Big brain evolution: learning new tasks (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 22, 2018, 13:47 (237 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: this is a study of the motor cortex only, and it shows the immediate result is re-use of existing neuronal patterns. No size change. The point about possible brain enlargement is that implementation may be planned in the frontal cortex, but must take place elsewhere such as the motor cortex with coordination in the cerebellum. The pre-frontal and frontal cortex (the thinking cortex) are where all the enlargement has taken place from Lucy to us. The motor cortices, the sensory cortices are little changed in size thru evolution, nor is the hypothalamus or cerebellum. Thinking of a new concept and the planning for it is where all the enlargement has taken place. Implementation uses the other areas mentioned. Again to avoid criticism, this is how the s/s/c interfaces with the brain.

It’s not clear to me what you are trying to tell us. We know that the implementation of new ideas involves using different parts of the brain. If it is the so-called “thinking cortex” that has expanded most, does that mean the expanding cortex caused our expanded thinking ability (pure materialism), which you reject? Or did our inventive s/s/c make ever greater demands on the pfc as the material control centre, which had to expand in order to send new instructions to the rest of the implementing brain? You only tell us WHERE, not how the s/s/c interfaces with the brain. But perhaps I’ve missed something.


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