Primate Social Intelligence Hypothesis
Humans have relatively large brains, approximately three times larger than those of their closest primate relatives, and possess cognitive skills not possessed by other primates, such as language, symbolic mathematics and scientific reasoning (Hermann, 2007). Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the larger brain size and what evolutionary advances this energetically expensive neural tissue provides to humans.
In the case of primates, the ecological intelligence hypothesis is proposed, stating that primate cognition evolved specifically …show more content…
He argues that there is a correlation between neocortex size and group size (Figure 1) and that when a size of a social group increases, the number of different relationships in the group may increase by orders of magnitude and when living in large groups, selection favored greater intelligence. Hermann et al. (2007) extended the primate social intelligence hypothesis to reflect the fact that humans are not just social but “ultra-social” and that human cognition has evolved to be specifically adapted to the acquisition of cultural knowledge. This is termed “The cultural intelligence hypothesis”, which states that humans have evolved skills that enable them to create different cultural groups, each operating with a distinctive set of artifacts, symbols and social practices and institutions (Herrmann et al.,