Brow Ridge unrelated to cognitive development

Comparing Frontal Cranial Profiles in Archaic and Modern Homo by Morphometric Analysis

FRED BOOKSTEIN et al

There is an 8-page pdf for this paper, but once again I can’t get the URL to connect.

Brain_directions__planes_-_smallINTRO: Archaic and modern human frontal bones are known to be quite distinct externally, by both conventional visual and metric evaluation. Internally this area of the skull has been considerably less well-studied. Here we present results from a comparison of interior, as well as exterior, frontal bone profiles from CT scans of five mid-Pleistocene and Neanderthal crania and 16 modern humans. Analysis was by a new morphometric method, Procrustes analysis of semi-landmarks, that permits the statistical comparison of curves between landmarks. As expected, we found substantial external differences between archaic and modern samples, differences that are mainly confined to the region around the brow ridge. However, in the inner median-sagittal profile, the shape remained remarkably stable over all 21 specimens. This implies that no significant alteration in this region has taken place over a period of a half-million years or more of evolution, even as considerable external change occurred within the hominid clade spanning several species. This confirms that the forms of the inner and outer aspects of the human frontal bone are determined by entirely independent factors, and further indicates unexpected stability in anterior brain morphology over the period during which modern human cognitive capacities emerged.

(New Anat): 257:217–224, 1999. 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

External changes (such as the brow ridge) ARE NOT LINKED morphologically to the frontal brain, which has been stable for 500,000 years of  cognitive development.

Basic CMYK

 

Neurotypical Perception Defects / Inferred Images, Social Filters

Humans rely more on ‘inferred’ visual objects than ‘real’ ones

May 16, 2017
Summary:
Humans treat ‘inferred’ visual objects generated by the brain as more reliable than external images from the real world, according to new research.
“In such situations with the blind spot, the brain ‘fills in’ the missing information from its surroundings, resulting in no apparent difference in what we see,” says senior author Professor Peter König, from the University of Osnabrück’s Institute of Cognitive Science. “While this fill-in is normally accurate enough, it is mostly unreliable because no actual information from the real world ever reaches the brain. We wanted to find out if we typically handle this filled-in information differently to real, direct sensory information, or whether we treat it as equal.”

Visual thinkers are all too aware of this reality deficit in the “typical” perception of reality; I can’t say that the mechanism described here is the “cause” of discrepancies between “typical” perception and the greatly enhanced perception of visually-oriented brains, but it does point out that the typical human brain has evolved “short cuts” that result in varying accuracy in the  perception of the environment. This deficit, combined with de facto “magical-social” thinking has dire consequences for survival.

Links:

Article in Science Daily: https://sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170516080752.htm

Original Paper with figures, charts: 10.7554/eLife.21761

Posts on inattentional blindness: https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/visual-thinking-inattentional-blindness/

https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/inattentional-blindness-why-the-u-s-gets-sucker-punched-by-terrorists/

Immune System Introgressions / Neandertal, Denisovan HLA alleles


Neanderthal, State Museum, Halle, Germany

Denisovan admix today: Low – Black / High – Red

 

The Shaping of Modern Human Immune Systems by Multiregional Admixture with Archaic Humans

Laurent Abi-Rached,1 (see original paper for list of authors)

Abstract

Whole genome comparisons identified introgression from archaic to modern humans. Our analysis of highly polymorphic HLA class I, vital immune system components subject to strong balancing selection, shows how modern humans acquired the HLA-B*73 allele in west Asia through admixture with archaic humans called Denisovans, a likely sister group to the Neandertals. Virtual genotyping of Denisovan and Neandertal genomes identified archaic HLA haplotypes carrying functionally distinctive alleles that have introgressed into modern Eurasian and Oceanian populations. These alleles, of which several encode unique or strong ligands for natural killer cell receptors, now represent more than half the HLA alleles of modern Eurasians and also appear to have been later introduced into Africans. Thus, adaptive introgression of archaic alleles has significantly shaped modern human immune systems.

