Sunday, November 14, 2010

EVEN THOUGH BRAINS OF NEANDERTHALS ARE BIGGER, DOES NOT MEAN THEY WERE SMARTER THAN HOMO SAPIENS

The brains of Neanderthals and humans were similar at birth but developed differently in the first year of life, according to a German study.

Brains of newborn human babies and Neanderthals, who became extinct about 28,000 years ago, were about the same size and appear almost identical at first, said the research which appeared in the journal Current Biology.

But after birth and particularly during the first year of life the differences in development are stark, said lead author Phillipp Gunz of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

"There was a huge difference in the way they grew their brain compared to modern humans in the first one-and-a-half and two years," Gunz told AFP.

The human brain began much more activity in neural circuitry in the first year of life, which may have helped early Homo sapiens survive in the process of natural selection, the study said.

"The interesting thing is within modern humans, the size of the brain correlates only very weakly with any measure of intelligence," he said. "It's more the internal structure of the brain that is important." But we think that internal structures must have been different because they grew differently, so we don't think the Neanderthal saw the world as we do."

http://news.discovery.com/human/brains-neanderthals-humans.html

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