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The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds

  • Kartonierter Einband
  • 320 Seiten
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This book asks, What makes human intelligence unique? Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of the brain's "... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

This book asks, What makes human intelligence unique? Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of the brain's "intelligence centers", the number of nerve cells in the brain or in such "intelligence centers"? Covers the mind-brain relationship and more.

The main topic of the book is a reconstruction of the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short "intelligence" from simplest organisms to humans. It investigates to which extent the two are correlated. One central topic is the alleged uniqueness of the human brain and human intelligence and mind. It is discussed which neural features make certain animals and humans intelligent and creative: Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of "intelligence centers" inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such "intelligence centers" decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? And which are the driving forces behind these processes? Finally, it is asked what all this means for the classical problem of mind-brain relationship and for a naturalistic theory of mind.

From the reviews:

The author examines in detail the structural/functional differences in the ring nervous systems of Cnidaria, diffuse nerve nets of bilateria, and the complex invertebrate brain of cephalopods (especially octopus), among others. This book is highly recommended for anyone with research agendas in comparative neuroscience, evolutionary neuroscience, cognitive science in general, and philosophy of mind. (Paul Tibbetts, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 88, December, 2013)

Klappentext

On the basis of evolutionary and behavioral biology, neuroscience and anthropology, this book investigates to which extent it is possible to reconstruct the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short intelligence, and to which extent we can correlate the one with the other. One central question is, whether or not abilities exist that make humans truly unique, or whether the evolution of the human mind was a gradual process. Exactly which neural features make animals and humans intelligent and creative? Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of intelligence centers inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such intelligence centers decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? Which are the driving forces behind these processes?

Here, many different answers exist. For some experts the driving force for brains and minds are the conditions for biological survival: the more complex these conditions, the more effective need to be sense organs, nervous systems and brains, and the stronger is the tendency to an increase in learning abilities, behavioral flexibility and innovation power of animals. This is the ecological intellicence hypothesis. Other authors believe that the true driving force is the challenge from social life of an animal: the more complex the social conditions, the more sophisticated are abilities such as social learning, imitation, empathy, knowledge transfer, consciousness and the development of a theory of mind and meta-cognition. This, again, needs progressive changes inside the brains. This is the social intelligence hypothesis. Again other authors distinguish physical intelligence as a third form of cognitive functions mostly related to tool use, tool fabrication and understanding of the principles of how things work. Finally, some experts believe that the decisive factor in the evolution of brains and minds consisted in an increase in the speed and efficacy of information processing in cognitive brain centers. This is the general intelligence or information processing hypothesis. It is discussed, which of these hypotheses is the most convincing one. At its end, the book deals with the eminent question of whether we can arrive at a naturalistic concept of mind and consciousness. Is it possible to explain mind and intelligence within the framework of the natural science, or do mind and intelligence as found in humans, transcend nature?



Inhalt

Introduction: Are mind and brain a unity?

1. Mind and Intelligence
1.1 Types of learning
1.2 Types of memory
1.3 Intelligence and behavioral flexibility
1.4 Consciousness
1.5 Mind-brain theories
1.6 What does all that tell us?

2. What is evolution?
2.1 Historical concepts of evolution
2.2 Neodarwinism and its problems
2.3 Concepts of evolution beyond natural selection
2.4 The reconstruction of phylogeny and evolution
2.5 What does all that tell us?

3. The mind begins with life
3.1 What is life?
3.2 Order, self-production and self-maintenance
3.3 Life, energy acquisition and metabolism
3.4 The origin of first life
3.5 The further development of simple life
3.6 What does all that tell us?

4. The language of neurons
4.1 The structure of a nerve cell
4.2 Principles of membrane excitability
4.3 Ion channels and neural transmission
4.3.1 The function of ion channels
4.3.2 The origin of the action potential
4.3.3 Neurotransmitters and other neuroactive substances
4.4 Principles of neuronal information processing
4.5 What does all that tell us?

5. Bacteria, archaea, protozoa: successful life without a nervous system
5.1 Bacteria and Archaea
5.2 Protozoa
5.3 Why did multicellular organisms evolve?
5.4 What does all that tell us?

6. The invertebrates and their nervous systems
6.1 Non-bilaterians
6.1.1 Sponges
6.1.2 Coelenterates
6.2 Bilaterians
6.2.1 Acoelomorpha
6.2.2 Protostomia
6.2.2.1 Lophotrochozoa
6.2.2.2 Ecdysozoa
6.3 What does all that tell us?

