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Evolution Of The Human Brain Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

The purpose of this paper to examine the evolution of the human brain that distinguishes them from other species based on the traits that humans possess: such as language, emotional complexity and consciousness. The significance of traits are due to adaptations in humans to promote the survival of our ancestors. Professor Hamilton (2012) discusses that the evolution of the human brain starts with the idea of the Triune brain, proposed by MacLean, whereby the human brain is made up of three parts: Reptilian, Paleo-mammalian, and Neo-mammalian. Animals with the neo-mammalian brain have a more complex brain compared to the other parts, since this is where the neocortex evolved. Humans essentially have this higher brain function which is responsible for our ability to think, make decisions, promote agency, and the ability to relate with each other. This concept fits into the evolutionary process since it shows how the complex the brain has become through evolutionary processes. In essence, as humans, we “have a rich, evidence-based understanding of our behavior that can lead us to plan to be ‘better’ or ‘more successful’ people” according to Professor Hamilton (2012). Thus, shows how evolution plays a significance in understanding human behavior and comparing humans with other species.
As humans with the ability to have higher order thinking, we are able to think about the future and plan for it by setting goals. This allows us to place ourselves in the future, and experience a mental perception of the future that we want to have; and with that future mindset, will help guide our actions and behaviors in the present world. This is an adaptation of the brain development since it allows us to be better adequate and prepared for a successful life. Instead of acting based on current emotions and feelings, most humans generally think about how their actions will affect the world around them before they act. Looking at the length of the childhood of humans compared to that of other species, longer childhood development is critical for brain development, based on the experiences and behaviors that are learned from a young age. From the slow development of the brain's ability, the brain's sensory and motor systems are developed to become more complex. As a result, we have the ability to project ourselves into the future, which guides our current and future actions. This introduces the idea that emotions are learned based on experience from external environment, which acts on the internal state of the body, causing a response. The responses can be either imagined or real, emotional reactions, observation, mirror neurons, etc. The limbic system receives information from the outside world and relays the information based on our senses. (Hamilton, 2012) Thus, the brain is able to monitor the internal milieu so that it remains in homeostasis. In essence, the limbic system relays information to the brainstem, which allows us to respond and act towards the...

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