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The human brain continues to evolve, becoming more adapted to the surrounding social environment. This process is essential for the existence of our society and its development. Thus, it could be assumed that the brains evolution is stipulated by social interaction and the further sophistication of relations between individuals and groups.
Surprisingly, today our brain is smaller than Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals had (and 1500-1600 cubic centimeters correspondingly) (Holloway, 2014). This alteration of the size is evolutionary predetermined. The reason why our early ancestors were able to develop an enormously large brain is that they had to struggle with other predators who initially had better positions supported by strong muscles, sharp fangs, eyesight, etc.( Byo24NEWS, 2011). The large brain allowed human beings to compete with even the most vicious animals within the same environmental niche. Their enlarged brain increased their ability to react adequately to the external factors, which helped them survive. However, about 100,000 years ago people united in communities and turned into entirely social creatures who had to interact with each other to survive (Holloway, 2014). This fact impacted the development of our brain significantly. People did not have to demonstrate their natural instincts and struggle alone. Instead, they delegated some of their hunter instincts to a certain group of people. Consequentially, this resulted in creating the situation when most people are no longer required to exhibit any of the initial assets humans overtime were consistently using.
The society does not tolerate those who stand out because their existence poses much threat to the stability of the former. The socially constructed “natural selection of brains” begins at school when children are affected by the community in which they spend the bigger part of their time and which teach them how to appreciate particular social values (Gentry & Whitley, 2014). In general, the development of society helps people to increase the effectiveness of how their brains address different challenges that emerge in their lives. As a result, more and more people start to use particular behavioral patterns instinctively without having to use their brains. This, of course, naturally induces the size reduction of this part of the body. However, it helps individuals to perform socially important activities in which they are engaged better. For example, millions of people communicate with other individuals using accepted behaviors and not even thinking about their choice Moreover, humans have the potential for further development as they do not belong to fully specialized species and their brains will not ever stop evolving. In such a way, the decrease in the size of the brain could be considered the process that defines the essence of social dynamics in today’s West more than anywhere else in the world.
We can conclude, that the human brain evolves as we speak and there is no clear purpose for it. We just continue our development (Byo24NEWS, 2011). There are many factors that contribute to the different stages of human brain evolution. One of them would be the external environmental factors, our position in the world, and how can survive regarding the existing environment and conditions. We, as humans, began to reduce our roles within the natural environment and assign them to other groups due to a social hierarchy constructed over time. The second factor is due to social situations, which is caused by the different challenges undergone by individuals during their lifespan.
Byo24NEWS. (2011). Human brains have shrunk, ‘evolution is making it leaner and more efficient’ – research. Web.
Gentry, R., & Whitley, E. (2014). Bulling in graduate school: Its nature and effects. The Qualitative Report, 19(36), 1-18.
Holloway, A. (2014). Scientists are alarmed by shrinking of the human brain. Web.
Magistretti, P., & Allaman, I. (2015). A cellular perspective on brain energy metabolism and functional imaging. Neuron, 86(4), 883-901.