Example: Includes similar graphics for Neanderthal and Denisovan HLA alleles

Fig. 3 Effect of adaptive introgression of Neandertal HLA class I alleles on modern human populations. (A) All six Neandertal HLA-A, -B and -C alleles are identical to modern HLA class I alleles…

 

The Elites Complain about the Inequality they Create!

The New York Times The Great Divide / a series about inequality

Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth

February 16, 2013

By: Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, a professor at Columbia and a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and chief economist for the World Bank, is the author of “The Price of Inequality.”

Here goes the Blah, Blah, Blah!

President Obama’s second Inaugural Address used soaring language to reaffirm America’s commitment to the dream of equality of opportunity: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.” (WOW! I agree. What a whopper of a lie!)

The gap between aspiration and reality could hardly be wider. Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity. This is especially tragic: While Americans may differ on the desirability of equality of outcomes, there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere. (We must remember how inhuman and devastating conditions were for poor people in Europe and other parts of the world, which caused mass emmigration to occur) But not for at least a quarter of a century. Horatio Alger-style rags-to-riches stories were not a deliberate hoax, but given how they’ve lulled us into a sense of complacency, they might as well have been.

It’s not that social mobility is impossible, but that the upwardly mobile American is becoming a statistical oddity. According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top. Economic mobility in the United States is lower than in most of Europe and lower than in all of Scandinavia.

Another way of looking at equality of opportunity is to ask to what extent the life chances of a child are dependent on the education and income of his parents. Is it just as likely that a child of poor or poorly educated parents gets a good education and rises to the middle class as someone born to middle-class parents with college degrees? Even in a more egalitarian society, the answer would be no. But the life prospects of an American are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in almost any other advanced country for which there is data.

How do we explain this? Some of it has to do with persistent discrimination. Latinos and African-Americans still get paid less than whites, and women still get paid less than men, even though they recently surpassed men in the number of advanced degrees they obtain. Though gender disparities in the workplace are less than they once were, there is still a glass ceiling: women are sorely underrepresented in top corporate positions and constitute a minuscule fraction of C.E.O.’s.

Discrimination, however, is only a small part of the picture. Probably the most important reason for lack of equality of opportunity is education: both its quantity and quality. After World War II, Europe made a major effort to democratize its education systems. We did, too, with the G.I. Bill, which extended higher education to Americans across the economic spectrum.

But then we changed, in several ways. While racial segregation decreased, economic segregation increased. After 1980, the poor grew poorer, the middle stagnated, and the top did better and better. Disparities widened between those living in poor localities and those living in rich suburbs — or rich enough to send their kids to private schools. A result was a widening gap in educational performance — the achievement gap between rich and poor kids born in 2001 was 30 to 40 percent larger than it was for those born 25 years earlier, the Stanford sociologist Sean F. Reardon found.

Of course, there are other forces at play, some of which start even before birth. Children in affluent families get more exposure to reading and less exposure to environmental hazards. Their families can afford enriching experiences like music lessons and summer camp. They get better nutrition and health care, which enhance their learning, directly and indirectly.

Unless current trends in education are reversed, the situation is likely to get even worse. In some cases it seems as if policy has actually been designed to reduce opportunity: government support for many state schools has been steadily gutted over the last few decades — and especially in the last few years. Meanwhile, students are crushed by giant student loan debts that are almost impossible to discharge, even in bankruptcy. This is happening at the same time that a college education is more important than ever for getting a good job. (Isn’t it massively insulting for one of the ELITES to point out what “they” did to “us” as if it “just happened” somehow? )

Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink. And increasingly even a college degree isn’t enough; one needs either a graduate degree or a series of (often unpaid) internships. Those at the top have the connections and social capital to get those opportunities. Those in the middle and bottom don’t. The point is that no one makes it on his or her own. And those at the top get more help from their families than do those lower down on the ladder. Government should help to level the playing field. (Wow! Since “the government” IS THE ELITES, why would they do something totally against their own supremacy?)

