Maybe it’s all about movement
Recently I have been listening to the book Gut by Giulia Enders. It discusses an interesting theory as to the evolution of the brain, movement. The idea is simple, and it is the brain and all it’s complexity was needed to co-ordinate the ever increasing complex nervous, muscles and organs. Movement is necessary for existences as when we are cold we need to move to warmth and when we are hungry we need move to food resources. I think the idea of movement also explains why exercise is such an effective intervention when it comes to mental illness such as depression.
This theory of the brain existing for movement is supported by a lowly ocean filter creature named the sea squirt. The sea squirt starts its life off as a tadpole on a specific journey. This tadpole is looking for a place to settle down for the rest of it’s life. Once the sea squirt tadpole finds a place it thinks is suitable such as a rock, it latches on and goes through a stage of metamorphosis. During this stage it is said that the small number of neurons are digested to help with the metamorphosis. It eats its own brain. The idea being that it no longer needs to move as it has attached itself to a rock where it will grow to filter water and eat the nutrients within.
The idea of the brain evolving for movement is a simple idea but ground breaking. I found it incredible and it shows that often the simple explanations can be overlooked.