ost historians are interested to understand the most important factor when it comes to human evolution. As debated in many of my articles, evolution from ape to a humanoid form took place due to many factors that came together to form the first Homo species, but we are still looking for the major factor that caused the start of the evolutionary cycle.
Today we are going to look at things from a more neurological perspective rather than an anatomical or biological one. If we look at the difference between humans and animals we see social conduct being the biggest difference between them all. Social conduct involves using emotions to express certain thoughts, ideas, or even feelings.
Although it has been proven that animals can also showcase emotions, it is more difficult for them to present with exactitude this social conduct. What is important here is the first said form of emotion showcase that experts in neurology believe is what started the evolution toward today’s social conduct presented by Homo sapiens sapiens.
Neurologists and neuroanatomists have tried for many years to see the difference between the brain of a primate and the one of a human in order to discover what exactly sparked to give us humans this social edge in comparison to primates. The way we have evolved as a species was through building civilizations as well as sustaining those through socialization.
Laugh, don’t go to war
Due to the neurotransmitters not being preserved in ancient skulls, neurologists had to look at present primates and analyze their brains in comparison to humans. Mary Ann Raghanti from Kent State University in Ohio is a biological anthropologist who managed to get her hands on 38 brain tissue samples from six different species that had died of natural causes.
From the analyses, a correlation was found between humans and great apes which showed elevated levels of serotonin and neuropeptides which focus on stabilizing mental emotions. However, something else was found which had been presented in previous studies within the same relative department, humans have a lot more dopamine compared to primates.
Due to higher levels of dopamine which make us laugh and be happy, fewer conflicts took place which allowed for more cooperation, therefore allowing for the process of evolution to happen at a much quicker pace on the evolutionary tree. Experts think that this neurochemical change which raised the level of dopamine happened around 4.4 million years ago.
This is a very plausible theory that makes sense as one of our main aims when engaging in social conduct with other humans is to make each other feel better emotionally by being happy and in good company, allowing humans to develop and evolve as people towards a better version of their species.
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