New insights into differences in brain organization between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans
Previous research has identified morphological differences between the brains of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMHs). However, studies using endocasts or the cranium itself are limited to investigating external surface features and the overall size and shape of the brain. A complementary approach uses comparative primate data to estimate the size of internal brain areas. Previous attempts to do this have generally assumed that identical total brain volumes imply identical internal organization. Here, we argue that, in the case of Neanderthals and AMHs, differences in the size of the body and visual system imply differences in organization between the same-sized brains of these two taxa. We show that Neanderthals had significantly larger visual systems than contemporary AMHs (indexed by orbital volume) and that when this, along with their greater body mass, is taken into account,
Neanderthals have significantly smaller adjusted endocranial capacities than contemporary AMHs. We discuss possible implications of differing brain organization in terms of social cognition, and consider these in the context of differing abilities to cope with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance. The assumption is that THE ONLY TOOL AVAILABLE to ANY SPECIES is this “magical” and probably imaginary social brain, which only H. sapiens possesses. No animal has ever coped with fluctuating resources and cultural maintenance = 500 million years of evolution was a total failure!
ASTOUNDING! Why do we hate Neanderthals? More to the point, Why are neurotypicals so blind to their own prejudice?
Does anyone ever consider that Neanderthals NEEDED visual processing MORE THAN they needed “social cognition”? These conclusions are ignorant and shaped by modern social assumptions that we “beat the Neanderthals” and indeed caused their extinction. Why is this our ONLY INTEREST in Neanderthals? How infantile!
Full article continues….Google title
check out: http://nationalpriorities.org A website that tracks military and other spending.
The TV is on late at night, playing through the darkness of the house, playing with my sleep. A new war dawns over and over and over on the small screen. An explosion thousands of miles away illuminates the living room. I press the mute button. Why listen to the sounds of destruction, when for Americans at least, peace can be accomplished by remote control?
Immense sums have been invested to prepare our soldiers against the new death, which is the same as the old death, but our billions cannot protect them against the enemy’s ubiquitous homegrown ingenuity. A mere glance at the history of war shows that the number of boys who are allowed to grow to manhood is limited by old men, who pretend to know nothing about their power to sacrifice young men. Death and destruction are the enemy’s fault; blame them. For reasons of equality this reduction now includes women, and those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq arrive in my living room on C-17 transports, or so I am told by a reporter, since they only descend to earth after midnight, in deep secrecy.
Our killers have been cautioned to stifle expressions of excitement and pleasure after successful killings, because a ‘clinical, surgical’ war is just and good: our soldiers’ blank faces prove that we are superior morally to the enemy, for whom the act of mass murder yields a collective religious exaltation. Do the victims care? Count our deaths as a victory for democracy and we won’t mind being blown apart like watermelons during target practice.
The human body is less aerodynamic than a potato: a potato is ejected from a mud house that has just been shattered by an American rocket, a house that was someone’s world. Not a big fat American world, but someone’s world. Contrary to protocol, “We got that sucker big time!” escapes from the ecstatic mouth of the soldier who called in the air strike. None of the body parts, bits of a radio, plastic tubs and buckets, nor a thin mattress land in the darkness of my house, but the debris collects somewhere in that bottomless pit called television, where hundreds of thousands of dead bodies go. It’s the New Hades.
The dog lies with her head on the pillow. She watches whatever I watch, at this moment a video loop that leads up to the destruction of a tank whose extravagant price is unknown to those who paid for it. Fated to die a thousand deaths on the news channels of the world, its passengers shared stifled fear, Ritz crackers and stale Cheese Whiz: their Last Supper. Did they suspect that the sacrifice they were about to make was not meant to protect Americans or their home towns, but to serve lies cooked up on Profit Street by the old men of the meddling West?
At the moment of their obliteration, do our soldiers suddenly comprehend that the men who run the show in Washington, D.C., don’t have the skill to decide what necktie to wear to a press conference? Will it dawn on these baby ducks in warrior’s costume that it’s the TV show made for the public that counts; that the old males who have sent them to wander aimlessly in the world’s ideological vortices, don’t give a fuck what happens to them?
Americans are hampered by religious instruction that has never been clear to them. “Thou shalt not kill,” is not, and never was, a universal call to disarmament and nonviolence. God simply reserves murder, especially mass murder, for himself. In legal terms, the taking of life belongs to The State. The State is composed of old men, who are the true gods and love blood sacrifice.
