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Human Brain Evolution

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  • Author(s)Stephen Cunnane / Kathlyn Stewart
  • SubtitleThe Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources
  • Edition1
  • Published14th May 2010
  • PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Inc (US)
  • ISBN9780470452684

The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources

The evolution of the human brain and cognitive ability is one of
the central themes of physical/biological anthropology. This book
discusses the emergence of human cognition at a conceptual level,
describing it as a process of long adaptive stasis interrupted by
short periods of cognitive advance. These advances were not linear
and directed, but were acquired indirectly as part of changing
human behaviors, in other words through the process of exaptation
(acquisition of a function for which it was not originally
selected). Based on studies of the modem human brain, certain
prerequisites were needed for the development of the early brain
and associated cognitive advances. This book documents the energy
and nutrient constraints of the modern brain, highlighting the
significant role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
(LC-PUFA) in brain development and maintenance. Crawford provides
further emphasis for the role of essential fatty acids, in
particular DHA, in brain development, by discussing the evolution
of the eye and neural systems.

This is an ideal book for Graduate students, post docs, research
scientists in Physical/Biological Anthropology, Human Biology,
Archaeology, Nutrition, Cognitive Science, Neurosciences.  It
is also an excellent selection for a grad student discussion
seminar.

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