Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources

Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources

By: Stephen C. Cunnane (editor), Kathlyn Stewart (editor)Hardback

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Description

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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Contents

FOREWORD: EVOLUTION, ENCEPHALIZATION, ENVIRONMENT ( Phillip V.Tobias).

INTRODUCTION (Kathlyn M. Stewart and Stephen C.Cunnane).

CONTRIBUTORS.

CHAPTER 1: MACROEVOLUTIONARY PATTERNS, EXAPTATION, ANDEMERGENCE IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN BRAIN AND COGNITION (IanTattersall).

Introduction.

Natural Selection.

Macroevolution.

Patterns in Human Evolution.

Symbolic Cognition.

Exaptation and Emergence.

Large Brains and Aquatic Resources.

References.

CHAPTER 2: LONG-CHAIN POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS INHUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION (Michael A. Crawford).

Introduction Lipids and Evolution.

The Evolution of Complex Life Forms.

The Language of Lipids.

DHA.

Evolution of Homo sapiens.

DHA and Neural Pathways?

A Comment on AA.

The Third Phase of Earth's Life History AA andReproduction in Mammals.

Darwin and the Conditions of Existence.

Implications.

Conclusion.

Acknowledgments.

Notes.

References.

CHAPTER 3: HUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION: A QUESTION OF SOLVINGKEY NUTRITIONAL AND METABOLIC CONSTRAINTS ON MAMMALIAN BRAINDEVELOPMENT (Stephen C. Cunnane).

Introduction.

Brain Evolution in Hominins.

Need for A New Paradigm.

Brain Development.

Energy Requirements of the Brain.

Nutrients and Brain Function.

Brain-Selective Nutrients.

Critical Importance of Baby Fat in Humans.

Gene Nutrient Interactions.

Conclusions.

Acknowledgments.

References.

CHAPTER 4: METABOLIC AND MOLECULAR ASPECTS OF THECRITICAL ROLE OF DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID IN HUMAN BRAIN FUNCTION(J. Thomas Brenna).

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Molecular Structure.

DHA and Neural Function.

Metabolic and Biophysical Considerations.

Functional Importance of DHA in Retinal and NeuralMembranes.

Dietary Need for Preformed DHA.

DHA Intake During Pregnancy and Lactation: Effects on Higher CNSFunctions of the Mother and Infant.

Summary.

References.

CHAPTER 5: LESSONS FROM SHOREBASED HUNTER-GATHERER DIETSIN EAST AFRICA (Frits A.J. Muskiet and Remko S.Kuipers).

Introduction.

Our Genetic Background.

Adaptation to the Conditions of Existence.

Western Diets and the Human Genome.

Brain-Selective Nutrients in Health and Disease.

Dietary Fatty Acids at the Land Water Interface.

Tanzanian Breast Milk Fatty Acids Versus WesternRecommendations.

Estimated Fatty Acid Intakes from Shore-Based PaleolithicDiets.

Conclusions.

Notes.

References.

Appendix.

CHAPTER 6: THYROID HORMONE, IODINE AND HUMAN BRAINEVOLUTION (Sebastiano Venturi and Michel E. Begin).

Introduction.

Thyroid Hormone Metabolism and Function.

Fetal Development.

Antioxidant Activity of Iodine.

Dietary Sources of Iodine.

Iodine Defi ciency Disorders.

Human Brain Evolution.

Thyroid Hormone, Iodine, and Human Brain Evolution.

Conclusion.

References.

CHAPTER 7: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: THE ROLE OF COASTLINES ANDAQUATIC RESOURCES IN HUMAN EVOLUTION (Jon M. Erlandson).

Introduction.

Food for Thought.

Human Nutrition and Physiology.

Archaeological Evidence for the Antiquity of Fishing.

Conclusions.

Acknowledgments.

Notes.

References.

CHAPTER 8: THE CASE FOR EXPLOITATION OF WETLANDSENVIRONMENTS AND FOODS BY PRE-SAPIENS HOMININS (Kathlyn M.Stewart).

Introduction.

Hominid Exploitation of Wetlands Environments and Resources.

Early Hominins: Colonization of New Environments.

Plio-Pleistocene Climate Instability and Use of WetlandsResources.

Intensifi cation of Wetlands Vegetation Exploitation.

The Shift to High-Quality Foods.

Preconditions for Encephalization.

Precessional Forcing, Drying Lakes/Rivers, and Die-Offs ofAquatic Faunas.

Mammal Meat: A Later Hominin Adaptation?

Postscript: H. heidelbergensis and H. sapiens.

Summary.

Acknowledgments.

References.

CHAPTER 9: BRAIN SIZE IN CARNIVORAN MAMMALS THAT FORAGEAT THE LAND WATER ECOTONE, WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR ROBUSTAUSTRALOPITHECINE PALEOBIOLOGY (Alan B. Shabel).

Introduction.

Methods.

Results.

Discussion.

Acknowledgments.

References.

CHAPTER 10: COASTAL DIET, ENCEPHALIZATION, AND INNOVATIVEBEHAVIORS IN THE LATE MIDDLE STONE AGE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (JohnParkington).

Introduction.

Changes.

Climate Change.

A New Narrative.

References.

CHAPTER 11: HUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION: A NEW WETLANDSSCENARIO (Stephen C. Cunnane and Kathlyn M. Stewart).

Human Brain Evolution.

Neurochemical and Nutritional Evidence.

The Fossil Evidence.

Plausibility, Prediction, and Parsimony.

Salient Points.

Conclusion.

Reference.

INDEX.

Product Details

  • publication date: 18/06/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780470452684
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 214
  • ID: 9780470452684
  • weight: 576
  • ISBN10: 0470452684

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