We've done this one already with the aborigine/european example.
It doesn't work. It doesn't work because the Neanderthals had a 200,000 year headstart and didn't make advances in that time that Cro Magnon man made in a tenth of it and because Neanderthals failed to reproduce and utilise the improvements created by Cro Magnons despite being around in the same places at the same time.
I still don't see that as indicating an increase in intellegence. It could equally be serendipity, based on innovation. The Cro-Magnon made an innovative discovery, and those discoveries spread quickly because the Cro-Magnon were more mobile.Aslan is not a Tame Lion
quote:First, I'm not sure there is a good definition of intellegence so as a working assumption I would describe intellegence as the capability to imagine a new way of performing a task.
It seems to me that the opposite is happening. No new ideas have really been thought of since the Enlightenment, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, spread of Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, and the time of Jesus. It's like we don't need to think about life anymore, we can rely on the money in our pockets.
Not just umb luck, but need. If the Neanderthal tools met there needs there would be little incentive to change them. If, in addition, they were lower cost to produce, there would actually be a disincentive towards change.Aslan is not a Tame Lion
Considering that the Neanderthal diet was considerably higher in meat, and many of the improved tools were centred on either hunting or the processing of animal products (skin, bone, fat) I can't see the case for lack of need.
I'd like to have more than just a news article. I'm trying to find the original.
From the original article
For microcephalin, the new variant class emerged about 37,000 years ago and now shows up in about 70 percent of present-day humans. For ASPM, the new variant class arose about 5,800 years ago and now shows up in approximately 30 percent of today's humans.
The wonderful thing to me is that we may be seeing a continuation. The fact that these changes appear to fairly recent implies that we are just at the beginning of the change. What might we see 10,000 years from now?
This message has been edited by jar, 09-08-2005 11:46 PM
I'm looking into this too. It was an interesting article; what I'd really like to know is how they're linking increasing cortical mass to increasing intelligence.
There's (at least) two ways to increase brain volume; one is to increase the number of cells (in the case of this article, they're talking about increasing the number of neurons). The second way is to increase the connectivity of the brain.
It's a well-known fact in neuroscience that the brain's volume is due more to connections between neurons than the neurons themselves. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but it's not close. Furthermore, when we study cognition, the size of different brain structures or cortical areas is never the issue--functionality is always based on connectivity; connectivity within cortical areas, and connectivity between cortical areas.
Lastly, in simulations of brain-like "neural networks", increasing the number of units, or neurons, in a (fully-connected) network doesn't necessarily change the algorithm that the network uses to compute output from input. If the number of neurons in the network were insufficient to do feature extraction and make generallizations, then adding neurons is critical. But this usually isn't the case in simulations, and I dont think we have any reason to think that there are brain structures that are not working properly due to a lack of neurons.
What happens, though, when you add neurons to a network that already was able to solve a given problem, is that you lose the generalization within the network. The network has enough "capacity" to memorize. It becomes less of a pattern recognizer, and more like a digital computer. But (and I won't give arguments about this now), the power in the human brain is to do pattern recognition, to be able to work amid noise, and to make generalizations from experience to novel stimuli.
Not sure if much of that made sense.
So what I'm interested to know is: 1. Why these genes are so highly selected for (searching through online databases, looks like these genes have a LOT of functions, including proliferation of neural cells) 2. What we know about the genetic factors involved in basic connectivity between cortical areas in the brain.
Just a thought on the article. I found it interesting, but I'm really hesitant to associate directly the results of that article with human intelligence. I feel we should explore a third, causative factor between neurual ploriferation and intelligence; I would strongly suggest "connectivity" as one of those factors worth investigating.
Hope that adds some value to your thoughts. Feel free to ask away on any of it; I'll do my best to fill in the gaps.
This paper describes what anatomical features, both macroscopic and microscopic, are constant across mammalian species, and which vary across mammalian species. It also discusses possible and probable biological and functional constraints on the brain that lead to these tendencies.
Definitely a good read for those interested in comparative neuroscience and trying to deduce how brain architecture maps to "intelligence."
I haven't distilled the paper enough to post a summary on my own yet. Most of the information is presented within the first 3 pages, so I think it's a pretty accessible paper.
People known for their oddball behavior may be wired differently than the average person and may be able to use their brains more creatively.
A new study shows that people with schizotypal personalities, who behave oddly but are not schizophrenic or mentally ill, rely more heavily on the right side of their brains to access their creativity than the general population.
... these results offer neurological proof that schizotypes and other people prone to mental illness draw on the left and right sides of their brains differently and this skill may enhance their creativity.
"In the scientific community, the popular idea that creativity exists in the right side of the brain is thought to be ridiculous, because you need both hemispheres of your brain to make novel associations and to perform other creative tasks," researcher Brain Folley of Vanderbilt University says in a news release. "We found that all three groups, schizotypes, schizophrenics, and normal controls, did use both hemispheres when performing creative tasks. But the brain scans of the schizotypes showed a hugely increased activation of the right hemisphere compared to the schizophrenics and the normal controls.
No change in brain size, difference in creativity linked to measured difference in patterns of brain use.
we are limited in our ability to understand by our ability to understand
RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist ... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ... to share.
Think rationally and I'll teach you why Creation is our origin rather then evolution! But before I go on I'm telling you to receive my words in Jesus name and take this as a warning... one because you failed to believe in whom the Father sent!
We all have the power to create in ourselves... take a drawing, we create this drawing in our minds and then express our creation with tools like pencils! So then everyone has this wonderful creative power inside them so search inside yourself for your own creative power while I continue...
Now for some revelation! With this creative power we can create something within our minds although we cannot create something that is of a higher creative order then we have! It's like having a cup of water filled to the brim... it cannot hold more water! That is the secret of creation... that we cannot create at a higher creative power! This proves (if you searched yourself and are honest) that our source is top down rather then bottom up and the key to this understanding is creation power!