Evolution of Intelligence

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  • Created by: The Shrew
  • Created on: 03-05-16 08:56
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Genes responsible for behaviour
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visible behaviour as a result
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Phenotypic Plasticity
Changing and adapting in response to environment- socio-ecologically important knowledge
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Corvid birds
Learn complex mental and physical tasks
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Columbus monkeys vs Chimps
Columbus Monkeys- alarm call= dead/ Chimps hide and keep quiet
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Mammals neocortex
Around cerebral cortex- Really big- forward thinking/ perception/ motor commands/ spatial reasoning/ thinking/ language
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Brain size when body size is taken into account
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Hominid brain phenology
Getting bigger and bigger
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Metabolic costs
Risky birth (bidepalism)/ helpless babies/ need good diet
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Brain growth, especially neocortex correlates with
Bidepal locomotion
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Birds dont have a neocortex
Nidopallium and densely packed neurones
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Convergent and divergent brains
Similar intelligence evolution in different brains/ similar intelligence in differently evolved brains
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Difference between natural and sexual selection
Natural= helps survival/ Sexual= helps **** time
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Peacock's tail
Helps **** time but impairs natural survival
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Social groups form because of
Ecological pressure
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Two theories of brain growth
Foraging theory/ social theory
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Group size correlated with
Brain size
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Dunbar's number
Human average group size= 150 max
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Social intelligence and tool use
Also correlate with brain size
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Reader and Laland
Too much emphasis on either ecological or social pressures- both important
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Mittal et al
Childhood poverty lead to ability to shift attention quickly- good in uncertain environment
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Theory of Mind
Try to infer what other people are thinking
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ToM shows modularity
In particular brain areas- autism due to particular damage
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Building blocks for ToM
Self-recognition/ pretend play/ imitation
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The thing with the crayons in the box- ToM develops age
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Hare et al
Domesticated foxes behave in same way as domestic dogs
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Domesticated animals ability to read human cues
bi-product of 'tameness'
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Genes responsible for behaviour

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Phenotypic Plasticity


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Corvid birds


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