7. Invertebrate cognition and intelligence
7.1 Learning, cognitive abilities and intelligence in insects
7.2 Learning, cognitive abilities and intelligence in cephalopods
7.3 What does all that tell us?

8. The Deuterostomia
8.1 The origin of deuterostomes and their nervous systems
8.2 Echinoderms
8.3 Hemichordates
8.4 Chordates Craniates - Vertebrates
8.4.1 Myxinoids
8.4.2 Vertebrates
8.4.2.1 Petromyzontids
8.4.2.2 Chondrichthyans
8.4.2.3 Osteichthyans
8.4.2.4 Amphibians
8.4.2.5 Reptiles
8.4.2.6 Birds
8.4.2.7 Mammals
8.5 What does all that tell us?

9. The brains of vertebrates
9.1 The basic organization of the vertebrate brain
9.2 Medulla spinalis and oblongata
9.3 Cerebellum
9.4 Mesencephalon
9.5 Diencephalon
9.6 Telencephalon
9.6.1 Functional anatomy of the isocortex9.6.2 Are the mammalian cortex and the mesonidopallium of birds homologous?
9.7 What does all that tell us?

10. Sensory systems the coupling between brain and environment.
10.1 The general function of sense organs
10.2 Olfaction
10.3 The mechanical senses and electroreception
10.3.1 The sense of touch, vibration and medium currents
10.3.2 The mechanoreceptive and electroreceptive lateral line system of fish and amphibians
10.3.2.1 Mechanoreceptive lateral line system
10.3.2.2 The electroreceptive system.
10.3.3 The auditory system
10.4 The visual system
10.4.1 The compound eye of insects
10.4.2 The vertebrate eye and retina
10.4.3 Parallel processing in the visual system of vertebrates
10.5 What does all that tell us?

11. How intelligent are vertebrates?
11.1 Cognition in teleost fishes
11.2 Learning and cognitive abilities in amphibians
11.3 Cognitive abilities and intelligence in mammals and birds
11.3.1 Tool use and tool fabrication
11.3.2 Quantity representation
11.3.3 Object permanence
11.3.4 Reasoning and working memory
11.3.5 Social intelligence
11.3.5.1 Machiavellian intelligence
11.3.5.2 Gaze following
11.3.5.3 Imitation

12. Do animals have consciousness?
12.1 Mirror self-recognition
12.2 Metacognition
12.3 Theory of mind: understanding the others
12.4 Conscious attention
12.5 How intelligent are dolphins and elephants?
12.6 What does all that tell us?

13. Comparing vertebrate brains
13.1 Brain size and body size.
13.2 The significance of relative brain size and of encephalization
13.3 The fate of the cortex as the seat of intelligence and mind
13.3.1 Information processing properties of the cortex
13.3.2 Modularity of the cortex
13.3.3 Specialties of the cytoarchitecture of the mammalian cortex
13.4 Bird brains and mesonidopallium.
13.5 What does all that tell us?

14. Are humans unique?
14.1 How did Homo sapiens evolve?
14.2 Leaving the jungle and its consequences
14.3 Enlargement of the brain and its consequences
14.4 Language and the brain
14.4.1 Animal language
14.4.2 The evolution of human language
14.4.3 The tempo of the evolution of human language.
14. 5 Do humans exhibit a special social behavior?
14.6 What does all that tell us?

15. Determinants of the evolution of brains and minds
15.1 Patterns of the evolution of nervous systems and brains
15.2 The evolution of cognitive-mental functions
15.3 How do differences in intelligence relate to differences in brain structures and functions?
15.4 Which are the ultimate factors for evolution of brains and minds?
15.4.1 Ecological intelligence
15.4.2 Social intelligence
15.4.3 General intelligence
15.5 Basic mechanisms of evolution of brains and cognitive functions
15.6 What does all that tell us?

16. Brains and minds
16.1 The problems of dualism
16.2 Problems of strong emergentism
16.3 Problems of reductionism
16.4 The anatomy and physiology of mind
16.5 Brains and minds in birds, Octopus and the honeybee
16.6 Is mind multiply realized and artificially realizable?
16.7 What is the true nature of mind?

Literature

Produktinformationen

Titel: The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds
Autor:
EAN: 9789400796065
ISBN: 978-94-007-9606-5
Format: Kartonierter Einband
Herausgeber: Springer Netherlands
Anzahl Seiten: 320
Gewicht: g
Größe: H20mm x B240mm x T160mm
Jahr: 2015
Auflage: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2013