Citizen shoppers are intercepted at a shopping mall by a reporter who asks them, “Do you support to our dead troops?” an act of magical thinking stunning in its stupidity. The shoppers say, “Thank-you for killing bad people of a different religion who live somewhere on a map that is utterly blank to us; thank-you for being killed so that we no longer must fear dangers that do not exist.” Amen.
Fighter jets land in my living room, as if the carpet is the deck of a spacious aircraft carrier that is docked under a blue sky – somewhere in America. Kids tie yellow ribbons to a chain-link fence, as did the youth of Rome and Carthage. The trick of war is to produce suffering on a level that is unendurable for civilians and soldiers alike, and to keep it up until the other side gives up, but inevitably, we end up doing this unendurable thing to ourselves.
A WWII veteran dredges for anecdotes that will please the media. He sits in a Walmart parking lot, in a wheelchair, next to a van with a lift. Weighed down by the manly jewelry of war that oppress his sunken chest, the old man mumbles for reporters as if he a puppet whose strings are being operated off camera:
“The Good War years were the best of years of my life.” Nostalgia penetrates the TV screen like a patriot’s sweat, and I know I’m being told that today’s ruinous war will be remembered with deep affection by future television production companies.
“We got those slant-eyed suckers big time!” the old soldier does not tell his fellow Americans. He does admit that the shock from Japanese bombs burst his eardrums and that his buddy’s body danced like a rag doll, animated by bullets from a Japanese fighter plane: a second buddy survived to spend the rest of his life rotting in a VA psycho ward, very far off camera. War is, after all, a demonstration of the wonderful effects of applied physics.
“The war was wonderful,” the old man says. “My memories help me to sleep.”
Drop in at http://www.defenseone.com – the thrill of new weaponry designed and built to the highest possible cost; you’re paying for it!
Reactive armor and cross-domain fire capabilities are just some of the items on the Army’s must-have list.
When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster briefs, it’s like Gen. Patton giving a TED talk — a domineering physical presence with bristling intellectual intensity.
These days, the charismatic director of the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center is knee-deep in a project called The Russia New Generation Warfare study, an analysis of how Russia is re-inventing land warfare in the mud of Eastern Ukraine. Speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., McMaster said that the two-year-old conflict had revealed that the Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat vehicles, and have learned sophisticated use of UAVs for tactical effect. Should U.S. forces find themselves in a land war with Russia, he said, they would be in for a rude, cold awakening….for the rest of the story go to: http://defenseone.com/technology/2016/05/how-pentagon-preparing-tank-war-russia/128460/?oref=d-dontmiss/
I’m not kidding! All the military products and programs (and future wars) that you will never, ever see on TV news programs.
Why would anyone raise a child by following the advice of people who torture small animals and use the “results” as the guide to “dealing with” children? Children are not lab rats, but the insistence on the part of psychologists that rat behavior=human behavior is how American parenting and education have degenerated into a vast system of Operant Conditioning and psychological experimentation. Schools don’t teach academics; they indoctrinate children with dehumanizing “theories” of humans as Big Rats.
BF Skinner: Operant Conditioning
From Simply Psychology.com Saul McLeod, 2007
Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of effect. Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect – Reinforcement. Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened).
Skinner (1948) studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a ‘Skinner Box‘ which was similar to Thorndike’s puzzle box.
B.F. Skinner (1938) coined the term operant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior.
• Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated.
• Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative.
• Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens behavior.
Is it a surprise that when children are subjected to this inhumane regime, mayhem becomes the status quo in public schools? Children know when they are being abused. Children become objects whose function is to be manipulated by teachers and parents into proper social robots: There is an utter failure to meet childhood needs – first and foremost education.
Punishment (weakens behavior)
Punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it. It is an aversive event that decreases the behavior that it follows
Like reinforcement, punishment can work either by directly applying an unpleasant stimulus like a shock after a response or by removing a potentially rewarding stimulus, for instance, deducting someone’s pocket money to punish undesirable behavior.
Note: It is not always easy to distinguish between punishment and negative reinforcement.
There are many problems with using punishment, such as:
- Punished behavior is not forgotten, it’s suppressed – behavior returns when punishment is no longer present.
- Causes increased aggression – shows that aggression is a way to cope with problems.
- Creates fear that can generalize to undesirable behaviors, e.g., fear of school.
- Does not necessarily guide toward desired behavior – reinforcement tells you what to do, punishment only tells you what not to do.
