The prefrontal cortex, which is connected to the medial dorsal nucleus, is a relatively recent addition to the new mammalian brain. It is here that we must return to the cerebellum and the concept of the Quadrune Brain (Prescott, 1983) and its role in the regulation of social-sexual and emotional behaviors and its further role as an integrative system of higher brain systems --the frontal lobe--(the brain of Consciousness) with that of lower brain systems--limbic brain--(the brain of the Sub-Conscious and Unconscious). As Dow (1974) has noted there is an evolutionary significance of the cerebellum that is poorly understood:
This extreme phylogenic development (of the cerebellum) is not related to the cerebral cortex as a whole but specifically to the development of the frontal and temporal association areas whose projection to the pons in man as the fronto-and temporo-pontine fibers makes up one-fifth of the whole of the internal capsule (p.110).
....Something important seems to happen to convulsive phenomena, to a variety of vegetative function, to emotional behavior and perhaps even to the highest level of intellectual function when a cerebellar influence is introduced into the nervous system. Whatever it does to modify the activity of other parts of the brain, it probably does the same thing in all its possible varied roles. Its uniformity of structure throughout vertebrates and within its various division in higher mammals makes this most likely. (p.115)
The evolutionary and developmental significance of the cerebellum in understanding the higher functions of homo sapiens and the cultural evolution of homo sapiens has been uniquely addressed by Torgersen (1954) which merits restatement here:
The data indicate that girls have a larger cerebellum in early childhood, whereas boys probably have a slightly larger cerebral cortex. The rapid growth of the cerebellum in girls parallels the precocious ossification and maturation in the female sex. It is probable that endocrinology in later years has prevailed to such an extent that the role of the central nervous system in maturation has been overlooked. The observations recorded indicate that the cerebellum promotes maturation whereas the cerebral cortex has a retarding effect. This is also what is to be expected considering the importance of a slow maturation rate to the processes of learning involved in cerebral activity. The sex differences in muscular performances have probably appeared too obvious to appeal to the scientific mind. As known, girls generally prefer to put the thread in the needle, boys vice versa. The cerebellar pattern of coordination in girls expresses itself in "grace" and in particular performances like dancing, writing, sewing and not least talking. Stuttering is rare in girls. May this be due to their relatively well developed cerebellum? (p.411).....and
Considering the small muscular mass compared with the apes, man is a cerebellar species. The decrease in brain volume which has taken place since the middle pleistocene probably mainly concerns the cerebral cortex. The remarkable variability of the brain weight with a range of 1000-2000 grams is characteristic of a new specific trait. Man is by far the youngest among the higher species and the human brain (is) in a stage of reorganization which tends to eliminate the cortical representation of ancient structures which are about to lose their functional significance. The net result will be an increase in relative cerebellar weight. Most probably the cerebellum is a "coming" organ in human evolution. The frequent disturbances of coordination in higher cortical functions such as speech, indicate that man is in a stage of what may be called cerebro-cerebellar schizophrenia, the cortex being precociously evolved compared with the cerebellum. As regarding specific traits in man generally, the cerebro-cerebellar proportion evolves towards a feminization of the species and a better coordination. No wonder that men of ideas like Goethe and Bolk did not find it a waste of time to meditate on the craniovertebral border and the folia of the cerebellum, nor that the following generations were stimulated by their ideas. Few fields in morphology show how much modern experimental, genetic and biometric research owes to the knowledge which has been accumulated by earlier generations, and to the inspiration which emanates from morphological tradition (p.416). Although, there may be disagreement with some of these perspectives by Torgersen, there can be little doubt that the evolutionary and developmental significance of the cerebellum in the higher functions of homo sapiens has been seriously underestimated and neglected. This is particularly the case for the human functions of aggression/warfare;sexuality; superstition/religiosity; parapsychism and spirituality.
These latter issues have been addressed by many traditional scientists, as well as, non-traditional thinkers such as Gooch (1980) who has expressed an innovative and extraordinary vision of the role of the cerebellum in human mental life.
The significance of this research proposal goes well beyond the immediate objectives of documenting the effects of a particular onerous perinatal trauma upon the developing brain--genital mutilation. The ultimate significance of this research project addresses some of the most challenging concepts of the brain and behavior in the evolution of the human species, as they have been presented by MacLean (1962, 1990);
The issues of brain evolution and behavior addressed in this proposal must ultimately involve the spiritual dimensions of being human where sexuality is at the core of that spirituality and which has special implications for the role of the feminine in that sexuality and in the survival of the human species itself.
In summary, if the brain systems associated with sexuality, in the broadest meaning of that term, are damaged in the male through genital mutilation and/or other assaults and traumas, then it may never be possible for such males to participate in nor fully understand the higher psychological, (e.g. altruistic, nurturant and spiritual) processes associated with sexual functioning--a functioning that is already burdened and crippled with a psychology of shame and a religion of moral guilt. Positive findings from this research project would illuminate the deep schism of alienation that exists between male and female at the most fundamental neurobiological and neuropsychological levels which, in turn, can only further illuminate the disastrous consequences of such events for the future of the human species.
And the findings from this research project can only contribute to that "morphological tradition" that can yield "inspiration" for future generations.