Why Human Babies Are Much Dumber than Animal Babies
Baby giraffes can stand within hours of birth and zebras can run in the first 45 minutes of life.
For the past two years, David Eagleman has been writing and filming a six-hour television series about the inner cosmos that generates our reality. His documentary on the brain is available to watch on PBS.
One episode tackles human identity versus animal identity and why it's so different:
Human children begin life so vulnerable because their brains develop more robustly over time. They need the protection of parents during development so their brain can mature safely. The complexity of the human brain is unparalleled in the animal kingdom and it is thanks to our brain's malleability in the early stages of life that it can assimilate vast amounts of information and knowledge. Still, Eagleman says, just how this works remains a mystery:
"The binding problem is when you look at what's happening in the brain, you find there's a division of labor. You have some parts of your brain that care about vision, some about hearing, some about touch. And even within a system, like vision, you have parts that care about colors, parts that care about orientations, parts that care about angles. And how this all comes together so that you have a unified perception of the world is one of the unsolved mysteries in neuroscience.
We’re not aware of that division of labor. Everything seems like it’s perfectly unified to us. So this is still something we’re all working on."
Eagleman says that as we understand more about the brain, we can start importing technology to enhance our natural perception of the world:
Images courtesy of Getty
Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
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