Future Evolution of the Human Brain

by Arthur Saniotis & Maciej Henneberg


The past course of the evolution of the human brain indicates that its major feature was not so much anatomical change as the alteration of biochemistry and physiology through neurohormonal regulation and neurotransmitter alterations. In the recent, historical past, human brain size decreased during the period of the rapid development of technology and increasingly complex social organization. The human brain is now adapting to an environment dominated by human control. Future evolution of the brain will be a result of conscious manipulation and responses to changing technologies and social organization. Technologically-oriented transhumanists propose artificial enhancements to the biological structure of human brain based on information technology. The importance of brain physiology leads to attempts at chemical manipulation of brains. Pharmacological intervention in the cases of brain malfunction is well established, while the use of psychoactive substances has also produced a vast criminal industry. Systematic, controlled and ethically acceptable pharmacological intervention in human brain functions may provide an alternative, or a complement to information technology intervention into the operation of human minds. Whatever we do, we must recognise that natural forces shaping human brain have been significantly relaxed.

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