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The large size of the human brain is what makes us (arguably) the most intelligent creatures on Earth, but new research surprisingly reveals our brains may have been slowly shrinking from about 3,000 years ago. Are we getting less smart? Scientists aren’t ready to declare that ye...
Researchers have found that for much of human evolutionary history our brains kept growing. In fact, if you count from our last shared ancestors with chimpanzees six million years ago, the human brain size almost quadrupled. This happened thanks in part to the im...
Previous research estimated that, over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human brain went from 1,500 cubic centimeters (cc) to 1,350 cc — shrinking by about 150 cc...
The big question of course is, “Why is our evolution going in reverse?". The interdisciplinary research team, which included a biological anthropologist, a behavioral ecologist and an evolutionary neurobiologist, write i...
Interestingly, the researchers also suggest that the advent of writing around 5,000 years ago likely had a pronounced effect on the “neural architectures” of individual human brains by increasing the power of group cognition. Decision-making by an increasingly interconnect...
The research team focused specifically on creating computational models that represent patterns of worker ant brain size and energy use, looking at groups of Oecophylla weaver ants, Atta leafcutter ants, and the common garden ant Formica. What they found is that collectiv...
While this research doesn’t have definitive answers on what affected the changing volume of our brains, the new modeling is a fascinating step forward in getting closer to a fuller picture of our evolutionary transformation.
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