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Evolution of the Learning Brain : Or How You Got To Be So Smart ...

Author: Paul Howard-Jones
Publisher: London : Taylor and Francis, 2018.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"How does learning transform us biologically? What learning processes do we share with bacteria, jellyfish and monkeys? Is technology impacting on our evolution and what might the future hold for the learning brain?These are just some of the questions Paul Howard-Jones explores on a fascinating journey through 3.5 billion years of brain evolution, and discovers what it all means for how we learn today. Along the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Howard-Jones
ISBN: 9781315150857 1315150859
OCLC Number: 1019668601
Description: 1 online resource : text file, PDF
Contents: Evolution of the learning brain- Front Cover; Evolution of the learning brain; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Contents; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1: The idea of evolution; Darwin on manâ#x80;#x99;s abilities; Evolution gets hijacked by notions of â#x80;#x9C;progressâ#x80;#x9D;; Evolution and genetics â#x80;#x93; the modern synthesis; Darwin, evolutionary theory and learning; Chapter 2: Origins; Itâ#x80;#x99;s alive . . .; Memory: remembering and acting on the past; E. coli â#x80;#x93; a primordial student; Prokaryotes and learning; Eukaryotes; Multicellular organisms; Sponges and the first animals. The arrival of the neuron and the brainless jellyfishHow a jellyfish can swim; The chemical synapse; Synaptoplasticity; How did that ever happen?; Arrival of the bilaterals â#x80;#x93; and the brain; The first bilaterian?; The great explosion of animal life; Chapter 3: The vertebrate brain; The vertebrate ground plan; Brain inputs to four learning systems: the thalamus and olfactory bulb; The grand library of the brain: the cerebral cortex and the organisation of information; Fine tuning movement: the cerebellum; Moving for advantage: the basal ganglia and reinforcement learning system. Making memories: the hippocampus and declarative memory systemLearning systems are interconnected; Jurassic life meets Armageddon; Notes; Chapter 4: The social primate; The social brain hypothesis; The primate neuronal-packing advantage; Primates are interested in othersâ#x80;#x99; business; The primate theory of mind; Primates and social learning; Social learning and choosing your role model; A social bias rather than a social module; Tools; Hitting the limits; Note; Chapter 5: Homo â#x80;#x93; the cooperative social learner; Hominins; Hello Homo!; Flexibility valley; What sort of flexibility was key? Extended family life â#x80;#x93; a new impetus for collaboration and cooperationThe oxytocin switch; The birth of teaching; Towards a basis for cultural learning; The cultural intelligence hypothesis; Tool school; Notes; Chapter 6: Speech; The arrival of H. sapiens â#x80;#x93; and (close) friends; One ancient language?; Which language came first â#x80;#x93; gesture or speech?; The arrival of symbols; From context-tied communication to abstract symbolism; Vocalised symbols â#x80;#x93; the first speech; The adaptive value of evolving into a teacher; Speech shaping the brain; Language and material culture supporting each other. No special equipment needed?Creativity and communication within and beyond the group â#x80;#x93; cultural bursts; Chapter 7: The arrival of numeracy; Whatâ#x80;#x99;s so special about the human brain?; The shifting sands of culture; Subitising â#x80;#x93; an ancient number sense good for lunch; Subitising bootstraps counting; Counting is cultural; Fingers and numbers; Hold that thought . . .; The approximate number system; Education straightens out our number line; Animal intuitions help guide our maths; Rehearsal and learning progress. Technology for information processing â#x80;#x93; material artefacts that support brain function.

Abstract:

"How does learning transform us biologically? What learning processes do we share with bacteria, jellyfish and monkeys? Is technology impacting on our evolution and what might the future hold for the learning brain?These are just some of the questions Paul Howard-Jones explores on a fascinating journey through 3.5 billion years of brain evolution, and discovers what it all means for how we learn today. Along the way, we discoverhow the E. coli in our stomachs learn to find food why a little nap can help bees find their way homethe many ways that action, emotion and social interaction have shaped our ability to learnthe central role of learning in our rise to top predator. An accessible writing style and numerous illustrations make Evolution of the Learning Brain an enthralling combination of biology, neuroscience and educational insight. Howard-Jones provides a fresh perspective on the nature of human learning that is exhaustively researched, exploring the implications of our most distant past for twenty-first-century education."--Provided by publisher.

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