Human Group Identity: Language and a Social Mind

  • Luis P. Villarreal

As presented in the last chapter, primates showed a significant shift in the mechanisms by which they attain group identity. Following the great HERV genome colonization, primates were no longer dependent on olfaction and MHC composition (as are all other mammals) for group recognition, but developed a strong dependence on visual information, especially facial and gesture recognition. This required significant brain developments to process visual information for social purposes. In humans, the HERV colonization has continued and possibly accelerated relative to other primates. Humans retain the primate’s heavy dependence of vision (facial/emotional) for social purposes, and have further adapted the ancient link between the olfactory lobe to the amygdala, for visual-based emotional memory (especially fear) which is stored in the hippocampus. A vision-based system of group identity required adaptations in systems of emotional memories. It also required the development of additional...


Group Identity Emotional Content Social Bond Mirror Neuron Mirror Neuron System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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