[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

Entertained by my own EIMC via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by write_to_eimc from ozemail.com.au)
Tue Sep 4 09:00:38 EST 2007

> "rAgAv" <ragav.payne from googlemail.com> wrote in message
> news:1184469559.678291.133340 from o11g2000prd.googlegroups.com...
>> Hello,
>> I've been wondering why human beings alone have that big, unique and
>> complex cortex. Can you help me with your views?

This is a boring answer but basically true:

We are not unique since amongst cetaceans dolphins have a similar brains 
size relative to their bodily bulk.
Our brains (other brains) are big because brains are physically chemically 
and physiologically allowed to (can) grow big and because of the sum total 
of all evolutionary pressures (forces/factors) that without exception 
pertained to our phylogenetic patterning in this.

Although chance and happenstance can play a pivotal part in the evolution of 
any species it is most interesting and satidfying to discover some of the 
phylogenetically important themes and patterning principles.

Of all the relevant factors (of the evolutionary pressure totality) to have 
been involved in the phylogenetic patterning and natural selection of the 
human brain (and how our brains make us behave - as they individually 
develope and interact with their/our respective milieu) I am most keen to 
put under people's purportedly knowledge pursuing "noses" the factors (or 
evolutionary pressures) that are the least likely to be taken into account 
(least likely because we - and our brains - evolved to become exceptionally 

Against a background of evolutionary pressures of "opportunity type" [here 
basically any evolutionarily pattern-building type of probabilistic 
patterning predisposition, event, or approximately definable category of 
interactivity, that is directly or primarily constructive and that can 
consistently be correlated with an immediate or eventual increase of the 
functional complexity of the individuals of any phylogenetic lineage],
some of all imaginable adverse environmental influences (that affect/involve 
neural/neuro-muscular individuals) are of a character such that they demand 
(in order to be individually coped with - in order that they don't prevent 
the individual's reproductive survival), or can in a manner of 
speaking/writing be said to "implore" _specific/synaptic "hibernation"_.

The last expression "specific/synaptic hibernation" is an unusually indepth 
and thorough way of describing how certain known neural mechanisms can 
prevent self-defeating distress or a seriously futile flight or fight 
response by blocking excitatory neural signals from being relayed across 
certain synapses that specifically would channel such motivational 
messages/energy toward potentially overly onerous or overload incurring 

[Such neural mechanisms are known to exist with such a sufficiency, or with 
such a degree of certainty, that the expression (specific/synaptic 
hibernation) deserves/qualifies to be seen to have been prudently 
'philosophically siphoned off' from a 'SEPTIC think-tank'. This zany concept 
was deliberately contrived to be derived from by something along the lines 
of "by Science (as a broadly defined whole) securely established principles, 
theories, insights, correlations corroborations, conclusions, concepts.]

Of "specific/synaptic hibernation imploring (and - if survived - also 
inducing) type" predicaments, those that are survived do normally become 
significantly "conditioned-in" (so to speak/write).

That is, SHI-type predicaments (or ditto: situations, stressors, or 
environmental sources of stimulation) normally become automatically 
'transformed' or 'translated' into dynamic memory-states (or imprints) - 
meaning that the originally centrally involved neurons have acquired a 
permanently elevated action potential pumping metabolic work-rate. This also 
means that every time individuals get into a SHI-type situation they are 
left with a chronic threat consisting of that such memories might turn into 
physiologically intolerable pain in the brain (or in the "actention 
selection serving system").

I often prefer to label this kind of memories - i.e. discrete brain states 
automatically caused by lifetime predicaments that caused certain neurons to 
become "conditioned" to forthwith "unconsciously remember" (alt. ~ to 
"reverberate" or to "ring subconsious motivational registers of") stressors 
(specifically SHI-type stressors) and to thereby *effect symptoms* - with 
the acronym CURSES.
However, Arthur Janov has since long been calling the same dynamically 
stored  insidious factor either "Pain" (with a capital) or "primal pain".


CURSES (and to a relevant extent SHI-type predicaments whereby CURSES are 
"conditioned-in") constitute both an important *sub* type of evolutionary 
pressures of adversity type and a very important insidiously operating 
endogenous co-motivating factor behind personalities (our individual 
psychophysiologies) and cultures/cultural institutions, and "societal 

The fact that it has been only natural that survived "SHI-type stressors 
come CURSES", must be contained (or handled) more or less adaptively (or 
more or less maladaptively) has caused CURSES (and SHITS - for short) to _IN 
CONJUNCTION with every relevant *opportunity type* evolutionary pressure and 
opportunity type lifetime challenge be BOTH a selective pressure 
(specifically within the phylogeny of fauna) in the direction of 
increasingly "AEVASIVE" _individual_ behavioral (actentional) capabilities 
AND and a potentially or actually insidiously motivating (or symptom 
generating) or potentially or actually advantageously (beneficially) 
co-motivating factor.


What AEVASIVE stands for seems might be beyond the most people's (ironically 
also including professors with relevant scientific specialization) capacity 
to understand.

However, I might as well mention that the first capital of this, with 
exceptional pragmatism - and plenty of error plagued trials of various not 
so eloquent textual patterns - contrived acronymic concEPT makes use of the 
non-acronymic concEPT "ambiadvantageous";

More precisely, "ambiadvantageous" is by help of equally purposeful trials 
of suitable "sem_antics" made to combine with the word "evolved" and with 
other no-more-weird-than-workable words, to read something along the lines 
of: "Ambiadvantageously Evolved Veritable Actention (selection serving) 
System Incorporating (quite instructively but of course amongst much 
relevant else) Various Endorphins".


The size of the human brain may well (though of course only as a very crude 
approximation) be thought to have gained its unusually large bulk because 
individual fauna naturally frequently end(ed) up in SHI-type predicaments, 
something that have automatically put CURSES within nervous systems (or 
actention selection serving systems); This in turn created a "naturally 
pruning pressure" on populations to evolve individuals with extra neural 
mass that could be used to optimally - that is in this context 
"ambiadvantageously" - handle this primarily adverse pressure from Pain (or 
CURSES - a "pressure" whether seen from a motivational perspective or 
contemplated by mainly Evolution Pertaining Thinking. 

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