Americans are coming to realize that their cherished narrative of social and economic mobility is a myth. Grand deceptions of this magnitude are hard to maintain for long — and the country has already been through a couple of decades of self-deception. (To the contrary: self-deception and deception are social typical high accomplishments!)

Without substantial policy changes, (which will never occur) our self-image, and the image we project to the world, will diminish — and so will our economic standing and stability. Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunity reinforce each other — and contribute to economic weakness, as Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton economist and the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has emphasized. We have an economic, and not only moral, interest in saving the American dream.

Policies that promote equality of opportunity must target the youngest Americans. First, we have to make sure that mothers are not exposed to environmental hazards and get adequate prenatal health care. Then, we have to reverse the damaging cutbacks to preschool education, a theme Mr. Obama emphasized on Tuesday. We have to make sure that all children have adequate nutrition and health care — not only do we have to provide the resources, but if necessary, we have to incentivize parents, by coaching or training them or even rewarding them for being good caregivers. The right says that money isn’t the solution. They’ve chased reforms like charter schools and private-school vouchers, but most of these efforts have shown ambiguous results at best. Giving more money to poor schools would help. So would summer and extracurricular programs that enrich low-income students’ skills.

Finally, it is unconscionable that a rich country like the United States has made access to higher education so difficult for those at the bottom and middle. (Actually, predatory student loans have made it EASY for students to “go to college” but not to get a valuable education; most degrees at this point are “remedial” high school diplomas. Too few students complete degrees, but leave with enormous debt, and no  job skills.) There are many alternative ways of providing universal access to higher education, from Australia’s income-contingent loan program to the near-free system of universities in Europe. A more educated population yields greater innovation, a robust economy and higher incomes — which mean a higher tax base. Those benefits are, of course, why we’ve long been committed to free public education through 12th grade. But while a 12th-grade education might have sufficed a century ago, it doesn’t today. Yet we haven’t adjusted our system to contemporary realities. (The “contemporary reality” is traditional reality: profit and greed are important; human well-being is not.)

The steps I’ve outlined are not just affordable but imperative. Even more important, though, is that we cannot afford to let our country drift farther from ideals that the vast majority of Americans share. We will never fully succeed in achieving Mr. Obama’s vision of a poor girl’s having exactly the same opportunities as a wealthy girl. But we could do much, much better, and must not rest until we do.

Blah, Blah, Blah

Inflammatory Diseases, Deadly Modern Environments / ASD, Depression

quick summation from Torrey Institute for Molecular Studies: 

Inflammatory Disorders (click here for website)

Inflammation is the body’s protective response to injury and infection; it is a complex process involving many cell types, as well as different components of blood.

The inflammatory process works quickly to destroy and eliminate foreign and damaged cells, and to isolate the infected or injured tissues from the rest of the body. Inflammatory disorders arise when inflammation becomes uncontrolled, and causes destruction of healthy tissue. There are dozens of inflammatory disorders. Many occur when the immune system mistakenly triggers inflammation in the absence of infection, such as inflammation of the joints in rheumatoid arthritis. Others result from a response to tissue injury or trauma but affect the entire body.

There are many ways by which normal cells and tissues can be damaged during inflammation. One important mechanism is by assembly of a complex of proteins that forms holes on the surface of a cell, where it causes damage and can potentially kill the cell. This complex is called a Membrane Attack Complex or MAC. Torrey Pines Institute researchers are working to understand how MAC contributes to a number of inflammation-associated disorders, including the complications of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Understanding how MAC assembles will provide insights into the design of drugs to prevent inflammatory damage to cells.

Inflammation is also an important secondary component of many diseases. An example of this is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, where inflammation can cause more damage to arteries in a failed attempt to heal the artery wall. There is also an important link between obesity and inflammation, because substances that promote inflammation are released from fat cells, as well as from other cells embedded in fat tissue. The Institute’s scientists are leading the way in understanding these new and exciting areas of inflammation research.

The first article below presents the hypothesis that psychological stress and depression may be associated with “inflammatory” diseases.

