Social brain

Lucy to LanguageI think Herbert Spencer was totally right stressing that humans are the ultimate problem of biology and the initial factor of sociology. Robin Dunbar’s Social Brain Hypothesis integrates information from many different fields to provide a comprehensive perspective on human brain evolution and its associated social context. Like gas molecules, it looks like individuals are not predictable in terms of behaviour but groups, indeed, are. The larger the group, the more the social responses and dynamics can be predicted by apparently simple rules, often based onto our primatological nature. Our brain biology supplies opportunities and constraints to our social networks. This book “Lucy to Language: the Benchmark Papers“, puts together about twenty review articles published in the last decade on the social brain hypothesis. This topic is definitely relevant and promising for every approach in evolutionary anthropology. This month I have published a review on this book, introducing issues in paleoneurology and cognitive archaeology which can be important to integrate these perspectives with evidence from the fossil record.

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