The Evolution of the Human Brain

  • David D. Franks
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


This chapter begins with the fossil dating of Australopithecus and our earliest ancestors who walked upright and began our ancestral line. Areas they populated are named. Fossil findings revealing brain sizes are identified. The dangers of life at that time are described and the shortness of life is noted. The fossil finds of Homo erectus are dated as to his first appearance and his time of extinction. His brain structure is described and how this was discovered is discussed. A discussion of Neanderthal and how they went to extinction follows. His coexistence with other hominin species is examined. A presentation on the Denisovans comes next. Two major theories of why different hominids are described and became extinct are discussed and then are evaluated. Next, interbreeding of our different ancestors is established. Homo sapiens is described in the same manner as above including origin dates. A discussion on intelligence follows. The distinctive nature of the Homo sapiens brain structure is described next. Homo sapiens use of fire is detailed. Archaic Homo sapiens brain structure follows. The way in which this is determined by fossil finds is detailed. Next, the concept of race is critiqued. The origin of language follows and the importance of synesthesia is discussed and related to language development.


Hominins Australopithecus Homo habilis Homo erectus Neanderthal Homo sapiens Denisovans Kiss DNA Synesthesia 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David D. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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