Department of Medicine, University of Siena, Italy
Received date: August 10, 2013; Accepted date: August 10, 2013; Published date: August 11, 2013
Citation: Santarnecchi E (2013) Going Beyond the Phenotype: Human Intelligence as a Neurobiological Legacy. Anthropol 1:e111. doi:10.4172/2332-0915.1000e111
Copyright: © 2013 Santarnecchi E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Over the last decades, neurosciences have gone through a revolution in theories and methods for understanding neural function and its connections with human cognition, experience, and interindividual differences. In this context, nowadays neuroscience has developed through the integration of other research fields like genetic, cell biology, psychology, sociology, engineering and informatics. Moreover, this relentless changing process has also lead to the birth of brand new research fields like neuro-anthropology, aimed at understanding how the human brain develops, how it is structured and how it works within the genetic and cultural limits of its biology, as well as how it interacts with cultural changes. In the context of this emerging field, my primary goal is to promote a view of human intelligence study as a precious opportunity to study its practical impact on everyday life, as well to explore its “structure” as the final product of fine-tuning process lasted thousands of years. Apart from more canonical interpretations, as the ability to cope with environmental treats, to develop efficient social strategies, to communicate, to infer relationship between elements or solve abstract-reasoning problems, human intelligence might be also intended through an evolutionary point of view, considering intellectual abilities and rationality as emerging from a “social brain”, evolved on the basis of adaptive pressures. Hopefully, modern neuroimaging techniques might allow us to find more and more important clues which could allow us to understand our past by “simply” looking at the present.