[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

Matthew Kirkcaldie via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by Matthew.Kirkcaldie from removethis.utas.andthis.edu.au)
Tue Sep 4 07:34:46 EST 2007


In article <46dae339$0$17757$ed362ca5 from nr2.newsreader.com>,
 "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2 from yahoo.com> wrote:

> Your view, it seems to me, has points of contact with the behaviorist view. 
> This view holds that complex human behavior is a product of classical 
> conditioning, operant conditioning, as well as simpler processes that are 
> observed when stimuli are simply presented repeatedly. It eschews the notion 
> that behavior (human or otherwise) stems from a variety of more specific 
> modules. A bigger cortex might simply mean quantitative changes in a few 
> processes.

That's almost the opposite of our view. Instead we argue that 
*qualitative* changes, "higher order" complexity in behaviour if you 
like, could come from quantitatively expanding the size of the cortex. 
I'd agree that there are specialised regions of the brain, I just don't 
think they need to be explicitly genetically specified to arise from an 
enlarged cortex. Behaviourism and conditioning aren't really related to 
the arguments of the paper. I'd be happy to send you a PDF if you're 
interested.

      Cheers, MK.

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