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The concensus view has traditionally been that brains evolved to process information of ecological relevance. This view, however, ignores an important consideration: Brains are exceedingly expensive both to evolve and to maintain. The adult human brain weighs about 2% of body weight but consumes about 20% of total energy intake. 2 In the light of this, it(More)
The authors assessed the ability of 6 captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to comprehend without explicit training 3 human communicative signs (pointing, directed gaze, and replica). Pointing consisted of indicating the target item with the index finger and a fully extended arm. Directed gaze consisted of orienting the head and eyes toward the target item(More)
Cognitive abilities such as Theory of Mind (ToM), and more generally mentalizing competences, are central to human sociality. Neuroimaging has associated these abilities with specific brain regions including temporo-parietal junction, superior temporal sulcus, frontal pole, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Previous studies have shown both that(More)
Conventional approaches to population biology emphasise the roles of climatic conditions, nutrient flow and predation as constraints on population dynamics. We argue here that this focus has obscured the role of time as a crucial constraint on species' abilities to survive in some habitats. Time constraints may be particularly intrusive both for species(More)
Although laughter forms an important part of human non-verbal communication, it has received rather less attention than it deserves in both the experimental and the observational literatures. Relaxed social (Duchenne) laughter is associated with feelings of wellbeing and heightened affect, a proximate explanation for which might be the release of(More)
Grooming is a widespread activity throughout the animal kingdom, but in primates (including humans) social grooming, or allo-grooming (the grooming of others), plays a particularly important role in social bonding which, in turn, has a major impact on an individual's lifetime reproductive fitness. New evidence from comparative brain analyses suggests that(More)
Data on the number of adults that an individual contacts at least once a month in a set of British populations yield estimates of network sizes that correspond closely to those of the typical "sympathy group" size in humans. Men and women do not differ in their total network size, but women have more females and more kin in their networks than men do. Kin(More)
Psychological studies of relationships tend to focus on specific types of close personal relationships (romantic, parent-offspring, friendship) and examine characteristics of both the individuals and the dyad. This paper looks more broadly at the wider range of relationships that constitute an individual's personal social world. Recent work on the(More)
It is well known that music arouses emotional responses. In addition, it has long been thought to play an important role in creating a sense of community, especially in small scale societies. One mechanism by which it might do this is through the endorphin system, and there is evidence to support this claim. Using pain threshold as an assay for CNS(More)