They relate human self-domestication and its brain evolution

They relate human self-domestication and its brain evolution

Emiliano Bruner, paleoneurologist at the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) has just published a opinion article on self-domestication and visuospatial cognition in the human race, in which it is considered whether both characteristics may have had reciprocal influences or shared mechanisms.

On the one hand, the self-domestication hypothesis proposes that the human being has suffered, throughout its evolution, a juvenilization process to limit aggressiveness between individuals and promote cooperation in large social groups.

On the other hand, our species presents an anatomical evolution of the parietal regions of the brain, involved in visuospatial integration, visual imagination and integration between body and environment.

Both aspects are involved in technological capacity and social complexity, depend on the patterns of our life stages (adolescence or longevity), and are related to changes in the levels of brain plasticity.

Domesticated bodies

Less aggressiveness in a species is often obtained by retaining childish characters, and these "domesticated bodies" then present a youthful appearance, are more social and more plastic at the level of behavior (exploration, curiosity, creativity).

“The development of the parietal cortex influences the ability to connect the body with technology, and increases the number of individuals with whom we are able to relate in the social group. It is to be expected then that these two aspects have interacted throughout the evolution of the human race, and especially in our species, Homo sapiens ”, explains Emiliano Bruner

This article, also authored by Ben Gleeson, from the Australian National University in Canberra (Australia), has been published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, in a volume dedicated to self-domestication and human evolution.

Bibliographic reference:

"Body Cognition and Self-Domestication in Human Evolution" Front. Psychol., May 21, 2019.


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