Questions tagged [evolution]

For questions about the interaction of biological (or artificial) evolution and the cognitive agents that are influenced by it.

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21 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...
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27 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is the Neanderthal Theory of Autistic brain a reasonable scientific theory?

I've recently learned about The Neanderthal Theory, that explains autistic (and especially Asperger's) brain functioning as the effect of genetical similarity with Neanderthals. The author gives a ...
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What makes someone attractive psychologically?

What makes a person particularly attractive to another person, specifically the opposite sex? Why would the brain evolve this trait to target specific genes (that make someone look pretty), and ...
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  • 411
5 votes
0 answers
148 views

What evolutionary process(es) are thought to have enabled humans to experience dreams?

As some theories suggest, most, if not all, biological features in organisms exist due to environmental factors that trigger the organism's eventual adaptation to these factors for survival purposes. ...
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97 votes
6 answers
31k views

Why do humans have sex in private?

Human couples usually have sex in private, hidden not only from predators, but also - other humans. It is unlike behavior of most species, including our relatives: bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas. ...
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  • 2,860
12 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why do humans need emotions?

If the emotions' only purpose is to stimulate certain behavior, why can't this task just as effectively, or even more effectively be done by the reasoning part of the brain? Are emotions really ...
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  • 223
27 votes
2 answers
8k views

How is intelligence correlated to beauty?

Recently, I read several interesting questions on the web about the relationship between IQ and general intelligence and physiological symmetry. But more importantly, what explains the correlation? Or ...
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  • 371
7 votes
2 answers
677 views

Is procrastination greater when skill is low and rewards offer low status boost and does this lead to efficient task allocation in groups?

I am very interested in procrastination, because it is such a clear sign of lack of motivation. I have a hypothesis about why we procrastinate, which I would like to get tested by you. The assumption ...
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  • 869
12 votes
4 answers
962 views

Why do humans cry?

People cry when they experience intense emotions. Crying seems to occur most frequently in intense episodes of sadness and fear, but sometimes also happens when people are very happy or angry. What is ...
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  • 223
7 votes
1 answer
828 views

Is there a (evolutionary) purpose of self-pity?

I stumbled across the quote from Charlie Munger; Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge and self-pity are disastrous modes of thought, self-pity gets pretty close to paranoia, and paranoia ...
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  • 221
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do people like those who are similar to them and why?

Questions Is it true that people 'like' those who are similar to them? Why is it so? Is there an evolutionary explanation?
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