Shrewsbury School

Darwin Society Lecture: 'Evolutionary mismatch and the brain'

Thursday 22 February 2018

On Friday 2nd February, we welcomed Professor Frederick Toates of the Open University to give the fourth of this year’s enrichment lectures for the Darwin Society, entitled 'Evolutionary mismatch and the brain'.

He gave an interesting and topical talk on how the present environment is very different from that in which we evolved and yet our brains’ evolution took place largely in the early environment of hunting and gathering. This creates what is termed ‘evolutionary mismatch’ between brain and environment.

Professor Toates described how this evolutionary mismatch can give powerful insight into a number of phenomena of modern life, such as addictions, depression, obesity and social exclusion. However, understanding this principle can also give insight into how motivational processes of the brain work in particular the ‘wanting’ and ‘likely’ analogy.

He also linked this to the modern digital world and how this has impacted on social psycho behaviour.

This was a thought-probing and entertaining talk and gave an excellent insight into the field of biological psychology.

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