PSY - Paper 1 - Ricardo R. Gongora An Exploration into...

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Ricardo R. Gongora An Exploration into Evolutionary Psychology April 4, 2011
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2011 Gongora 2 An Exploration into Evolutionary Psychology By: Ricardo Gongora “Evolutionary psychology is one of many biologically informed approaches to the study of human behavior. [Evolutionary psychologists propose] that the relevant internal mechanisms are adaptations—products of natural selection—that helped our ancestors get around the world, survive and reproduce.” (Downes, 2008) The origin of why , as human beings, we have certain instinctual tendencies or why human phenomena occur has intrigued me for some time. In my mind, questions constantly arise concerning emotional tendencies of either sex, drive or motivation, tangible or emotional desires, and mate selection among human beings. Over time, I have developed several informal theories based on my own observation and personal intuition. Take for example a theory on the human female orgasm. It would seem that the female orgasm has been a modern evolutionary development that helps in mate selection for the (human) female which guides a woman in the selection of a long term mate – a male that will be able to protect not only her but their offspring as well, ensuring the continuation of the species. In response to my curiosity on the topic, I have chosen to take a sliver of a look into the realm of evolutionary psychology and expand my knowledge on the topic. I have selected two articles that have caught my attention: “Beliefs, Mental Health, and Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems in the Brain” and “Parallel Evolution of Cortical Areas Involved in Skilled Hand Use” Each article explores what I call a subset of evolutionary psychology but which equally shed some light on the area of evolutionary psychology.
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2011 Gongora 3 Parallel Evolution of Cortical Areas Involved in Skilled Hand Use “Being able to make precise movements with our hands to manipulate food, tools and other objects are one of the hallmarks of primate evolution”, however, the neural building blocks that make precise and accurate manual control necessary for this ability is uncertain. If all species possess morphology 1 and behaviors associated with their “ecological niche”, why is it then that some species of monkeys, for example, are able to use a precision grip 2 as do cebus monkeys whereas others use “exclusively a power grip” as do squirrel monkeys? In the article Cortical 3 Evolution and Hand Use , Padberg et al. seek to examine the organization of cortex in the expected location of areas 2 4 and 5 5 in cebus monkeys in comparison to macaques. In response to comparative studies indicating that cortical field evolution is constrained in location, organization, and connectivity, Padberg et al. hypothesized that cortical regions associated with hand use coevolve in predictable ways in primates with
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This note was uploaded on 04/26/2011 for the course BUSINESS A 00 taught by Professor Misc during the Spring '11 term at Saint Louis.

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PSY - Paper 1 - Ricardo R. Gongora An Exploration into...

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