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Yosarian2 comments on Growing Up is Hard - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 January 2009 03:55AM

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Comment author: Yosarian2 02 January 2013 11:18:08PM 0 points [-]

Well, the brain does seem remarkably adaptable; people who have suffered extreme brain damage can sometimes learn to compensate. Also people who don't use a certain part of the brain for years are sometimes able to re-purpose it for other things. Given time, the brain seems able to re-wire itself to get better at doing tasks using whatever neural resources it has available.

I understand the concerns here, and there certainly are risks, but I think the brain able to adapt to moderate enhancements fairly well, so long as you did so slowly and gave the brain time to properly adapt to and learn to use it's new resources. If you give a human a slightly larger frontal cortex, I think the brain would be able to adapt to the change, and then you could probably make another small enhancement a few years later.

The way evolution seems to have worked with the brain is designing new systems and then letting those systems freely interact with older brain structures, and while it's a cludgy solution, it seems to be a fairly robust one over evolutionary periods of time.

I think the main limiting factor in human brain evolution has been that people with heads larger then a certain size were more likely to die during childbirth during pre-technological times.