Revisiting the cognitive buffer hypothesis for the evolution of large brains

  • Published 2009

Abstract

Why have some animals evolved large brains despite substantial energetic and developmental costs? A classic answer is that a large brain facilitates the construction of behavioural responses to unusual, novel or complex socioecological challenges. This buffer effect should increase survival rates and favour a longer reproductive life, thereby compensating for the costs of delayed reproduction. Although still limited, evidence in birds and mammals is accumulating that a large brain facilitates the construction of novel and altered behavioural patterns and that this ability helps dealing with new ecological challenges more successfully, supporting the cognitive-buffer interpretation of the evolution of large brains.

2 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{2009RevisitingTC, title={Revisiting the cognitive buffer hypothesis for the evolution of large brains}, author={}, year={2009} }