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Evolution of Intelligence and Life Histories

Evolution of Intelligence and Life Histories - Evolution of...

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Lecture Topic: Primates have large brains compared to other animals and relatively large brains as well Brain Anatomy Controls complex, involuntary motions Brain stem Controls balance, posture, and voluntary movement Cerebellum Directly involved in motor control and sensory input Primary cortex Responsible for processing information from the primary cortex Secondary cortex Cerebrum What do we know about primate brains? Most studies focus on neocortex, appears to be closely associated with problem solving and behavioral flexibility Within primates, brain size varies between taxonomic groups Humans -> great apes -> old world monkeys -> new world monkeys -> prosimians (most to least) How are primate brains special? Primates have frontally-directed eyes which permits stereoscopic vision Associated with increasing reliance on vision Primates have a relatively large visual cortex Primates have a relatively small olfactory bulb Compared to other mammals Increased density of photoreceptors Reduced summation of visual stimuli Primates have high visual acuity Presence of multiple cone types (rods and cones) Anthropoids have color vision Reorganization of brain in primates Mental Mapping hypothesis
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