“We’ve shown that over time, evolution favors strategies to help those who are at least as successful as themselves.” In their study, the team used computer modelling to run hundreds of thousands of simulations, or ‘donation games’, to unravel the complexities of decision-making strategies for simplified humans and to establish why certain types of behaviour among individuals begins to strengthen over time. In each round of the donation game, two simulated players were randomly selected from the population. The first player then made a decision on whether or not they wanted to donate to the other player, based on how they judged their reputation. If the player chose to donate, they incurred a cost and the receiver was given a benefit. Each player’s reputation was then updated in light of their action, and another game was initiated. Compared to other species, including our closest relatives, chimpanzees, the brain takes up much more body weight in human beings. Humans also have the largest cerebral cortex of all mammals, relative to the size of their brains. This area houses the cerebral hemispheres, which are responsible for higher functions like memory, communication and thinking. The research team propose that making relative judgements through helping others has been influential for human survival, and that the complexity of constantly assessing individuals has been a sufficiently difficult task to promote the expansion of the brain over many generations of human reproduction. Professor Robin Dunbar, who previously proposed the social brain hypothesis, said: “According to the social brain hypothesis, the disproportionately large brain size in humans exists as a consequence of humans evolving in large and complex social groups.
Blogs I Follow
- What's going on in Ghana libraries?
- Sending books to Burkina Faso
- Reading Fati and the Honey Tree in Sumbrungu library, Ghana
- Recent activities in Ghana libraries
- SSNIT pension payments (social security) for librarians in Ghana
- Visites des élèves aux bibliothèques au nord du Burkina Faso
- Students use Ghana libraries to study for end of year exams
- FAVL finalist for Systematic Joy of Reading Award!
- L'excellence récompensée à FAVL
- Achat de livres pour la bibliothèque de Niankorodougou
- FAVL expenses in Ghana from January through April 2017
- Echos de Niankorodougou
- Une bonne information du côté de la commune de Tongomayel
- La nouvelle : Sur les sentiers épineux de la démocratie
- Le coordonnateur national de FAVL-BF à Conakry Capitale Mondiale du Livre