Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
McGill (40,000)
PSYC (4,000)
PSYC 332 (200)
Lecture

PSYC 332 Lecture Notes - Frontal Lobe, Christmas Card, Wahoo


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 332
Professor
Richard Koestner

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 8 pages of the document.
Personality
Lecture 6: January 19, 2011
Group Life & Evolution of the Brain
Questions of the Day:
Has the human brain evolved specifically to be able to process complex social
information? (answer = yes)
Do other social animals show evidence of evolved capacities reflective of a
predominantly social brain? (answer = yes)
Sources for the Lecture
Cheney & Seyfarth (2007)
oBaboon metaphysics: The evolution of a social mind
Gazzaniga (2008) (skip)
oHuman: The science behind what makes us unique
Relates to Chap 2 discussion of the evolution
Why is the human brain so large?
7X larger than mammal our size (4X larger than other primates)
Particular brain area that is enlarged
oDevelopment of frontal cortex (involved in consciousness and thinking)
Functional brain scans when thinking of people
oFrontal cortex highly activated at these times
Other primates; brain size; frontal cortex and group size
oAssociation btwn size of frontal cortex and the size of the groups among
the species lives
oQuite possible brain and frontal cortex evolved and developed bc of a need
to process info to living successfully in larger groups
1
QuickTimeª and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Comparison of Relative Brain Sizes
Humans brain is 2% weight of body, for cats and dogs its only .72%
Examples of the social mind
Goleman’s observations in Social Intelligence (2007)
oDefault activity
For almost all humans, when were not on task with something else
the default activity is to be thinking abut relationships
oSpeed of processing and judgment
Experiments where they see how quickly they can make
judgments, making social judgments comes faster than making
other sorts of judgments
E.g. Of default activity – random thoughts while at the YMCA
oCant stop from noticing the other people at YMCA
oAnd thinking about their relationships
oNoticed a really fit woman who did an incredible work out called her “the
fit girl” she always came with a fit guy
oAfter 2 or 3 years fit girl came and the guy wasn’t there anymore
oSpeculated what happened etc, and then 2 years later the guy came back
with her
oAnother example of YMCA – guy comes in at 9, goes on treadmill, reads
oNatural to think about other ppl and their relationships to other people
Developmental indicators
oInfants orient toward: (they are prepared to process social information)
Human Speech
Human faces
2
QuickTimeª and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

o3 year olds’ knowledge – have a good understanding of the relationships
of the play group or preschool
o6 year olds’ knowledge
Example of Sophie, was with her friend Catalina, and she asks
Sophie how did you like it at Narnia? She reflected the question
and just asked how she liked it, and then she just agreed with her
Why primates have larger brains”
“Primates may be pushed into large groups thanks to predators or to patchy
sources of food like fruit trees. As their numbers grow, natural selction may
favour social intelligence. The primates form long-term alliances with each other
and compete with rivals. They begin to keep track of a large and larger social
network.”
A boost in social intelligence can lead to an evolutionary edge for primates
Baboon Metaphysics (philosophical study of the understanding of life)
The two researchers…
Their conclusion, based on many painstaking experiments, is that baboons’ minds
are specialized for social interaction, for understanding the structure of their
complex society and for navigating their way within it
oBy studying what baboons understand we can learn more about how the
human mind evolved as well
The everyday life of baboons
Baboons are old apes, live mostly on land, spend a lot of time grooming each other
Live in very large groups
by staying together in troops, they can alert each other and defend each other better
The social life of baboons
Size of troop
oUsually around 80 or 90, consists of 8 or 9 families
oEach family has a rank, which is passed on from the mother to the children
oThe rank of the females is highly stable
oThe rank of the famiy matters, as they have access to resources (food,
good spot to stay in)
Kinship – matrilineal and ranked
oPassed on through the mother
oRank which is highly stable
Hierarchies – alpha males
oMales enter from outside of the troop
oWhen they enter the new troop they fight for their rank or status, struggle
to determine if they will become the alpha baboon of the troop
oMale ranking is very unstable
oAverage time a baboon can function as the alpha is only about 8 months
oWhen there is a battle for status it causes a lot of stress in the group
oParticularly among females who have young children, new baboons come
3
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version