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Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources Hardcover – Import, 18 Jun 2010


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Product description

Review

This is an ideal book for Graduate students, post docs, research scientists in Physical/ Biological Anthropology, Human Biology, Archaeology, Nutrition, Cognitive Science, Neurosciences. It is also an excellent selection for a grad student discussion seminar.   (Human Evolution, 1 March 2013)

"This volume...is a puissant move away from the heavy, earthbound view of hominid evolution and a move toward a greater emphasis upon the role of water and waterways in hominid development, survival, and diversification" (Phillip Tobias, Foreward, Human Brain Evolution)

From the Back Cover

A multidisciplinary treatment of the importance of aquatic foods in human brain evolution

The evolution of the human brain and cognitive ability is one of the central themes of physical/biological anthropology. Based on studies of the modern human brain, certain prerequisites were needed for the development of the early brain and associated cognitive advances. Important prerequisites included polyunsaturated fatty acids and other brain selective nutrients, which are found in highest quantity in fish and shellfish. Early hominins were able to access these foods when frequenting wetlands, particularly lake and river margins. Increased consumption of this high–quality diet over time exaptively diverted energy to the brain, and was a catalyst for brain growth. The later exploitation of marine shellfish and fish is roughly correlated with the emergence of Homo sapiens, and cognitive advance associated with changing human behaviors.

Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources documents the energy and nutrient constraints of the modern brain, highlighting the significant role of brain selective nutrients in brain development and the evolution of neural systems. There is a particular focus on two long–chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC–PUFA) in brain development and maintenance docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). These nutrients are found in the highest quantity in fish and shellfish, and this volume further discusses fossil, morphological, and isotopic evidence for hominin consumption of these foods over time.

The contributors to this volume come from several fields paleoanthropology, nutrition, neurochemistry, archaeology, and paleobiology providing a multidisciplinary approach to the complex and challenging topic of the evolution of the brain. The first half of this volume focuses specifically on the biochemical and nutritional requirements of encephalization of the human brain, best acquired opportunistically (exaptively) through consumption of fish and/or shellfish. The second half provides multidisciplinary evidence on the exploitation of initially, freshwater and later, marine fish and shellfish, by successive hominin taxa. These persuasive, thought–provoking discussions and arguments provide the basis for a new perspective and help the reader understand the vital role freshwater and marine foods have in human brain function and, hence, evolution.

Human Brain Evolution is essential reading for graduate students, postdoctoral students, and research scientists in physical/biological anthropology, human biology, archaeology, nutrition, cognitive science, and the neurosciences. It is also an excellent supplemental text for biological anthropology or a graduate student discussion seminar.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (18 June 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470452684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470452684
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.7 x 26 cm
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