Universal Human Commonalities (UHC)

Adrenal Gland

Adrenal Gland and Kidney

The adrenal glands are found on top of the kidneys. These glands interact with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, both found in the brain, to secrete hormones that assist in regulating metabolism and stress. Adrenal glands can be divided into the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla.

Photo Credit: 
EEOC on Wikimedia Commons

Myoglobin

Myoglobin 3D structure

Myoglobin is a protein that all humans have which carries oxygen, deposited in tissue by hemoglobin, to the muscle tissues.

Photo Credit: 
AzaToth on Wikimedia Commons

Epinephrine (Adrenaline)

Chemical structure of epinephrine

When a human finds her- or himself under emotional or physical stress, the brain of the individual signals the adrenal glands to secrete the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. This hormone makes the heart rate increase, which in turn increases oxygen circulation to muscles. With more oxygen, muscles are able to react faster. This is one physiological process that epinephrine facilitates. Researchers are currently determining other processes that this hormone is engaged in.

Photo Credit: 
Acdx on Wikimedia Commons

Evolution of Behavior

Behavior is thought to have evolved through the principles of natural selection: the behaviors that help organisms survive are more likely to appear than those with no benefits. Behaviors that aided in the survival of distant human ancestors were likely passed down to offspring, eventually forming the set of behaviors that make up natural instinct. However, humans are able to consciously act in ways that contradict instinct, either enhancing or harming chances of survival.

Inappropriate Language

Inappropriate language is any form of speech, expression, or gesture that elicits a strong, negative emotion in the recipient. Inappropriate language is found in all cultures, though what is considered inappropriate varies from culture to culture, based on customs. Researchers examined whether individuals internally monitor their speech to prevent inappropriate language from being spoken. In this experiment, researchers elicited speech errors from participants that were either inappropriate or simply incorrect.

Suppression and Language Comprehension

Suppression, in terms of communication, is a cognitive process that interferes with thought and stifles any superfluous or improper information before it can be spoken. Suppression enhances both the effectiveness of communication on the part of the speaker and the ease of understanding on the part of the listener. Studies have shown that suppression affects many aspects of language, including recollection of word meanings, decoding of grammar, and individual differences in language comprehension skills.

Pointing as a Form of Communication in Babies

Pointing is a universal action for babies, used as an elementary form of communication. Before they can speak, babies will often point to objects to alert adults of what they want. “Pointing is a means of making definite reference that is intimately linked to gesture and speech.” When adults speak back to a baby as they point to objects, it creates a link between the baby’s vision and hearing that becomes essential to language development and communication. “Pointing allows visual objects to take on auditory qualities, and this is the royal road to language.”

Synonyms

Synonyms are different words that have identical or similar meanings. Synonymy is one of the least understood semantic relationships in language, mostly because perfect synonyms are rare and “near synonyms” are numerous. Near synonyms are words that are very similar in meaning but may be used in slightly different ways, such as the words ‘high’ and ‘tall’. Some linguists argue that no two synonyms are exactly identical since phonic qualities, etymology, and usage can still differ between words.

Conjecture

Conjecture is an inference or conclusion drawn from incomplete evidence, often through use of presumption or guesswork. Conjecture is an important feature of language, as it allows people to make assumptions about situations without knowing all the facts. This is particularly important in scientific fields, since the hypotheses of most scientific studies involve some degree of conjecture. For example, in the field of linguistics, conjecture is often used by researchers who attempt to study ancient languages.

Organizing Action through Communication

The way that communication is interpreted can differ from one individual to another. The behavior and actions that follow communication are directly linked to how that communication is interpreted. Organized action can occur amongst groups even when individual interpretation of instructions varies within the group.

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