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This question becomes more complicated if we think in terms of "emotions" (e.g., angry, happy, sad, afraid, etc.) than in terms of "affect" (positive and negative feelings, high and low arousal). I'll start with affect and move on to emotions. An affective state tags an object with a certain value--and it does so very quickly (e.g., Pham, 2007). For ...


9

The two main folks in crying research (of whom I'm aware) are Ad Vingerhoets and Jonathan Rottenberg. They've (together and separately) published reviews of adult crying and crying across the lifespan, as well as empirical articles. The general impression they give is that we know very little about the neuropsychobiology of crying, given that crying has ...


9

It appears that there's been a lot of research done by USC professor Antonio Damasio on the importance of emotions. There's some fascinating case studies and interviews that are worth reading and listening to, but the short summary, as I understand it, is: Emotions are important because they end up directing reason. Without emotion, there are simply too ...


9

There are (at least) two ways epigenetic traits are inherited. The important background in both cases is gene expression: there is a misconception that genes are for this or that, where the reality is that most traits come from an overlap of several genes expressing themselves in different ratios. As a simple example, consider two varieties of bird of the ...


7

The correlation between physical attractiveness and IQ is somewhere between insignificant and mildly positive, with a slightly higher correlation for men. The correlation between physical attractiveness and perceived intelligence is more significant. There are typically two approaches to explain the (albeit mild) correlation: Nature: From an evolutionary ...


7

Since this (excellent) question has been around for a while without any answer, I thought I'd give my two cents. I think we do this as a gesture of respect to the other person. We may fear that if we don't acknowledge them at all, it will come off as rude or arrogant. Maybe we fear that if we don't even look at the other person, we're basically pretending ...


6

In my mind there are two main explanations of this kind of instinct behaviours. The first one is rooted in evolution. There are many examples of human innate behaviours which we can't explain e.g. when we see a lace or tape on the street we automatically jump and feel scared. Although we live in big city our brain associates the lace with a snake. It is an ...


6

What is the difference in the brains for animals capable of these great differences in sexual activity and what part of the brain is responsible for this? In my opinion is a matter of creativity and curiosity. Evolved species try to interact with their ambient in unusual ways, testing different approach to the same "problem" not only to satisfy primary ...


5

This is not my field, but I gave it a quick search. This article seems to speak directly to this question, summarizing and comparing multiple theories to each other. In light of these theories, the article also seems to propose a synthesized theory of the avoidance. Formal citation below. Hope this helps! APA Citation Paul, R. A. (2011). Incest Avoidance: ...


5

What you are referring to is broadly known as baby schema. However, does this not only apply to human babies, but actually to most mammals which need (parental)care. Certain features in the mammal trigger the release of hormones, which in turn will/can trigger caretaking behaviour in humans. The hormone release is associated with the eye and head shape. The ...


5

Are emotions really necessary for survival? No, not for survival; lots of living things around us without even a brain. Did emotions provide an evolutionary advantage in the past? The areas of the brain we associate with emotion were around far back in our evolutionary past - long before conscious reasoning appeared. Emotions are still an important part ...


5

Short answer Self-pity may not have any evolutionary benefit, but may instead be part of the social capabilities allowing to feel empathy. Empathy in turn is a crucial component in social interactions. The development of strong social skills in early Hominids is believed to have paved the way for evolution of Homo sapiens, arguably the most successful ...


5

I don't have a clear and definitive answer to give to you but first you should have a look about brain development (from:https://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function): And to the function associated to cerebellum: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346664/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5243918/ And the number of neurons: ...


5

Hagfish, the most primitive vertebrates, do not appear to have a cerebellum, or if they do have one it is very primitive. Hagfish have most of the other structures found in vertebrate brains (including the telencephalon), so it is likely that the cerebellum actually evolved after the other five main brain regions. It is possible that the dorsal cochlear ...


