Natural Rationality | decision-making in the economy of nature


Evolution of Cognitive Function via Redeployment of Brain Areas

New paper in the Neuroscientist about a general framework to understand the brain

The creative reuse of existing neural components may have played a
significant role in the evolutionary development of cognition. There
are obvious evolutionary advantages to such redeployment, and the data
presented here confirm three important empirical predictions of this
account of the development of cognition: 1) A typical brain area will
be used by many cognitive functions in diverse task categories, (2)
evolutionarily older brain areas will be deployed in more cognitive
functions, and (3) more recent cognitive functions will use more, and
more widely scattered, brain areas. These findings have implications
not just for our understanding of the evolutionary origins of cognitive
function but also for the practice of both clinical and experimental