A Theoretical Framework to Explain the Superior Cognitive Competence in Humans: A Role for the Division of Labour in the Brain

Farshad Nemati
2016 Archives of Neuroscience  
Parallel mathematical descriptions of behavioral structures across species are not necessarily associated with parallel cognitive outcomes. The present discussion provides an analysis of the mechanisms that might be involved in generating such superficial parallel behaviours and sketches a theoretical framework to outline a possible way of understanding cognitive superiority in humans as a qualitative difference. Piaget's version of recapitulation theory is the focus of this study, which will
more » ... study, which will be presented in three main sections: first a "thought experiment" will demonstrate that Piaget's version of recapitulation leads to a logical difficulty in explaining cognitive outcomes based on parallel behaviors across species. Then, examples of different brain areas that might be involved in generating such superficial parallel structures in spatial navigation will be discussed and finally a theoretical framework will be proposed to demonstrate how a redirection from Piaget's focus on the behaviour as the "motor of evolution" to a consideration of the division of labour in the brain would potentially explain the superior cognitive outcomes in humans based on the abstraction of computational patterns generated by neuronal firing in relevant brain areas.
doi:10.5812/archneurosci.36107 fatcat:3bms5u4tnzfwbewysb5zoy4ei4