“Alexithymia, Emotional Neglect & Capitalism: How are they Related?” by Laura K. Kerr, PhD
Alexithymia. Now that’s quite the word. Derived from the Ancient Greek, it means “without words for emotions,” and identifies difficulties with recognizing and naming feelings. Since emotions are central for understanding oneself and others, not being able to discern what you feel can cause distress, agitation, and anxiety — along with rocky, unsatisfying relationships. (Honestly, I think I might love you, but I’m not sure if what I am feeling is irritation, elation, or just fear.) While alexithymia can reach the level of a disorder, becoming an obstacle to finalizing decisions (What do I really want?) and making commitments (Do I really love him?), alexithymia also seems like an increasingly common response to the conditions of late modern capitalism. (I’ll get to the latter point shortly.)
Attributes of people who show signs of alexithymia include:
- Difficulty identifying feelings (in words)
- Difficulty finding the correct words to describe what they are feeling Rigid social prescriptions again! Kill creativity: no non-scripted feelings allowed.
- Difficulty distinguishing feelings from their associated body sensations Emotions ARE PHYSICAL! Feelings ARE BODY SENSATIONS.
- Restricted imagination (myth) having few fantasies and very realistic dreams Wow! What’s the source for this statement? It’s the either / or mistake which conveys judgement: Imagination = fantasy. Tell that to Nicola Tesla and thousands of other inventors.
- Focused mostly on the external world and factual information That’s a crime for sure! Somebody needs to be, in a nation of supernatural ignorance.
- Highly logical thinking I don’t think logic is relative: one is logical or not.
- Low levels of empathy Not this again!
Aust & colleagues saw greatest impairment when emotional neglect had occurred in childhood. But their study also showed some with alexithymia lack histories of emotional neglect. Furthermore, they confirmed alexithymic people with histories of emotional neglect could also be psychologically and physically healthy. Again, this mélange of non-consistent “symptoms” that we see in diagnosis of Asperger’s, High Functioning Autism, or whatever is the Label-of-the-Day in the psychology community!
Definitions from medical dictionaries:
a·lex·i·thy·mi·a Inability to describe emotions in a verbal manner.The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
alexithymia An inability to experience and communicate feelings consciously. Words CREATE consciousness Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
alexithymia a personality trait characterized by difficulty in recognizing or describing one’s emotions. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine by Churchill Livingstone © 2008 Elsevier Limited. All rights reserved.
My critique of the current description of Alexithymia:
I have personal experience with this curious manifestation – to the extent that at times I have difficulty distinguishing between physical illness (fairly vague, like the flu) and being “emotionally” upset. It does sometimes take me time to “know” what I’m “feeling.” That is, put a name to what I’m feeling. Commonly I may have no “feeling” at all about a situation: the default state in my reactions to the environment is to simply have no reaction at all. Why should I? Why must every moment of every day consist of emotional engagement in unimportant, fleeting exchanges with people or in buliding monstrous facades of hatred, revenge, subterfuge and power struggles over – What? Emotions are vital to controlling other human beings on the Social Pyramid. Keeping people upset, off-balance and consumed by “having the correct feelings” makes manipulation and segregation by authority easy.
Now that I’ve said that, my Asperger curiosity led me to investigate just what alexithymia is: its origin and place in human experience.
What I discovered is that:
All human infants are born Alexithymic by definition, equipped with a binary system of response to our environment. Pain or Pleasure. As infants we possess no WORDS with which to express our physical condition. We cry mightily if feeling pain; turn red in the face, move our bodies in ways that signal distress to our caregivers. We smile, gurgle and wiggle in ways that express pleasure to our caregivers. We have the potential for word language (grammar) but do not have verbal abilities. We do respond to the vocalizations made by our caregivers – to the tone, rythym and range of the female voice, but mostly to physical intervention; picking us up, holding and rocking us, feeding us.
As children grow, they are TAUGHT to identify WORDS with physical responses. The brain’s system of processing our reactions to the environment remains simple even in adulthood: there is one electrical pathway in the brain, and the brain doesn’t differentiate between physical pain and word (metaphysical) pain. It’s just pain. Children learn to “report” their pain or pleasure as words. This is not difficult to witness in action. Parents continually coax children to use words like sad, happy, etc. to describe their physical state, even before children are capable of processing language. Hence the blank little face we see staring at Mom in the grocery aisle, trying to decode what the big person wants.
Why do adults want children to parse pain and pleasure into little pieces and assign words to experiences? The induction into a verbal universe is at the core of modern socialization. How do we know this? Because this process is not consistent between cultures and in fact is culturally determined. Many traditional cultures (check out the Old Testament!) don’t venture beyond Guilt and Shame as allowable emotions. Obedience is the key; disobedience is harshly punished.
