Why did we grow large neocortex?

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ragav.payne
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Why did we grow large neocortex?

Post by ragav.payne » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:06 am

Hi,

The large neocortex makes all the difference between a human being and a chimp. We can act against our instincts if we want to only because of the larger neocortex.


So, what lead to its evolution? :?:

Why didn't the others (reptiles, nearest primates etc.) grow it? What was different in us that made its evolution possible?

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kotoreru
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Post by kotoreru » Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:21 am

Hmmm. So a large neocortex is what makes us human, yes? I put it to you that certain cetaceans are more human than we are if your logic follows...

Things really are never this simple.
"What are humans if they don't learn at University? Animals, yes."

^^One of my ex-girlfriends said that. I stress the ex part.

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Re: Why did we grow large neocortex?

Post by khenwood » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:22 pm

ragav.payne wrote:Hi,

We can act against our instincts if we want to only because of the larger neocortex.
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So you're saying other animals always act with their first instinct?
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Post by Darby » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:33 pm

One possibility is that evolved because it could - with our ancestors shifting to an upright terrestrial stance, infants could be born much less cerebrally developed (they could be carried rather than having to "ride" or move themselves), and could spend a decent amount of infancy developing a brain with larger capacity. There are a few advantages to a bigger brain (but some disadvantages as well - don't denigrate instinct).

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Post by ragav.payne » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:33 am

Okay, may be I lack some insight into animal behaviour and its causes. I do know that some animals can create social hierarchy, ethics etc. But, I do believe that the exaggerating difference between how animals get to where they want to get and how humans do it is because of the larger neocortex.

After all the cortex is the thinking part of the brain isn't it?

I don't intend to act condescending. I really have to agree that I know very little about brain and how it relates to our behaviour. So, please correct me if I'm missing a serious link.

So, why did we grow a larger neocortex? Was it because of the physical shape and structure or was it due to androgen levels or anything of that sort?
Please let me know your views.

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Post by Dr.Stein » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:18 pm

We have to remember the function of brain cortex. The answer is there ;)
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Post by ragav.payne » Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:07 pm

Dr.Stein wrote:We have to remember the function of brain cortex. The answer is there ;)


mm....so, what is it? Can you be specific?

I don't have formal education in neuroscience or evolution theories. So, no metaphors or hints. Pleae give me solid reasoning, if you can, to get the stuff into my head.

So, what is it with the brain cortex? I presume that the cortex is where the cognitive processes happen. How does that help?

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Post by Darby » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:01 pm

I think you're looking for a simple answer when there isn't one. What makes a larger neocortex isn't reducible to a single event, but a whole pattern. Current theory says that we're building a brain with the same genes as other apes, but the relative expression of those genes is different. But I don't think anyone is particularly close to finding a list of which genes, exactly, are expressed differently, or how the expression differs.

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Post by Heronumber0 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:02 pm

Does it make more sense to measure the size/volume of the neocortex in relation to another part of the brain to make a rough index. We could then compare it to cetacean neocortex indices.

As for the evolution of a neocortex, there are 4 theories for the ontology of this structure: epiphenomenal, developmental, social and ecological. The most appealing view is the 'man as social animal' hypothesis - the social view.

There is no reason why the soul did not develop as humans did or that God gave humans a soul at the proper time of development a la biblical allegory about Adam and Eve.

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Post by kotoreru » Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:01 pm

Where did this topic just go?
"What are humans if they don't learn at University? Animals, yes."

^^One of my ex-girlfriends said that. I stress the ex part.

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Post by wbla3335 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:10 pm

I think it went south.

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Post by kotoreru » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:18 am

Aah, my favourite place.
"What are humans if they don't learn at University? Animals, yes."

^^One of my ex-girlfriends said that. I stress the ex part.

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