The second presents the evolutionary “Inflammatory Bias” that has lead to rampant inflammatory disease in modern humans.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Article 1: Brain Behav Immun. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 Jul 1.

 Published in final edited form as: Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Jul; 31: 1–8. Published online 2013 Apr 30. doi:  10.1016/j.bbi.2013.04.009

Malaise, Melancholia and Madness: The Evolutionary Legacy of an Inflammatory Bias

Technical paper, so I’m looking for a credible translation into common language!

Excerpt that may possibly be significant to ASD, Asperger’s and other “social” disorders.  

 5a. Immune Pathways and the Inflammasome

In a paper in this issue, Iwata et al. propose the provocative hypothesis that the recently characterized inflammasome may serve as a critical link between psychological stress and depression, as well as other illnesses related to inflammation (Iwata et al. 2012).

The inflammasome is a protein complex that can detect diverse danger signals including not only pathogen-associated molecules but also molecules associated with cellular damage such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Upon activation, the inflammasome can generate an inflammatory response notably through the production of IL-1-beta by activation of a caspase that cleaves the precursor peptide pro-IL-1-beta. Given the capacity of the inflammasome to react to danger signals generated by stimuli other than pathogens, the authors suggest that the inflammasome may be uniquely poised to serve as the molecular mechanism that transduces psychological responses to stress into an inflammatory response in the absence of pathogen challenge.

Thus, the inflammasome may represent an evolutionary adaptation that extends the immune and behavioral response to pathogens and the microbial world to include challenges emanating from predators, people and the social world. Although of significant value in detecting and responding to tissue damage and destruction, by virtue of the inflammasome,

the inflammatory bias may have been given an entrée into the modern world where people, not pathogens or predators represent the primary challenges.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Article 2:

The role of inflammation in depression: from evolutionary imperative to modern treatment target

Andrew G. Miller and Charles L. Raison

Nature Reviews Immunology Volume:16,Pages:22–34Year published:(2016)DOI:doi:10.1038/nri.2015.5 (click to access article)

Fig. 1 Evolutionary legacy of an inflammatory bias. Early evolutionary pressures derived from human interactions with pathogens, predators and human conspecifics (such as rivals) resulted in an inflammatory bias that included an integrated suite of immunological and behavioural responses that conserved energy for fighting infection and healing wounds, while maintaining vigilance against attack.This inflammatory bias is believed to have been held in check during much of human evolution by exposure to minimally pathogenic, tolerogenic organisms in traditional (that is, rural) environments that engendered immunological responses characterized by the induction of regulatory T (TReg) cells, regulatory B (BReg) cells and immunoregulatory M2 macrophages as well as the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ). In modern times, sanitized urban environments of more developed societies are rife with psychological challenges but generally lacking in the types of infectious challenges that were primary sources of morbidity and mortality across most of human evolution. In the absence of traditional immunological checks and balances, the psychological challenges of the modern world instigate ancestral immunological and behavioural repertoires that represent a decided liability, such as high rates of various inflammation-related disorders including depression.

In proper perspective, modern social environments ARE DEADLY to life; not only to ASD Asperger people, but to ALL HUMANS and to every species that we are driving to extinction – Mass extinction is the likely outcome.

 

Neanderthal- H. Sapiens Ancestral Gene EXCHANGE

Neanderthal inheritance helped humans adapt to life outside of Africa

Phys.org / November 10, 2016

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-11-neanderthal-inheritance-humans-life-africa.html#jCp

Excerpt: All told, the new study identifies 126 different places in the genome where genes inherited from those archaic humans remain at unusually high frequency in the genomes of modern humans around the world. We owe our long-lost hominid relatives for various traits, and especially those related to our immune systems and skin, the evidence shows.

“Our work shows that hybridization was not just some curious side note to human history, but had important consequences and contributed to our ancestors’ ability to adapt to different environments as they dispersed throughout the world,” says Joshua Akey of University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

While the vast majority of surviving Neanderthal and Denisovan sequences are found at relatively low frequencies (typically less than 5%), the new analyses turned up 126 places in our genomes where these archaic sequences exist at much higher frequencies, reaching up to about 65%. Seven of those regions were found in parts of the genome known to play a role in characteristics of our skin. Another 31 are involved in immunity.

