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Evolution and the Emergent SelfThe Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature$
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Raymond Neubauer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231150705

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231150705.001.0001

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The Evolution of Personality

The Evolution of Personality

(p.113) 6 The Evolution of Personality
Evolution and the Emergent Self

Raymond L. Neubauer

, Xuan Yue
Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the evolution of personality in two species that live in very different habitats and have very different brain architectures: elephants and dolphins. Complex societies and communication, innovation, tool use, play, and individual recognition are a constellation of qualities that has been emerging in a variety of lineages, including Homo sapiens. They are a suite of traits found in large-brained, slowly developing animals that use behavioral versatility and insight learning to survive in their niches. They are an extension of the K-selected, equilibrium strategies that life has used since earliest times as one way of remaining adapted to an ever-changing environment. Life has increased in information content over time, and a summit of this process is a personality with wide behavioral versatility. This chapter first describes brain size in dolphins and elephants and proceeds by discussing their complex social relationships, tool use, communication, self-recognition in front of a mirror, and behavioral variation.

Keywords:   personality, brain, elephants, dolphins, behavioral versatility, brain size, social relationships, tool use, communication, self-recognition

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