Evolution of Brain

Mon, 1 May 1995 11:40:29 EDT

Anthropologists have long been interested in the cerebral neocortex, and
some have recently indicated that the human's limbic brain also evolved
and enlarged, in tandem with and as dramatically as the cerebral
cortex--making Homo sapiens the most intellectual as well as the most
emotional species on Earth. This helps explain viewer interest in and
the co-existence of educational TV and The Simpsons (Bart & OJ, too).
Less attention focuses on evolution of the basal ganglia of the human's
forebrain, even though Paul MacLean has indicated for years that it
houses a basic reptilian mindset regarding dominance, submission and
territory, and the lizard's and human's daily "master routine." Do any
anthropologists know of evolutionary studies of the basal ganglia
supporting MacLean, or RE tool making and the BG, or the BG's role in the
evolution of primate dominance displays? Many thanks! Dave Givens