When a human offspring is born, the initial size of the brain is about three times as large as the brain of a chimp. Although a chimp’s brain is nearly fully developed at birth itself, the human baby brain continues to expand throughout prime years with all the biological environmental influences and triples in size through life.
The overall neural connectivity pattern is genetically controlled, but the training we receive in the biological environment and the experiences affect the neural growth and connectivity of a certain person. Simply suggesting that both nature and nurture are important for growth.
During the 1980s, Rene Baillargeon, at the University of Illinois, focused her research on how babies understand physics. And to our dismay, these are the kind of information that we usually ignore due to the rushed world we get born into.
A group of babies born in different parts of the world, who also had been exposed to their own separate home environments for 3.5 months after birth, were brought together by Baillargeon to observe the undecided physics of an infant’s brain.
Babies at 3.5 months old usually stare at unusual objects, shapes, longer than the time they spend looking at the usual displays. Which explains as babies understand that some objects or shapes are not comforting to the set of rules.
Baillargeon placed a ball in front of the 3.5-month-old infants and then blocked it with a screen. Then the ball was secretly removed from its initial position. When the screen fell off the babies were shocked to find out that the ball is missing. This is because the baby brain already understands that mass cannot pass through the mass.
Monitoring through a tracker, every infant expected the ball to be there and they expected it to not only be the same shape and size but also to be in the same space. For example, a ball cannot become a toy after the screen is removed. And it absolutely cannot have legs.
A fully grown 1-year-old infant never questions gravity. They somehow seem to grasp the theory. A 2-year-old, walking well on two feet never question why is there a different-looking four-legged animal in the house. His name is dog but nobody questions how did it domesticate itself from the wild.
Throw a 3-month-old baby to water they seem to know how to kick back and float up. Rarely a five-year-old question “why can’t I have an elephant as a pet?” They all seem to have grasped the knowledge of things while growing up and it becomes natural after some time that we completely forget to question anymore.
It is there. The consciousness of individuals’ past and the evolutionary past takes snapshots of experiences and reboot the genetic neurons to adapt to these new rules.
Human immunity for an instance has built-in antibodies for already existing antigens of the world they live in. But as mentioned earlier, the selection of these pre-existing components in the human body depends on the evolutionary history of the specific individual, and genetics.
In the 1950’s Neils Jerne, a Swiss immunologist idealized this theory which paved the foundation for today’s known anti-body response and colonel selection theory. He suggested that most of these pre-existing antibodies in the human body will never get to meet the matching antigen to fight for, in a lifetime. But those who do, take the maximum advantage out of the cloning process to bring down antigen.
The brain is not a consistent mass that could learn anything. Just as the immune system is not a consistent system that can produce just any kind of antibody.
Complexity is built into the brain. The idea is that there is a selection from pre-existing capacity. Same as to why some of us, among us, don’t recognize some information as much as we do. Because if they have no experience built-in in the evolutionary history, it simply means their speed is going to be slower than of us who already has the wisdom.`
But what about the first-ever brain that lived on the earth, that which has been discovered so far to be the first brain lived on earth.
I’m going to tell you how Lucy’s fossils were found and how big her brain was very very soon.