The idea of the social brain has been challenged by a new study published on “Nature Ecology & Evolution” by Alex DeCasien and colleagues at the New York University.
The hypothesis is that in the development of the brain is really important the kind of nutrition. In particular, it has been found that primates which feed on fruit have a wider brain tissue of 25 percent than those that feed on leaves, although its reason is unknown. We must imagine the brain as multi-compartmented with a mosaic evolution in which natural selection has acted on some areas.
Already the ecological theory that cognitive complexity would be linked to the selective pressure of adaptive challenges posed by the habitat, had highlighted this aspect.
But enough data is still lacking in the development of neocortex in primates in order to verify this hypothesis.
From Le Scienze, 2th May 2017