4

In chimpz, we see stronger chimps beating up weaker chimps that have consensual sex. Basically sex is not a purely consensual matter among chimps. It's to the best interest of stronger males to prohibit weaker males from entering mating market especially if the weaker males are more attractive. In gorilla, sex is not about consent at all. The stronger ...


4

Primatologist Jill Pruetz at Iowa State University in Ames was observing savanna chimpanzees in Senegal and found that chimps there have mastered the first step in controlling fire. However there is this article from worldnewsdailyreport.com, which talks about a group of chimps in the Congo mastering the use of fire through experimentation and observation. ...


4

Interestingly, the same question you asked has been asked since quite some time: The Act of Creation, 1964 - Arthur Koestler What is the survival value of the involuntary, simultaneous contraction of fifteen facial muscles associated with certain noises which are often irrepressible? Laughter is a reflex, but unique in that it serves no apparent ...


3

In addition to @mrt's great answer. I feel that the following excerpt from the 'crying' section from the "The Newborn Infant" chapter in my Developmental Psychology classes' textbook would shed light on your question. This is quoted directly from "How Children Develop, Third Edition" by Robert Siegler, Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg&...


3

Human's fear of the dark comes from our evolutionary past. Scientists believe it is genetically encoded in our DNA to be afraid of the dark due to the attacks of predators on our ancestors mostly occurring at night. Our ancestors who were afraid of the dark survived predator attacks and thus lived, transferring that trait to us. Fear is normal and usually ...


3

There are some mentions of Evolutionary Game Theory in this Behavior & Brain Sciences (BBS) article by Andrew Colman (2003). The main article itself only has a brief section on EGT. However, like all BBS articles, there are short commentary articles after the main article. A few of these deal directly with EGT. I was able to find the relevant articles ...


3

The answer is that we don't really know. It is understandably difficult to conduct experiments on humans in this field, so many theories remain speculative. The two competing forces (nature and nurture), known as the inbreeding avoidance hypothesis, and the incest taboo, both have mixed support with respect to humans. However, as is typical of human ...


3

The evolution of higher intelligence in hominids is an empirically difficult enough evolutionary question that (a) it might be better for biology.se and (b) any answer needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but I'll give you a feel for it. By that I mean, "watch the way multiple accidents of evolutionary history made evolution more favourable among our ...


2

The following comes from my research experience using fMRI to study the human visual system. Overall, peoples brains are similar to each other on higher scales, and become very different from each other as the scale becomes smaller. Differences between different people start with brain size and sulci patterns. Also male and female brain anatomies will be ...


2

"evidence of recent co-evolution between genes and large-scale culture This 2018 PLOS Computation Biology simulation study - The Cultural Brain Hypothesis examined the data from animals and humans. It found a relationship between brain size, adaptive knowledge, social learning, group size, and lifespan across the animal kingdom. relationships between ...


2

Doing some research on this interesting question, I can point you towards a few articles and books which can give you a start. From my research, there are 2 possible reasons for early childbirth compared to infants of other great apes. The maternal heat stress hypothesis (Wells et al., 2012) (mentioned in your question as metabolic considerations) put ...


2

It is said that American society up to around 1950 came in three flavors, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. That America was intolerant of interracial marriage, which was against the law in many states. An ice-cream metaphor for modern American society is Baskin-Robbins' 31 flavors. That society puts a premium on "diversity," including in dating and ...


2

Short answer Emotions are not necessary for survival, but they may provide evolutionary advantages. Background Although crocodiles cry, they do not feel any remorse in killing their prey when shedding tears doing so (they empty their lachrymals when snapping their jaws shut). Given their relative brain size we can expect (but never know) that they do not ...


2

I agree. The connection between having sex and the pain of labor is so distant, it seems unlikely that it could be selected against. In theory though, there could be enough time in human history for it to have happened, especially early on when child mortality was much higher than now. If every mother who remembered extreme pain in labor never gave birth ...


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