ARC number: 26
(Technical Id number: 40)
|Author(s): ||Ernandes, Michele|
|Title: ||Neurobiology and Aztec Cannibalism: A First Encounter and Possible Convergences.|
|Category: ||note, discussion paper|
|Length (pages): ||14|
|Keywords: ||nutrition and religion; cannibalism; serotonin; triune brain|
|Abstract: ||Neuronal synthesis of serotonin depends on the plasma “trp/Large Neutral Amino Acids” ratio, because of competition made by LNAAs against tryptophan for neuron access. “Trp/LNAAs” ratio value, in turn, tends to be correlated with amino acid composition of the diet: So a low “trp/LNAAs” ratio diet lowers brain serotonin synthesis. Serotonin deficiency involves several behavioural consequences such as tendency towards aggressive behaviour, increase of intraspecific competition, increase of magic thought or religious fanaticism.
Among cereals utilised for human feeding, maize has a very low “trp/LNAAs” value.
Maize was firstly and largely utilized by Native American peoples: This is particularly interesting in the study of the Aztec human sacrifice/cannibalism complex. Historical data reveal that cannibalism occurred in period of the year when maize dependence was greater, supporting the hypothesis of Ernandes and co-workers (that is here reported) that serotonin deficiency among the Aztecs might have accentuated their religious and aggressive behavior patterns on the one hand, and on the other it might have led them, unconsciously, towards anthropophagy in order to attenuate it (rising “trp/LNAAs” value by means of human proteins) when it became too strong.
|Email: ||ernandes @ unipa.it|
|Downloadable files: ||ARC-26-Neurobiology and Aztec Cannibalism for ARC.doc|
|Submitted:||05/12/2009 19:09:54 (DD / MM / YYYY)|
|Published:||05/12/2009 22:05:44 (DD / MM / YYYY)|