combine with the word "evolved" and with
other no-more-weird-than-workable words, to read something along the lines
of: "Ambiadvantageously Evolved Veritable Actention (selection serving)
System Incorporating (quite instructively but of course amongst much
relevant else) Various Endorphins".
The size of the human brain may well (though of course only as a very crude
approximation) be thought to have gained its unusually large bulk because
individual fauna naturally frequently end(ed) up in SHI-type predicaments,
something that have automatically put CURSES within nervous systems (or
actention selection serving systems); This in turn created a "naturally
pruning pressure" on populations to evolve individuals with extra neural
mass that could be used to optimally - that is in this context
"ambiadvantageously" - handle this primarily adverse pressure from Pain (or
CURSES - a "pressure" whether seen from a motivational perspective or
contemplated by mainly Evolution Pertaining Thinking.
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