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How City Living Is Reshaping the Brains and Behavior of Urban Animals

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posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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As Snell-Rood and colleagues describe in an August 21 Proceedings of the Royal Society B article:



specimens gathered across the 20th century show that Minnesota’s urbanized small mammals — shrews and voles, bats and squirrels, mice and gophers — experienced a jump in brain size compared to rural mammals.


This is interesting. However later it reads:




The big brains of those city-dwelling Minnesota mammals, for instance, seemed to shrink after a few decades of urban adaptation.

“The way I interpret it is that during the initial colonization, it pays to be smart,” Snell-Rood said. Once city life becomes predictable, “you can go back to having a smaller brain.”


Now that is interesting. Because some genetic scientists believe that the average human IQ has slowly been declining - that the smartest humans lived about 5,000 years ago.

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posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 07:12 PM
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The study showed an average size increase of 6%. That's a huge increase for just a few decades of evolution.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 08:02 PM
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Very interesting and makes alot of sense, I imagine scavenging from humans takes less brain power than hunting in the wild.

I dont doubt that human are getting dumber either, Mine was the last generation who will remember a time before mobile phones and laptops etc etc. Mobile phone became common when I was around 15-16.

As a kid I had all my friends and families numbers and bdays etc memorised, nowadays it all just on my phone.
I could probably remember 3 numbers off the top of my head.

Technology and urbanisation are convenient but I do think they are making us less clever as a species.

S&F



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by IkNOwSTuff
 


Well the article said that initially there was an increase which subtly decreased. There were other biological changes such as the fright factor decreasing. I suppose rodents who were too afraid to go scavenging were less likely to survive. Its a double edge for them though as you're more likely to be killed by prey.

But I like how this bit of information can be applied to human behavior.
edit on 22-8-2013 by Dynamike because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 09:03 PM
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I was thinking about this just yesterday. I took the kids to the park and we sat and had a little caesars pizza. We were surrounded by squirrells immediately. I mean sone of them walked up so close it is unreal.

I have to dissagree with the smarter humans 5,000 years ago though.

We would be way more technically advanced if people would have figured out the simplist of things. Like, i dont knoe, maybe you can sail around the world and not fall off the edge.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by liejunkie01
I was thinking about this just yesterday. I took the kids to the park and we sat and had a little caesars pizza. We were surrounded by squirrells immediately. I mean sone of them walked up so close it is unreal.

I have to dissagree with the smarter humans 5,000 years ago though.

We would be way more technically advanced if people would have figured out the simplist of things. Like, i dont knoe, maybe you can sail around the world and not fall off the edge.


Not to mention their lack of ability to recognize steam power as a huge power source. They used steam for motion.....with toys.

Really, if people back then were so smart, nobody thought "hey, lets take that steam toy that spins, attach something to it and use it for work!"

That singular instance shows me the whole "past humans were smarter" is total BS. Just imagine where we would be today if the industrial revolution happened a few thousand years ago, instead of a few hundred.

And I think the poster above you misunderstood the article. living in cities made animals SMARTER not stupid. Then after awhile they trailed off to more closely match their "natural" brothers.
edit on 22-8-2013 by James1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by liejunkie01
I was thinking about this just yesterday. I took the kids to the park and we sat and had a little caesars pizza. We were surrounded by squirrells immediately. I mean sone of them walked up so close it is unreal.

I have to dissagree with the smarter humans 5,000 years ago though.

We would be way more technically advanced if people would have figured out the simplist of things. Like, i dont knoe, maybe you can sail around the world and not fall off the edge.


any sailor can attest, the flat earth thing wasn't true. unsure if that was ever true or just a bogus myth.

The HORIZON bears all.



posted on Aug, 23 2013 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by liejunkie01
I was thinking about this just yesterday. I took the kids to the park and we sat and had a little caesars pizza. We were surrounded by squirrells immediately. I mean sone of them walked up so close it is unreal.

I have to dissagree with the smarter humans 5,000 years ago though.

We would be way more technically advanced if people would have figured out the simplist of things. Like, i dont knoe, maybe you can sail around the world and not fall off the edge.


I decided to find out if there was any investigation to my claim. There was. And my postulations are held true.




Geary is not implying that our beetle-browed forebears would have towered over us intellectually. But if Cro-Magnons had been raised with techno-toys and the benefits of a modern education, he ventures, “I’m sure we would get good results. Don’t forget, these guys were responsible for the ‘cultural explosion’”—a revolution in thinking that led to such startling new forms of expression as cave paintings, specialized tools, and bones carved into the first flutes. In terms of raw innate smarts, he believes, they probably were as “bright as today’s brightest” and might even have surpassed us.


And it goes on to say that we have allowed our best and brightest to focus on innovating because of the support of having a society, something they did not have those thousands of years ago.

Discovery Magazine



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 06:49 AM
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Originally posted by Dynamike
The study showed an average size increase of 6%. That's a huge increase for just a few decades of evolution.


There was a study that showed that the hypothalamus of taxi drivers was far larger than those of other humans. To pass their exams, they had to have "the knowledge", knowing all the major roads intersections, main roads, suburbs and side roads. So storing all that information led to an increase in the size of this part of the brain.



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by James1982

Originally posted by liejunkie01
I was thinking about this just yesterday. I took the kids to the park and we sat and had a little caesars pizza. We were surrounded by squirrells immediately. I mean sone of them walked up so close it is unreal.

I have to dissagree with the smarter humans 5,000 years ago though.

We would be way more technically advanced if people would have figured out the simplist of things. Like, i dont knoe, maybe you can sail around the world and not fall off the edge.


Not to mention their lack of ability to recognize steam power as a huge power source. They used steam for motion.....with toys.

Really, if people back then were so smart, nobody thought "hey, lets take that steam toy that spins, attach something to it and use it for work!"

That singular instance shows me the whole "past humans were smarter" is total BS. Just imagine where we would be today if the industrial revolution happened a few thousand years ago, instead of a few hundred.

And I think the poster above you misunderstood the article. living in cities made animals SMARTER not stupid. Then after awhile they trailed off to more closely match their "natural" brothers.
edit on 22-8-2013 by James1982 because: (no reason given)


Ancient people did know that steam could be used as an energy source, but they also had a cheap and plentiful supply of slaves, so the question became rather pythonesque: "if we have all these machines to do the work, what would the slaves do?"



posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 05:29 PM
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I knew of this already, I have a obsession with nature.

This may be of interest, not saying it is involved, but it could be:

Fast food has been shown to decrease brain size. (Corvids, crows and family, get white feathers because of the food found in cities)






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