“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
- I guess Trump team is consistent about one thing: They really would rather have coal than advanced 21st century batteries
- Great trenchant essay on reading from Hisham Matar
- Can students record me in class?
- Awe-inspiring study from Ancestry.com
- Leading a non-profit that supports village libraries is a lot of work!
- Great article about one of the FAVL donors who helped make a library happen in Burkina Faso
- AYA Afrika Foundation helps continue after school reading program in libraries in Ghana
- New motor bike for FAVL/CESRUD Ghana
- Visite guidée à la bibliothèque communautaire de Dablo
- Les usagers illettrés à la Bibliothèque de Dimikuy
- La mairie de Pensa prend ses responsabilités
- What is going on in FAVL Burkina Faso?
- Les bibliothécaires en séance pratique d'origami
- Le coordonnateur national à la rencontre du staff régional
- FAVL/CESRUD Ghana libraries expand their reach to surrounding schools
- Rapport du mois de janvier et février 2017 de la bibliothèque de Sebba
- Rapports des activités du mois de Janvier et Février 2017 de la bibliothèque de Bougounam
- Visite d'un ancien lecteur au bureau de FAVL Ouaga
- Rencontre FAVL et les autorités de Sabcé
- Encadrement du bibliothécaire de Pissila