ANTH 105 17-Nov-2009 Ch 14

ANTH 105 17-Nov-2009 Ch 14 - Ch 14: Evolution of Brain and...

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Ch 14: Evolution of Brain and Behavior Overview of the brain Primate intelligence? Issues in hominid brain evolution Language: biology and evolution
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What truly sets us apart from our relatives, the apes?
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What makes humans unique? Complex behavior Material culture Culture itself as an organizing principle of human behavior Language as a behavioral adaptation Foundations for culture reside in language, humans’ unique communicative system
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Human brain The complex human brain enables behavior that far surpasses other animal behavior in its social complexity, comprehension, and sophistication.
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Brain size has increased over human evolution (Leonard, 2002)
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Functions of major parts of the brain Brain stem: basal metabolic rates, breathing, pulse, basic body functions Cerebellum & its neurons: control of balance, posture, voluntary movement. Cerebrum: divided into right and left hemispheres seat of all higher functions in the brain
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Parts of the cerebellum Sulci: create complex arrangement of grooves on outer surface of cerebellum. Gyri: ridges (thick bands) on the surface formed by sulci
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Components of a neuron Neuron = basic cellular unit of a brain Neuronal structure: Cell body Dendrites : receive input (impulses) from other neurons Axon : an outgrowth through which neurons send impulses Myelin : fatty substances that sheath (protect?) neuronal axons and facilitate the movement of electrical impulses along an axon
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Cerebral hemispheres Cerebral hemispheres are divided into functional regions that correspond to local patterns of neuronal organization. Cerebral cortex: gray matter covering surface of cerebral hemispheres White matter forms the core of each hemisphere consists primarily of axons
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Major lobes of cerebrum Frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes.
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Association cortex Primary cortex – involved directly with motor or sensory input Primary motor regions are concentrated in the frontal lobe. Primary sensory regions are found throughout the cerebral cortex.
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Primary cortex Major portion of cerebral cortex Processes primary inputs or information Responsible for higher level functions, thought, decision-making, art, music, engineering, etc.
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Larger animals have larger brains than smaller animals
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Primate brains are big for their body size
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Primate brains are big for their body size
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Encephalization Quotient (EQ) Corrects brain size for body size Mammals with EQs >1.0: brains are larger than expected for their size. Mammals with EQs <1.0: brains are smaller than expected for their size.
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Examples of EQ Female Homo sapiens 4.64 Male Homo sapiens 4.32 Gibbons, both sexes 2.00 Orangutan, female 1.69 Chimpanzees, both sexes 1.48 Gorilla, female 1.34 Orangutan, male 1.08 Gorilla, male 0.85
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Brain tissue is expensive Total body weight 2% 98% Metabolic energy 20% 80% brain other organs
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ANTH 105 17-Nov-2009 Ch 14 - Ch 14: Evolution of Brain and...

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