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Thread: The Cause of Brachycephalication

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    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    Post The Cause of Brachycephalication

    This idea came to me as I was reading The Origin of Races. And I may be wrong.

    When an animal, including man, becomes domesticated, its brain size is reduced by 10% to 30% of its wild counterpart. And although the overall brain is reduced in size, some parts of the brain increase in size such as the forebrain.

    We know that Neanderthals had larger brains than modern man. His skull was doliocephalic, or long and narrow. The posterior part of the brain deals more with senses. A wild animal relies heavily on its sense for survival. A domesticated animal, less on senses and more on thinking rationally in humans or learned behavior such as in a dog. I think we can say with certitude that Neanderthals were less domesticated that Cro Magnon and the current populations of Europe more domesticated than CM.

    Given the less need to rely on senses and more on reasoning, the posterior part of the brain has decreased and the forebrain, cerebral cortex, has increased. Thus causing brachycephalication.

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    Account Inactive Polak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    This idea came to me as I was reading The Origin of Races. And I may be wrong.

    When an animal, including man, becomes domesticated, its brain size is reduced by 10% to 30% of its wild counterpart. And although the overall brain is reduced in size, some parts of the brain increase in size such as the forebrain.

    We know that Neanderthals had larger brains than modern man. His skull was doliocephalic, or long and narrow. The posterior part of the brain deals more with senses. A wild animal relies heavily on its sense for survival. A domesticated animal, less on senses and more on thinking rationally in humans or learned behavior such as in a dog. I think we can say with certitude that Neanderthals were less domesticated that Cro Magnon and the current populations of Europe more domesticated than CM.

    Given the less need to rely on senses and more on reasoning, the posterior part of the brain has decreased and the forebrain, cerebral cortex, has increased. Thus causing brachycephalication.

    Brachycephalic heads have greater volume than dolichocephalic ones. That's why scientists speculated in the past that humans were tending towards round-headedness to better accommodate their growing brains.

    But it now seems that head shapes change due to diet and other enviornmental factors as well as genes.

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    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    Brachycephalic heads have greater volume than dolichocephalic ones.

    But Neanderthal was dolicocephalic and had a greater volume than Brachy' ones today.

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    Senior Member Stríbog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    Brachycephalic heads have greater volume than dolichocephalic ones.

    But Neanderthal was dolicocephalic and had a greater volume than Brachy' ones today.
    If that's true, that just means Neandertal had a larger head than we do today. Given the same amount of skull bone area or whatever you wish to call it, a rounder skull is always more space-efficient.

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    Account Inactive Polak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    Brachycephalic heads have greater volume than dolichocephalic ones.

    But Neanderthal was dolicocephalic and had a greater volume than Brachy' ones today.

    Yeah, and the elephant head has greater volume too, but so what?

    The neanderthals weren't human. And even if they did contribute some genes to the western European gene pool (which I find unlikely), their stock did not evolve into modern humans per se.
    Last edited by Polak; Wednesday, August 6th, 2003 at 10:01 AM.

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