“Social cooperation is our key for survival and reproduction. It is not enough for individual men and women to know the whereabouts of lions and bisons,” he wrote. “It’s much more important for them to know who in their band hates whom, who is sleeping with whom, who is honest and who is a cheat.” This information about which individuals could be trusted — in other words, gossip — allowed early humans not only to survive, but also to expand their tribes. Long hours spent gossiping helped the early humans to forge friendships and hierarchies, which, in turn, helped to establish the social order and cooperation that eventually set them apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.
And with a skill so vital to everyday life, it makes sense that our brains are structured to help us hone it. Gossiping or sharing social knowledge involves retrieving previously acquired information about an individual from our vast social network, a process that’s more complicated than it sounds. In 1992, a seminal research paper in the British Journal of Psychology suggested that names are unique cues that trigger patterns of recall about a person; other studies have examined faces as cues. A 2005 study in the journal Nature, for example, found that a single neuron in the brain was activated when a participant looked at pictures of the actress Halle Berry, but that it failed to do the same for other famous faces. (Interestingly, the same lone cell also responded to an image of Berry’s name, leading one researcher to speculate that it was really responding to “the concept of Halle Berry” more than any one visual image.)
2020 Prisoners of by Choice
Yorkshire Tony and co-driver Paul drove home in mid November. Tony did not live here but he was a faithful gym visitor every morning upto departure. Akkaya Gardens census then totalled Ayhan family of four, Leslie homebuyer Yilmaz, Jane and me. Ayhan & Yilmaz flats are up and inland. Now that Ayhan has moved back to Dalaman, chickens and all, we have no Aycan to translate, no Moustafa to drink our raw cow milk kefir, and our Dedikodu network has been marginalized.