“The ability to increase to such high population frequencies was most likely facilitated because these sequences were advantageous,” Akey explains. “In addition, many of the high-frequency sequences span genes involved in the immune system, which is a frequent target of adaptive evolution.”

Generally speaking, the genes humans got from Neanderthals or Denisovans are important for our interactions with the environment. The evidence suggests that hybridization with archaic humans as our ancient ancestors made their way out of Africa “was an efficient way for modern humans to quickly adapt to the new environments they were encountering.”

Reconstruction by Fabrio Fogliazza /

Neanderthals mated with modern humans much earlier than previously thought

February 17, 2016 https://phys.org/news/2016-02-neanderthals-modern-humans-earlier-previously.html#jCp

Sensory Deprivation Experiment / 48 Hours Isolation BBC Videos

All 5 short episodes will run automatically…

Five part BBC doc. of a 48 hour “sensory deprivation” experiment. I’m looking into “stimming” (self-stimulation) as a NORMAL reaction to finding a “proper” type and level of brain stimulation for individual humans.

Not humorous: I experienced these same “symptoms” when kept in a drug coma (due to a physical brain emergency) in a hospital for nearly two weeks, especially intense hallucinations, which often incorporated the people and activity going on around me in the hospital environment. I had assumed that the hallucinations were induced by the drugs, but after watching this experiment, I’m not sure. Was my intensely traumatic experience due at least in part to sensory deprivation? I was seriously “messed up” for months following the episode. I self-recovered by persistent exposure to – and trust in – everyday sense experience – but, the content of the hallucinations recur as intrusive memories. (There were many scenarios, locations and types of events, each having a specific “theme” – many historical and detailed and intensely lucid. It’s as if I lived several lifetimes within a “timeless” domain.) Is this lingering “recall” a PTSD-type experience? Not sure, because I don’t hallucinate the experiences, I just remember them very clearly and they are really unpleasant.

I actually think that watching the video relieves some of the “mystery” about the experience, and will help to defuse it! Give an Asperger a “concrete” explanation and much “healing” will occur.

The hospital staff did nothing regarding the after-math: refused to answer medical questions; offered no counseling, no explanation as to “what happens” in these circumstances of induced coma. There was no admission or recognition of these events at all! Another “bat-crap-crazy” neurotypical lack of empathy (and responsibility) that is so typical of the American medical industry. It’s the “black box” assumption that human beings have no “interior” reality.

But, it left me with personal insight as to what the brain is capable of doing under critical stress…and the extreme cruelty of subjecting human beings to solitary confinement as “punishment” for a variety of behaviors, whether criminal, political or social.

 

Wolf vs. Dog / Wild vs. Domestic Intelligence

Wolf uses “digging” instinct to “dig” – (displace) water. What’s notable is it’s persistence – dogs “give up” and manipulate a human to do things for them. (As do human children LOL) Which animal is more intelligent? The important observation is that each uses its intelligence in accord with “what works” in its particular environment. This applies also to humans.

Wolves are the wolf’s environment; humans are the domestic dog’s environment.

Fixation and persistence in the wild animal; fascinating contrast with domesticated (tame) behavior in dogs and humans. In humans, there is a range of behavior from wild predator to tame prey, also due to degree of domestication.

Stereotypic repetitive behaviors: Stimming / Environmental Causes

Why do psychologists ignore the facts? We are animals! What are Autistic (and typical) children trying to tell us about modern environments? That these environments are  STRESSFUL for children; humans evolved in stimulating NATURAL environments, not in restrictive, violent, emotionally barren and anxiety-driven social prisons.

If an animal is prevented from performing its “natural behaviors” it will invent abnormal compulsive behaviors to stimulate itself. Modern environments are ABNORMAL.