Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jan 14, 2013

Exercise makes us smart, so was it true in the past, so is it today, Part III

Filed under: Exercise — admin @ 12:36 am

This is the third and also the last part of the same article on this topic.

“To explain those outsized brains, evolutionary scientists have pointed to such occurrences as meat eating and, perhaps most determinatively, our early ancestors’ need for social interaction.

Early humans had to plan and execute hunts as a group, which required complicated thinking patterns and, it’s been thought, rewarded the social and brainy with evolutionary success. According to that hypothesis, the evolution of the brain was driven by the need to think.

But now some scientists are suggesting that physical activity also played a critical role in making our brains larger.

To reach that conclusion, anthropologists began by looking at existing data about brain size and endurance capacity in a variety of mammals, including dogs, guinea pigs, foxes, mice, wolves, rats,
civet cats, antelope, mongeese, goats, sheep and elands. They found a notable pattern. Species like dogs and rats that had a high innate endurance capacity, which presumably had evolved over
millenniums, also had large brain volumes relative to their body size.”

To conclude, Dr. Lieberman says “I fundamentally agree that there is a deep evolutionary basis for the relationship between a healthy body and a healthy mind,” a relationship that makes the term “jogging your memory” more literal than most of us might have expected.

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