Some cultures rely very little on verbal language to “indoctrinate” children into the culture. Tribal people are often very “hands (or words) off” with young children, allowing them to absorb tribal life through rituals, physical adornment or body alterations, and adult behavior. Not until puberty, or thereabouts, will children become adults through a ritual that conveys their new position in society. “Emotion” words may not even exist.
Sadly, American culture in recent decades has become a swamp, a chaos, a nightmare of social emotions, in which emotional instability has become a lifelong indentity of self-worth and political rights. Victimhood is a popular career. The responses of pain and pleasure are reactions to the environment; that is the function of pain and pleasure is an alert system to “what’s going on” in the environment: it’s about real concrete objects and events. And then, the chemistry that induces these states normally subsides and is quickly turned off. To keep an animal in a state of “emotional” distress is slow torture (stress) that damages the body. Stress is a slow killer and it characterizes poor health in societies that use stress to control behavior.
American culture has raised the “word concepts” called emotions to the ultimate level of importance in both individual and social experience and interraction. Real concrete questions have no answer: What can we do to decrease racism, poverty and other inequalities? Why am I in a relationship with this abusive person? How can I guide a child past fear, so that they may to learn and practice the skills he or she will need to become an adult?
These vital tasks have been tossed aside for a social culture of incessant emotional disturbance. This is not surprising given the control-freak focus of Americans and the ‘mommification’ of child-rearing and public education (driven by psychological myth) that has infiltrated and now dictates rigid rules of human interaction.
The childlike dependency of Americans is very profitable: the “fix” for your unmet infantile needs can be purchased at any retail location.
Asperger individuals simply do not “take to” the notion that our real physical pain and pleasure system can be socialized. This is no surprise, since being Asperger is about not being social in the hyper-social sense. In fact, after sorting out the actual physical nature of emotions as word constructs that disguise real pain – “pain is pain” – I find that I’m much happier with my Asperger brain. I’m no longer stuck with the nagging social pressure to feel things that I don’t feel!
Why the rush to “instantaneous” emotion?
Emotions are physical responses to the environment which make up part of MIND, which is the “sum total of an organisms reactions to the environment”.
Socially Modern Humans have created a set of emotion-words that actually remove “authentic emotion” from reality to the supernatural domain. These words establish socially-acceptable responses that limit self-awareness and expression to meaningless gestures approved by social authorities. Love, hate, etc.
Aspergers do have mild to severe social responses (emotions) that neurotypicals can’t understand “experientially”. Neurotypicals assume that if they don’t recognize emotional “behavior” outside their repertoire of NAMED and ALLOWABLE emotions, then the other person “lacks emotion” or empathy (more later). But just because a neurotypical is unable to imagine a “foreign” emotion, doesn’t mean that Aspergers lack emotion.
There is no piece of our brain that is missing. We use our brains in ways that are predictable for OUR TYPE of brain. We are analytical and “see” the environment in ways that neurotypicals do not. Analysis is our prime method of processing information and the source of information is direct sensory experience, aided by trustworthy and proven opinion. The neurotypical source of information is other social humans (hearsay, prejudice). Little ability to apply common sense, reasoning or critical thinking appears to be present in neurotypicals; the accuracy of information is not a concern, but social conformity is.
Analyzing information is what we do, whether or not we are inclined to art, math, music, or science. Analysts don’t have to be Aspergers. Many neurotypicals are social thinkers and analyze social environments; workplaces, corporations, political behavior, economics and education, history…and apply analysis to many other areas of human activity.
Case in point, and much more rare, is an Asperger (me) who analyzes social beliefs and structures, because these social assumptions form an essential component of the claim that Aspergers is a pathology that defies social control. Many “helping, fixing, caring” neurotypicals therefore insist that Aspergers must be reeducated, trained, or coerced into “hiding themselves” behind unnatural mimicry in order to be less objectionable to “normal people”. This exposes a longstanding “lack of empathy” that dominates modern social behavior toward animals and “neurocomplex human animals. If a species can’t be domesticated, kill it off. Big cats and predatory canids and bears have been slaughtered without mercy. If a “wild species” competes with domesticated types (bison vs. cattle) kill them off. If a group of wild or tribal humans exists: kill them off.
One behavior that Asperger individuals lack, and for which we can be forever thankful, is the neurotypical compulsion to destroy the earth: every human, animal, plant, landscape, ocean and the atmosphere must be destroyed. It is doubtful that this insanity will stop until Homo sapiens destroys Homo sapiens.
