Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Evolutionary neuroscience is a young field which awaits a general unified theory of neuroscience in order for its full integration into the accepted framework of evolutionary biology. Once the phenomena of sensory perception, memory, visual abstraction, intellectual abstraction (including language, art and science) and emotional acceleration are at least theoretically integrated into a whole (roughly resembling the human mind), it is likely (from a biological point of view), that evolution will be able to elucidate the adaptational difference between humans and animals in aspects of neurological structure and capacity.
Although more complex and requiring tremendous technological and scientific resources, the field of neuroscience is nevertheless a part of biology, and is subject to Darwin's theories on evolution and adaptation. Very recent scientific studies are fostering speculation that Darwinian adaptation and the inherent plasticity of cortical relationships within the brain are one in the same, simply effecting the organism at a cognitive scale, rather than a genetic one.
The obvious evolutionary advantage of higher intelligence leaves science to explain how an evolutionarily short span of time (10 million years, approximately -experts please revise) allowed our species to build successively greater levels of neural complexity within an organ which is strikingly similar to the primate brain. A full investigation of evolution's role in fostering the tremendous capacities of the human brain would, hopefully, fill the gap of knowlege regarding the difference of ability between high level primate and human brains.
Dr. Temple Grandin is a well supported expert in the field of animal cognition, and has published numerous papers and a book which corroborate the evolutionary differences and similarities in maximum level cognition between human and animal brains.
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