The Hot Brain
Survival, Temperature, and the Human BodyeBook - 2000
From the first unicellular life on Earth, living things have had the capacity tosense heat and cold and to avoid extreme temperatures. With the development of a bigger brain and aconstant body temperature, mammals were able to change their habitats. The interplay betweenbehavior, body temperature, and ambient temperature may have played a crucial role in humanevolution. In this book Carl Gisolfi and Francisco Mora tell the evolutionary story of the brain andthermoregulation, with an emphasis on modern humans.
The book first traces thestory of the brain throughout evolution and shows how the control of body temperature as a survivalmechanism was achieved. It then goes on to discuss the mechanisms of our environmental independence,why a body temperature of 37° C (only five degrees from death) is essential for humans and howthis narrow temperature range is defended. It describes how we cope with environmental extremes, thefunction of fevers, and why thermoregulation is best understood through a combination ofphysiological and cognitive approaches. It also addresses such questions as "Can we cool the brain?"and "Is the elevation in brain temperature (a hot brain) the reason we stop exercising?"
The book traces the story of the brain throughout evolution and shows how the controlof body temperature as a survival mechanism was achieved.