Sunday, December 13, 2015

From Tearing Europe Apart by Yanko Tsvetkov

From Tearing Europe Apart by Yanko Tsvetkov.
Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, who specializes in studying primate brains, once determined that the amount of human individuals in a functional social group cannot exceed 150. This limit, he argued, is a direct function of relative neocortex size. In other words, we don’t have the physical capacity to maintain a meaningful connection with a larger number of people because there is a shortage of drawers in our brain, where we can store all the necessary gossip.
I am familiar with Dunbar's work and have been intrigued by it. I mention it here not for its novelty but simply because I don't think I have mentioned it before and yet it represents one of those possible limits which so deeply affect circumstances, often without our being aware of their influence.

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