Origin of Primate Group Identity: Vision and the Great ERV Invasion

  • Luis P. Villarreal


This chapter focuses on the evolution of group or social identity of primates, the great apes and humans. One aim is to outline the genetic changes that underlie the development of human group identity and to trace the origin of cognitive (social)-based group identity in humans. Our starting point will be the biological basis of pair-bonded rodents, as presented in the last chapter with voles. I will consider what similarities and dissimilarities can be seen to primates and hominids. In the vole model, the formation of a stable pair bonding also involved biparental care. The systems involved included the VNO-based olfaction and a CNS role for imprinting. Also, the neuropeptides oxytocin and prolactin were much involved operating through their receptor expression in brain structures associated with addiction. The resulting bond is mediated by social behavior. Many of these same systems also appear to be involved in avian social bonding (especially prolactin). Thus, in the vole...


Group Identity Color Vision Herpes Virus World Monkey Mirror Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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