Survival of the Fattest: The Key to Human Brain Evolution

Survival of the Fattest: The Key to Human Brain Evolution

by Stephan Cosgrave Cunnane
     
 

ISBN-10: 9812561919

ISBN-13: 9789812561916

Pub. Date: 05/20/2005

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated

How did humans evolve larger and more sophisticated brains? In general, evolution depends on a special combination of circumstances: part genetics, part time, and part environment. In the case of human brain evolution, the main environmental influence was adaptation to a 'shore-based' diet, which provided the world's richest source of nutrition, as well as a

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Overview

How did humans evolve larger and more sophisticated brains? In general, evolution depends on a special combination of circumstances: part genetics, part time, and part environment. In the case of human brain evolution, the main environmental influence was adaptation to a 'shore-based' diet, which provided the world's richest source of nutrition, as well as a sedentary lifestyle that promoted fat deposition. Such a diet included shellfish, fish, marsh plants, frogs, bird's eggs, etc. Humans and, and more importantly, hominid babies started to get fat, a crucial distinction that led to the development of larger brains and to the evolution of modern humans. A larger brain is expensive to maintain and this increasing demand for energy results in, succinctly, survival of the fattest.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789812561916
Publisher:
World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/20/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface - how did the human brain evolve?
1Human evolution : a brief overview3
2The human brain : evolution of larger size and plasticity25
3Defining characteristics : vulnerability and high energy requirement51
4Fatness in human babies : insurance for the developing brain75
5Nutrition : the key to normal human brain development101
6Iodine : the primary brain selective nutrient115
7Iron, copper, zinc and selenium : the other brain selective minerals131
8Docosahexaenoic acid : the brain selective fatty acid151
9Genes, brain function and human brain evolution177
10Bringing the environment and diet into play191
11The shore-based scenario : why survival misses the point209
12Earlier versions227
13The evidence243
14How would it work?265
15Survival of the fattest285

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