For questions about the interaction of biological (or artificial) evolution and the cognitive agents that are influenced by it.

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20
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3answers
2k views

How is intelligence correlated to beauty?

Recently, I read several interesting questions on the web about the relationship between IQ and general intelligence and physiological symmetry. But more importantly, what explains the correlation? Or ...
7
votes
1answer
784 views

What makes someone attractive psychologically?

What makes a person particularly attractive to another person, specifically the opposite sex? Why would the brain evolve this trait to target specific genes (that make someone look pretty), and ...
1
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0answers
31 views

What are some key behaviors that stone-age humans evolved to help them survive and reproduce?

In Wikipedia's article on evolutionary psychology, two of six given key premises of EP are as follows: Different neural mechanisms are specialized for solving problems in humanity's evolutionary ...
10
votes
1answer
109 views

How similar are human brains within the same haplogroup?

I've read about neuroscience and listen to talks like this one Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species, I'm starting to realize that humans are not all the same, and are instead quite ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Why does munching sound unpleasant to most people? [closed]

When someone who eats food is munching, it sounds quite unpleasant for most of the people. What is the reason for this?
4
votes
0answers
214 views

Body Language: Why do we give each other the grumpy/frowning fake smile?

I've recently become aware of this - I kinda knew I was always doing it, but just now it got me self conscious and thinking about it: When crossing paths with a stranger, you are supposed to be ...
2
votes
2answers
244 views

Why are some people attracted to people of other races?

Is it true that we were evolved to dislike people of other races genetically? If so, why are some people attracted to people of races other than their own?
6
votes
1answer
77 views

How is epigenetic memory expressed in neurons?

Epigenetic memory is seen as the most evolutionarily plausible way of learning from experiences and gaining instinctual knowledge, as established by the answer to one of my previous questions. ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Where does instinctual knowledge come from?

From Wikipedia: Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism towards a particular complex behavior. The example that I find is the easiest to touch upon is the ...
2
votes
2answers
411 views

Why (and how) do people seek acknowledgement?

I don't think I need to give evidence that people do seek acknowledgement; if it's not from parents, it's from lovers or friends. It can be things as big as life ambitions/achievements (e.g. 'I will ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Mulitiple partners: macho man vs. easy woman?

I sometimes hear from my friends that a man who has many female sexual partners is regarded as macho. But on the other hand, a woman with a lot of one-night stands is thought to be easy and desperate ...
51
votes
5answers
7k views

Why do humans have sex in private?

Human couples usually have sex in private, hidden not only from predators, but also - other humans. It is unlike behavior of most species, including our relatives: bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas. ...
-6
votes
1answer
166 views

Why are most popular humans pets carnivores? [closed]

Most popular pets are cats, and dogs. They are all carnivores. Few people have pigs as pets. More commonly, people eat pigs. Why are some of the most common human housepets carnivores? Does this ...
9
votes
1answer
169 views

How does evolution help in Minsky's theory of a resourceful mind?

I've read Minsky's book The Emotion Machine, where he explains how the mind can be seen as a set of resources interacting and self-interacting based on several levels of change. The explanation is in ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

How are sexual cues known by the brain?

Sexual cues have been well established in evolutionary psychology as indicators of genetic compatibility/useful genes. How does the human brain know that a cue is an indicator of a useful trait in ...
3
votes
0answers
99 views

Theories of Hunter/Gatherers in the 21st Century

Are there any theories or schools of thought that assume most humans still act as if they are still hunters/gatherers? Hunter/gatherer societies of today would still prefer to sit around and talk ...
11
votes
3answers
230 views

What is the status of evolutionary psychology in academia today?

Having an interest in human psychology (but no formal training) I decided to take Coursera's Introduction to Psychology as a Science. Here's a snippet from an introductory lecture (it requires ...
7
votes
3answers
295 views

Non coitus sexual activity and the brain

Most animals will only engage in sexual activity that can result in reproduction. There are some exceptions; Bonobos, for instance, engage in a lot of sexual activity that does not involve coitus. ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What evolutionary process(es) are thought to have enabled humans to experience dreams?

As some theories suggest, most, if not all, biological features in organisms exist due to environmental factors that trigger the organism's eventual adaptation to these factors for survival purposes. ...
4
votes
3answers
238 views

what is the reptile brain?

As a Carl Sagan fan, I remember (in Cosmos TV shoe) "territoriality, aggression and ritual" are products of the reptile brain while higher-level stuff like loyalty, planning for future are mammalian, ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Why do humans enjoy works of fiction?

Why humans (most of them, and certainly all those around me) enjoy fictional stories in one form or the other - novels, films, theater performances? The starting assumption is that there must be an ...
1
vote
2answers
634 views

Do people like those who are similar to them and why?

