Though we have other distinguishing characteristics walking on two legs, for instance, and relative hairlessness , the brain and the behavior it produces are what truly set us apart from the other apes and primates And how this three pound organ composed of water, fat, and protein turned a mammal species into the dominant animal on earth today is the story John S Allen seeks to tell.Adopting what he calls a bottom up approach to the evolution of human behavior, Allen considers the brain as a biological organ a collection of genes, cells, and tissues that grows, eats, and ages, and is subject to the direct effects of natural selection and the phylogenetic constraints of its ancestry An exploration of the evolution of this critical organ based on recent work in paleo anthropology, brain anatomy and neuroimaging, molecular genetics, life history theory, and related fields, his book shows us the brain as a product of the contexts in which it evolved phylogenetic, somatic, genetic, ecological, demographic, and ultimately, cultural linguistic Throughout, Allen focuses on the foundations of brain evolution rather than the evolution of behavior or cognition This perspective demonstrates how, just as some aspects of our behavior emerge in unexpected ways from the development of certain cognitive capacities, a nuanced understanding of behavioral evolution might develop from a clearer picture of brain evolution....
|Title||:||The Lives of the Brain: Human Evolution and the Organ of Mind|
|Publisher||:||Belknap Press 1 edition April 2, 2012|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
|File Size||:||962 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Lives of the Brain: Human Evolution and the Organ of Mind Reviews
Fascinating, illuminating, and easy to read. Have a much better understanding of the field of neuroscience now. This is a book everyone should read.
This book is so great. This is a engrossing work detailing the structural and functional evolutionary history of the human brain by an anthropologist and neuroanatomist. Topics such as the evolution of behavior, cognition, and language are all covered.
Summarizes the history of the study of the evolution of the brain to about 2007 and indicates directions of future study. Includes extensive bibliography. Though a liberal arts type, I found it both accessible and engaging to the extent that I bought a copy for my adult daughter. She, too, found it a useful supplement to her more recent university training.
I dropped the class and sold the book, but honestly I couldn't have seen myself using this book as a text book. Its more of a book for reading linearly than a book you can use for reference. If you have to use this book for class, consider a cheaper neuro book to help you with basic reference needs.
Written in a rather academic style, and with some assumed knowledge from the reader, the book, through myriad related disciplines, viz. paleonotology, neuroscience, genetics, physiology, and linguistics, describes what are known, and what are hunched upon, regarding the emergence of the brain, and its various characteristics, of the modern human. A key message is the inextricable inter-relatedness of the brain and its possessor (the body and its physiology), the environment, and the socio-cultural milieu it is exposed to. The warnings against reductionism and heuristics are clearly made. All very fascinating but at times convoluted and certainly need patience and efforts to farthom.