The Throwing Madonna: Essays on the Brain (William H. Calvin Book 2)
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At present the biggest part of our blue planet is still blue; just wondering how much longer. The scientists around the world are concerned about environmental pollution, the greenhouse effect, natural catastrophes and the eradication of mankind. It is in our hands to pull the emergency brake and to take care of our home planet Earth. Climate Change in the 21st Century. Stewart J.
Public and media interest in the climate change issue has increased exponentially in recent years. Climate change, or "global warming," is a complex problem with far-reaching social and economic impacts. Climate Change in the 21st Century brings together all the major aspects of global warming to give a state of the art description of our collective understanding of this phenomenon and what can be done to counteract it on both the local and global scale.
Stewart Cohen and Melissa Waddell explain and clarify the different ways of approaching the study of climate change and the fundamental ideas behind them. From a history of climate change research to current attempts to mitigate its impact such as the Kyoto Protocol and carbon trading, they explore key ideas from many fields of study, outlining the environmental and human dimensions of global warming. Climate Change in the 21st Century goes beyond climate modeling to investigate interdisciplinary attempts to measure and forecast the complex impacts of future climate change on communities, how we assess their vulnerability, and how we plan to adapt our society.
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The book explores the impact of climate change on different ecosystems as well as what the social and economic understanding of this phenomenon can tell us; it also links discussions of climate change with the global discourse of sustainable development. I picked it up on Kindle for. His basic theory seems to be that an adaptation to throw rocks at small prey sparked the lateralization of the brain which then drove the evolution of language which is our most lateralized brain function.
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He thinks that the start of brain lateralization was based on the functionality of a rapid, fine-motor skills module that plans and executes sequential motor actions, such as throwing. He hypothesizes based on a few scattered lines of evidence that the skills related to being able to throw changed the brain in such a way that language is some kind of side-effect or offshoot of this process.
The side-effect would have enormous benefits given the growing communicative skills of the group, which were probably based primarily on gesture.
THE THROWING MADONNA: From Nervous Cells to Hominid Brain by William H. Calvin | Kirkus Reviews
A neurological module could 1 have more than one function and 2 be spread out among distinct neurological spaces, perhaps even functionally distributed in populations of neural firing rates. A fine-sequence module could actually be subsumed by a wide variety of submodules acting together and sharing information in a looped hierarchy. The module could be distributed in space among multiple neural structures, each of which could have different functional roles depending on the immediate neurological context i.
In all likelihood, the module for just about anything as complex and multifaceted as language is probably realized by a variety of neural components which are distributed across many different areas of the brain, although there are probably clusters of populations which are more or less crucial in the processing loops, without which the function would be completely lost, as compared to some components of the loop which are less essential, but removal or malfunction of which causes minor processing difficulties.
The modularity is simply a result of thinking about the skills in terms of functions, and realizing that neural tissue clumps can have multiple functions and be subsumed by multiple subcomponents, which can feed information towards the top and loop around and have an feedback effect on the larger functional module. There is thus no reason to suppose that modularity requires one to imagine a phrenological layout of brain function, with each neural tissue clump having one and only one function.
The vocalizations seen in our ape-cousins are rather preprogrammed and neurologically specific in what triggers them. The vocalizations seems to be more of emotional expressions rather than expressions of intentional communication. Ape gestures, on the other hand, have the intentional structure necessary to provide a simple grammar of requesting, which can incorporate attention-grabbing gestural signals like stomping on the ground, requests for food, or requests for play.
William H. Calvin
Humans in contrast, seem to take an intrinsic pleasure in the act of social communication and sharing helpful information for the sake of sociality. Of course, apes like to play, but human children seem to think its fun to communicate and share just for the sake of communicating and sharing e.
A doggie! University of Washington. Verified email at uw. Human evolution brain size climate change carbon sequestration. Articles Cited by Co-authors. Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, , Articles 1—20 Show more. Help Privacy Terms. Mechanosensitivity of dorsal root ganglia and chronically injured axons: a physiological basis for the radicular pain of nerve root compression JF Howe, JD Loeser, WH Calvin Pain 3 1 , , Current Anthropology 30 2 , , Synaptic noise and other sources of randomness in motoneuron interspike intervals.
A stone's throw and its launch window: Timing precision and its implications for language and hominid brains WH Calvin Journal of theoretical Biology , ,