There are many processes at many levels that contribute to the phenomenon called intelligence. These processes are approached from fields ranging from cellular chemistry and neurology to psychology and sociology. Instead of a complete treatment of these specific processes, I will focus on general principles that seem to appear throughout these processes.
Unmistakably, the brain plays a role that is central to intelligence. Instead of only investigating the biological brain as it is now (section 2.1.1), it also is interesting to know how and why it evolved into its current form (section 2.2). These evolutionary principles are critical to the subsequent chapter concerning artificial implementations.
When trying to pinpoint what is essential to human intelligence, a comparison of Homo Sapiens Sapiens to earlier hominids and close relatives (apes) provides valuable insights, since only at this very late stage the biggest increase in intelligence arose (anthropology view, section 2.5).