Questions Is it true that people 'like' those who are similar to them? Why is it so? Is there an evolutionary explanation?
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What explains the relative importance of physical versus mental features in human mate selection?

I assume that it is the brain that has put human beings at the top of the food chain (Biped and opposable thumbs aside). Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest suggest that the best specimens of ...
11
votes
3answers
783 views

Why is the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard so intolerable?

I am curious as to what current research shows regarding why scraping noises such as fingernails on a chalkboard, a knife/fork scraping against a plate, metal grinding against metal or stone etc are ...
3
votes
3answers
209 views

How did the unique features of human intelligence evolve?

I have been debating the following topic with a friend. She argues that humans do not descend from chimpanzees or orang-utans, because if we did, such animals would share the same cognitive thinking ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

What drives civilization? [closed]

Fossil record indicates humanity arose on the African Continent - in/around Gauteng. Yet the oldest civilizations on record are far afield - Ebla, Mesopotamia What drives civilization? Why is the ...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

When did neurotransmitters derived from monoamines first appear in evolutionary history?

When did neurotransmitters derived from monoamines first appear in evolutionary history? What are main the points in evolution for monoamines based on the neurotransmitter system ? Edition I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
321 views

Neurotransmitters appearance in the evolutionary process

Recently I disagreed with the assumption, that lots of neurotransmitters came within recent 10,000 years of Homo Sapiens evolution. Judging from the available information sources, there is possibility ...
6
votes
2answers
321 views

Is procrastination greater when skill is low and rewards offer low status boost and does this lead to efficient task allocation in groups?

I am very interested in procrastination, because it is such a clear sign of lack of motivation. I have a hypothesis about why we procrastinate, which I would like to get tested by you. The assumption ...
10
votes
1answer
531 views

Why do humans like being touched?

I wonder why people like to be touched so much, why would it make sense from a evolutionary perspective. I know people enjoy hugs and company of opposite sex but even people from the same sex hug and ...
7
votes
5answers
377 views

Does an exceptional working memory inhibit intelligence?

According to the Fox News article "Chimps Smarter Than Humans in Memory Test" chimps were able to significantly outperform humans in a simple working memory task. I quote one part of the article in ...
9
votes
1answer
270 views

Why are most people right handed?

How did right handedness win over left handedness in numbers? Is it only a coincidence that there are more right handed people than left handed ones? Or, has some effect in nature explicitly made ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Desire to climb from evolutionary perspective?

When I go near a hill or dune, I feel desire to climb there and have a wider look on the surroundings. I know a lot of people who love mountains and want to climb higher and higher, but never have ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Why do we seem to have an internal drive to use different expressions(mostly when writing)?

How come we have so many words/phrases that share the same meaning? I suppose the most obvious answer to this would be that through communication between people with accent/language A and B, new ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the Neanderthal Theory of Autistic brain a reasonable scientific theory?

I've recently learned about The Neanderthal Theory, that explains autistic (and especially Asperger's) brain functioning as the effect of genetical similarity with Neanderthals. The author gives a ...
10
votes
3answers
214 views

Can experience alter one's preferences for beauty?

My friend (a woman) is convinced that all men who find those posters of "women scantily clad in their bathing suits or thongs and big breasts (often fake)" attractive are simply brainwashed by ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do humans prefer symmetrical arrangement of objects?

Most of the times, we associate symmetry with beauty. The symmetry may be in architectural/interior design for instance. Why would this be so ?
6
votes
0answers
488 views

Cultural brain hypothesis and gene-culture co-evolution

Recently, Joseph Henrich of UBC has been promoting his cultural brain hypothesis. The goal is to explain a selection pressure behind the development of the human brain and general intelligence. The ...
15
votes
0answers
208 views

Development of social cognition as an alternative to the obstetrical dilemma

Human infants are strange in that they are born more helpless than the infants of other great apes. They are born with about 25-30% of their brain developed, compared to the 40-50% of other great ...
4
votes
1answer
592 views

What causes gender differences in responses to farting?

Background: By casual observation, I have noticed that males tend to react differently to the sound of a fart. It seems that men are more likely to laugh whereas women are more likely to show signs of ...
15
votes
0answers
317 views

Evolutionary game theory in the cognitive sciences

Game theory models something very relevant to psychologists (in particular social psychologists): conflict and cooperation between decision-makers. Unfortunately, classical game theory demands that ...
9
votes
1answer
377 views

What are biological primary mathematical skills?

In doing a bit of background reading for this question I came across a section in the book Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind on page 602 stating: There are no sex-related differences ...
11
votes
2answers
720 views

What can we learn from the neural networks of C.elegans to understand human brains?

Recently I am reading some works about Caenorhabditis Elegans. A C.elegans has 302 neurons and we already know the function and connection of every one of their neurons so that we can exactly ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...