Evolution and humans: more on learning to read (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, November 05, 2018, 20:08 (758 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID’s comment: We know this study but the description of the active brain changes is certainly interesting, making brain plasticity quite clear.

dhw: Thank you for this more detailed account. Yes, we know the brain is plastic. It is also clear that the brain changes IN RESPONSE to new concepts and activities, and not in advance of them. I would extend this principle to the whole of evolution. The cells of the brain and the body respond to new demands and do not change in anticipation of them. However, it is also important to note that the plasticity of the brain does not explain how concepts originate, i.e. these observations do not solve the problem of the source of consciousness (materialism v dualism).

The comment totally misses the point of the article. The brain had to be designed with this capacity to adapt to new uses well in advance of the new need. The H. sapiens big brain appeared about 315,000+ years ago and reading in the past 50,000 years. The article clearly shows existing areas were quickly adapted on the spot that reading was learned.

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