Comparison Heuristic Unites Alternative Mechanisms For The Evolution Of The Human Brain?

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Target Article: 1. Whitaker, R, 2016, ‘A Dominant Social Comparison Heuristic Unites Alternative Mechanisms for the Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity’. Sci. Rep. 6, 31459; doi: 10.1038/srep31459.
This article encapsulates the research of Professor Roger Whitaker which suggests that the evolution of the human brain is related to the concept of examining one another and making decisions as to whether we want to help each other or not (Science Daily 2016). The results of a test involving computer simulated 'donation games, ' revealed the complexities of decision-making strategies for humans and established why certain behaviours among individuals start to strengthen over time. The research team concluded that making relative judgments
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Early beliefs such as the expensive-tissue hypothesis and the effect of bipedalism are said to have caused human encephalisation by redirecting energy to movement, growth and reproduction (Navarrete 2011). Another initial belief involved the size of an individual 's online social network being closely linked to the brain structure as a key concept to humans having a larger brain (Kanai 2011). These previously held ideas have been superseded through the formation of new ideas from later research. There are many current theories, which are being debated in regards to the increased size of the human brain. The size of social groups and social comparison has been closely linked to the human brain, and thus may be a key factor in the enlargement of the human brain (Balter 2012). Additionally, research has revealed an association between increased human brain size and size variations in gene families (Castillo-Morales 2013). Furthermore, researchers have projected that carbohydrate consumption was vital for the accelerated expansion of the human brain (Hardy 2015). These newly emerging theories in the past few years have forced theorists to rethink earlier ideas regarding human encephalisation. The vast range of theories, which essentially oppose the target article, convey the varying perspectives of researchers, adding to the greater understanding of the complexities of the growing human

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