My opinion

By Dr. Deepak Gupta
Corresponding Author Dr. Deepak Gupta
Self, - United States of America
Submitting Author Dr. Deepak Gupta

Neoteny, Heterochrony, Psychological Neoteny

Gupta D. Nova Neoteny. WebmedCentral PSYCHOLOGY 2021;12(12):WMC005750

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Submitted on: 06 Dec 2021 01:12:08 AM GMT
Published on: 20 Dec 2021 05:04:05 AM GMT

My opinion

Although neoteny is persistence of pre-mature forms like childhood well into the periods of mature forms’ stages like adulthood, age and its corresponding maturity level is just a number doing a number on evolved humans whereby presumption of maturity per age is obviating the need to mature before age. Counterintuitively, neoteny [1-8] may be the in-thing for modern humanity allowing the modern human brains to keep developing at record paces across their entire lifetimes as compared to ancient times when such paces historically might have been seen only during childhood among the ancient humans. The question is whether modern humans are keeping their childhoods alive till their deaths or whether they are reviving their childhoods during their old ages [9] assuming that their childhoods got abandoned or lost or buried during their adulthoods when they were busy rearing their own children. Does that mean that those who forgo siring progeny by being celibate or child-free during their adulthoods are more likely to maintain their childhoods and its potential effects as continual brain developments across their lifetimes [10]? Should so-called “immaturity” among so-called “adults” be celebrated rather than shamed assuming that so-called childish behavior on the outside may be reflecting so-called elasticity of those so-called “immature” persons’ brains inside? Are those choosing to be child-free becoming dependent on others in the societal systems for a lot many essential needs of their bodies while their minds and brains are becoming freer to grow further and further to indirectly contribute in escalating modern human growth despite their own unconceived and unborn genetic descendants missing the fruits of such exponential growth? Essentially, once one’s own child is conceived and born, child rearing takes over which heralds childhood being over whereby one’s own mind and brain growth may need to slow down or shut down to accommodate the needs of one’s own child in whose childhood one’s mind and brain must get invested in to ensure the survival of child for passing the baton of one’s genes’ immortality. This may not be the case when one is literally or figuratively just a germ-cell donor who moves on without investing in child rearing of one’s own biological child. The question arises whether this abandoned or lost or buried childhood is the reason why parents fight with their children [11-16] wherein parents’ abandoned or lost or buried childhoods become too big a cost for parents to consciously or subconsciously ignore or overlook while getting drawn voluntarily or involuntarily into contributing for genetic immortality by investing in rearing their own biological children. This dormant neoteny may be further instigating parents when they are rearing their children in so-called “nuclear” families which may be decaying and disintegrating just like their “nuclear” names unlike extended joint families and communities wherein once in a while parents may get to live and relive their own childhoods allowing their dormant neoteny to have a sigh of relief and a breath of fresh air once in a while secondary to respite child rearing offered and ensured by family and community support persons. Counterintuitively, one may worry whether we may be prolonging helplessness by prolonging childhood; however, prolonging elastic brain development potentially associated with neoteny may nullify some of those concerns; moreover, if grandparents forgo grandchild rearing completely, responsibility of child rearing falls primarily on the shoulders of mothers and their fellow generation women which once-again bind women to child-rearing households thus increasing their grieving periods for abandoning or losing or burying their own childhoods and corresponding neoteny with brain development [17-22]. It may be interesting to explore whether persistence of childhood as active or activated neoteny has allowed the conception and creation of next-age species like artificially intelligent robotics with boundless brains by elastic “childhood” human brains and their neurological/psychological neoteny. Interestingly, ancient humans envisioned themselves living for a full hundred year [23] when almost all of them were dying much earlier than that unless ancient humans might have observed some centenarians among themselves wherein centenarians’ life-histories exemplified nova neoteny with sustained childhoods and corresponding elastic brain developments across their full hundred year-long lifetimes.


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