The human brain, like that of other animals, has evolved over time, but with notable distinctions. While organisms at lower levels of evolutionary development have limited awareness of their emotions, humans possess a sophisticated capacity for experiencing, recognizing and contemplating their emotions (Damasio & Carvalho, 2013).
Additionally, humans possess the unique ability to think in words, a characteristic known as executive function (Diamond, 2013). The development of executive functions, associated with the prefrontal cortex, has allowed humans to engage in advanced thinking processes, including planning, problem solving and decision making. These executive functions are closely tied to the ability to manipulate language, giving rise to our sophisticated communication skills (Gooch et al., 2016).
Language holds paramount importance for humans, shaping our cognition and social interactions. Our early learning is largely based on what is referred to as Relational Frames.Through reasoning, rather than mere instructions, humans acquire knowledge. This function involves understanding the complex relationships between words and concepts (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes and Roche, 2001).
This cognitive process has led to the expansion of the outer layers of the human brains, surpassing that of any other animal. Notably, the size of this expanded area is indicative of an animal’s socialization abilities (Byrne and Whiten, 1988). Humans, along with hyenas, elephants and dolphins, possess large prefrontal areas, enabling them to socialize with approximately 140 others (Barton and Venditti, 2013).
The human brain evolved to support language and socialization, giving rise to concepts such as the CQ:Communication Quotient™ and CI: Communication Intelligence™. These concepts emphasize how humans engage with others through language skills and relational framing, enabling effective communication and social integration.
Damasio, A. R., & Carvalho, G. B. (2013). The nature of feelings: Evolutionary and neurobiological origins. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(2), 143-152. doi: 10.1038/nrn3403
Diamond, A. (2013). Executive functions. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 135-168. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143750
Gooch, D., Thompson, P., Nash, H. M., Snowling, M. J., & Hulme, C. (2016). The development of executive function and language skills in the early school years. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(2), 180-187.
Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition. New York: Plenum Press.
Byrne, R. W., & Whiten, A. (1988). Machiavellian intelligence: Social expertise and the evolution of intellect in monkeys, apes, and humans. Oxford University Press
Barton, Robert A., and Chris Venditti. "Human frontal lobes are not relatively large." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110.22 (2013): 9001-9006.