Modern humans tend to think that neoteny applies to females, but not males.
Let’s have a look: Choice of mates wasn’t so hot back then…either.
Fed up with babies?
A few males are trying to maintain an adult testosterone level for “the other guys”.
If you still “don’t get” that neoteny has feminized males:
|Behavioral Aspects of Animal Domestication
Edward O. Price
The Quarterly Review of Biology
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Mar., 1984), pp. 1-32
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2827868
Page Count: 32
Since the survival and well-being of humankind is so inextricably bound to our domestic animals and plants, it is important that we understand the domestication process and its biological consequences. The objective of this review is to discuss available information on the biological basis of animal domestication, with particular emphasis on behavior.
Domestication concerns adaptation, which is usually to a captive environment and which is achieved by some combination of genetic changes occurring over generations, as well as by environmentally induced changes in development that recur during each generation. Genetic changes will occur in population of organisms undergoing domestication as a result of both chance and of any shift in selection pressures accompanying the transition from nature to captivity. In addition to changes in gene frequencies, adaptation to the captive environment may be facilitated by certain recurring environmental events or management practices that influence the development of specific biological traits.
It is difficult to generalize about the effects of domestication on either genetic or phenotypic variability because of different selection pressures on different traits and species. However, it is apparent that, with respect to animal behavior, domestication has influenced the quantitative rather than qualitative nature of the response. The postulated loss of certain behavior patterns under domestication can usually be explained by a heightening of response thresholds above normal levels of stimulation. Conversely, lowered thresholds of response often can be accounted for by constant exposure to certain forms of stimulation. Certain behaviors may have been altered because of man’s role as a buffer between the animal and its environment. One of the more important behavioral changes accompanying the domestication process is a reduction in responsiveness to changes in the animal’s environment. Food provisioning and man’s control over the breeding process have reduced competition for important resources, and thus have permitted selection for the retention of juvenile characteristics (neotony). Feralization is the domestication process in reverse. The capacity of domestic animals to survive in nature may depend on the extent to which the gene pool of the population has been altered during the domestication process. “Natural” gene pools should be protected when breeding wild animals in captivity for the purpose of reestablishing free-living natural populations.
1The Quarterly Review of Biology © 1984 The University of Chicago Press
Humans domesticated humans for the same reason that they selected for neotenic animals – “lowered responses to change in the environment” – That is, to captive sedentary environments, which were Hierarchical: “Top Male” controlled and drastically less healthy for individuals than foraging-nomadic-hunter groups. Slavery is FORCED domestication and was the labor-acquisition choice of agricultural societies. women and children were often no more that domestic labor.
This massive change to agriculture, de facto captivity, and necessary selection for “tame” individuals would have excluded “wild” individuals (natural gene pools) who were killed off, could not survive in captivity, or became the “barbarians” that raided agricultural settlements and cities. Many likely straddled the fence, living on the border between both environments.
Domesticated females would have been able to reproduce at younger ages and to give birth to more children over their reproductive span than hunter-gatherers, who regulate their reproduction to adapt to the natural environment.
The increase in disease in sedentary populations, poor nutrition from grains and cereals, and crop failure due to drought, flood, climate shifts, and the timing of these uncontrollable disasters, would have made the ability to reproduce at a younger age, and more frequently, was an automatic “good thing” for recovery of populations. Selection for “tame” domesticated females is a no-brainer: the same selection was being applied to domestic “animals” and was well-understood in practice.
One aspect of agricultural religion is baffling: if agricultural activity is better than the life of nomads and hunters, why are agriculturalists so intensely active in building temples and tombs for agricultural gods? Enormous effort and valuable materials were expended, so much so that modern people are shocked and hard put to come up with a rational explanation. The standard reply is “they were very religious” (thank-you JudeoChristian archaeologists for labeling every pot, figurine and lump of clay as a religious object) and “space aliens” which is the same answer.
Could it be that agriculture was precarious, produced low quality food, attracted vermin, enabled the spread of disease and invited those pesky barbarians from near and far? And that the populace was in a state of chronic anxiety and fear of crop failure? Bible mythology describes floods, pests, red tides and plagues; Pharaohs put a mighty spin on their godly powers and success in taming nature. A society doesn’t center most of it’s “magic” in outrageous buildings where agricultural gods “live” for no reason; agricultural people were scared into extreme superstition and preventative obsessions.