Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence

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St. Martin's Press, Mar 4, 2008 - Psychology - 259 pages
17 Reviews

Our big brains, our language ability, and our intelligence make us uniquely human.

But barely 10,000 years ago (a mere blip in evolutionary time) human-like creatures called "Boskops" flourished in South Africa. They possessed extraordinary features: forebrains roughly 50% larger than ours, and estimated IQs to match--far surpassing our own. Many of these huge fossil skulls have been discovered over the last century, but most of us have never heard of this scientific marvel.

Prominent neuroscientists Gary Lynch and Richard Granger compare the contents of the Boskop brain and our own brains today, and arrive at startling conclusions about our intelligence and creativity. Connecting cutting-edge theories of genetics, evolution, language, memory, learning, and intelligence, Lynch and Granger show the implications of large brains for a broad array of fields, from the current state of the art in Alzheimer's and other brain disorders, to new advances in brain-based robots that see and converse with us, and the means by which neural prosthetics-- replacement parts for the brain--are being designed and tested. The authors demystify the complexities of our brains in this fascinating and accessible book, and give us tantalizing insights into our humanity--its past, and its future.

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Review: Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence

User Review  - Ralph Hermansen - Goodreads

"Big Brain" by Gary Lynch and Richard Granger is controversial. What makes it so is the premise that a race of super-sized brained people existed called Boskops. Supposedly they had brains ... Read full review

Review: Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence

User Review  - Charles Kos - Goodreads

Excellent! Possibly Best Treatment of the Boskops in Print. The lost Boskop, let's call them a hyper-brain race of maybe 200-level IQ once resided in South Africa. There is some question about their ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Gary Lynch is a professor at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of more than 550 scientific publications that are among the most cited in the field of neuroscience. He is the co-inventor of a novel family of cognition-enhancing drugs called "ampakines", is co-founder of three technology companies (Cortex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: COR), Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA), and Thuris Corporation), has served as advisor to multiple professional entities including the Society for Neuroscience and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and has been featured in major television networks, newspapers, and magazines ranging from the Los Angeles Times to Popular Science.

Richard Granger is W.H. Neukom Distinguished Professor of Computational Science and of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth. He has been the principal architect of a series of advanced computational systems for military, commercial and medical applications, and co-inventor of FDA-approved devices and drugs. He is a consultant, co-founder, and board member of numerous technology corporations such as Thuris Corporation and Cortex Pharmaceuticals, and government research agencies including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. His work has been highlighted in numerous popular press and television features, including recent stories in Forbes, Wired, and on CNN.

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