Human Development and Evolution of the Brain
The brain immediately confronts us with its great complexity. The human brain weighs only 3 to 4 lbs but contains about 100 billion neurons. Although that extraordinary number is of the same order of magnitude as the number of stars in the Milky Way, it cannot account for the complexity of the brain. Gerald D. Fischbach (Scientific American)
There is a great deal of evidence that we humans slowly ascended from lower life-forms to what we are today, by way of the evolutionary impulse – the energy and intelligence that gave rise to the universe and is animating our bodies, minds, and Personalities in this very moment. Each evolutionary change had to prove its worth by surviving the continual battle for existence and this process has gone on since the cosmos was created out of nothing – since the very beginning of time.
The brain is the organizational center of the broader nervous system, reaching all the organs of the human body.
- Extremely complex!
- Controls EVERYTHING in the mind and body! Even how your ANGER is triggered!
- Anger is the result of our brains evolution of survival
Becoming familiar with the vastly complex human brain makes this module somewhat technical and it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. For our explorations of the brain as it pertains to anger management we will begin to focus on a bare bones sense of human brain neural anatomy and shortly I will further simplify it….so hang in there with me.
The human brain is made of many parts. Each has a certain and sometimes multiple roles – to transform sounds into speech, to record emotions like anger or fear, to recognize a face, to tell the difference between a tree and a bird, or to store particular types of memory. This amazing organ is not a completely rigid kind of mass produced machine – each of our brains has uniqueness, and is remarkably perceptive to its environment. Its different parts are both interdependent and interactive and their task are somewhat flexible. At times one component will take over the duty of another, or crash due to some genetic or environmental glitch. The totality of the human brain is combined in a dynamic system of systems that performs millions of assorted duties. In fact, our brain may be so complex that it will never succeed in fully understanding itself.
The human brain may best be understood by racing the essence of its evolutionary pattern. It is interesting to realize that the nervous system has its origin as ectoderm, the outer layer of cells that become skin (the boundary between internal and external. Particular clusters of these outer cells began to fold inward to create a neural tube that would become the spinal cord. In other words, the origin of the neuron, the fundamental cell of the brain is related to the “outside” and makes its way to the “inside” to become the organ that links our external and internal environment.
Scientists tell us that as the human brain evolved, certain changes took place within our nervous system that caused it to develop various structures, over time beneficial for our species. Our ancient ancestors acquired “new and revised’ neuronal sensors as a necessary means of survival. As a result, our ability to survive began to require increasingly complex actions and reactions to the environment, and our brain adapted accordingly.