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

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Stephen Cunnane, Kathlyn Stewart
John Wiley & Sons, Jul 30, 2010 - Social Science - 232 pages
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The evolution of the human brain and cognitive ability is one ofthe central themes of physical/biological anthropology. This bookdiscusses the emergence of human cognition at a conceptual level,describing it as a process of long adaptive stasis interrupted byshort periods of cognitive advance. These advances were not linearand directed, but were acquired indirectly as part of changinghuman behaviors, in other words through the process of exaptation(acquisition of a function for which it was not originallyselected). Based on studies of the modem human brain, certainprerequisites were needed for the development of the early brainand associated cognitive advances. This book documents the energyand nutrient constraints of the modern brain, highlighting thesignificant role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids(LC-PUFA) in brain development and maintenance. Crawford providesfurther emphasis for the role of essential fatty acids, inparticular DHA, in brain development, by discussing the evolutionof the eye and neural systems.

This is an ideal book for Graduate students, post docs, researchscientists in Physical/Biological Anthropology, Human Biology,Archaeology, Nutrition, Cognitive Science, Neurosciences.  Itis also an excellent selection for a grad student discussionseminar.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
xiii
CONTRIBUTORS
xix
CHAPTER 1 MACROEVOLUTIONARY PATTERNS EXAPTATION AND EMERGENCE IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN BRAIN AND C...
1
CHAPTER 2 LONGCHAIN POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS IN HUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION
13
CHAPTER 3 HUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION A QUESTION OF SOLVING KEY NUTRITIONAL AND METABOLIC CONSTRAINTS ON MAMM...
33
CHAPTER 4 METABOLIC AND MOLECULAR ASPECTS OF THE CRITICAL ROLE OF DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID IN HUMAN BRAIN FUN...
65
CHAPTER 5 LESSONS FROM SHOREBASED HUNTERGATHERER DIETS IN EAST AFRICA
77
CHAPTER 6 THYROID HORMONE IODINE AND HUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION
105
CHAPTER 7 FOOD FOR THOUGHT THE ROLE OF COASTLINES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES IN HUMAN EVOLUTION
125
CHAPTER 8 THE CASE FOR EXPLOITATION OF WETLANDS ENVIRONMENTS AND FOODS BY PRESAPIENS HOMININS
137
CHAPTER 9 BRAIN SIZE IN CARNIVORAN MAMMALS THAT FORAGE AT THE LANDWATER ECOTONE WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR RO...
173
CHAPTER 10 COASTAL DIET ENCEPHALIZATION AND INNOVATIVE BEHAVIORS IN THE LATE MIDDLE STONE AGE OF SOUTHERN ...
189
CHAPTER 11 HUMAN BRAIN EVOLUTION A NEW WETLANDS SCENARIO
203
INDEX
209
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About the author (2010)

Stephen C. Cunnane, Ph.D., holds the Canada Research Chair in Brain Metabolism and Aging and is the Director of the Research Centre on Aging at Sherbrooke University Geriatric Institute. He sits on the editorial boards of iiuinerous journals, including Nutrition, British Journal of Nutrition and Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.

Kathlyn M. Stewart, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist in Paleobiology and former Head of Paleobiology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Specializing in environmental change and human adaptation, she has extensive field experience in Africa.

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