Cognitive Behavioral Therapies Master of Science Program
Department of Psychology & Psychotherapy; Titu Maiorescu University

Evolution, brain and the human mind

The purpose of evolutionary psychology is, on one hand, to understand the human behavior oriented to transmitting genes from a generation to another and on the other hand, to discover and understand the human mind architecture, starting from the principles of evolutionist biology (Buss, 2015).

Evolution is thought to be an endless repetition of reproduction, so each generation takes the genes, passed on by the previous generation, and transmits them to the next generation alongside small random errors (mutations). Through these small steps, from each generation to the next, the genetic difference from the initial ancestor can become considerably large, the offspring of each generation being different from its parent (Dawkins, 1986). It should be taken into notice that the selection in which the offspring moves on is not random; the natural selection from the Darwinist perspective intervenes.

Evolution states that modern organisms present a structural diversity, from simple to complex, which reflect an evolutionist past and not an instantaneous creation (Tooby, & Cosmides, 1990). In this evolution chain the human is capable of hierarchical thinking, of understanding a structure made of elements arranged in a model, representing this arrangement with a symbol and the use of symbol as an element of another complex configuration (LeDoux, 1998). This capacity has its center in the neo-cortex, which for humans has reached such a complexity that we can call these models “ideas”.

Keywords: evolution; brain; human mind