Researchers from the University of Reading and Durham University in the United Kingdom found other regions of the brain, such as the cerebellum, played an unexpected but essential role in the expansion of the human brain. These areas of the brain should get more attention because they are not only involved in cognition (mental abilities) but also disorders, such as autism and dyslexia, the study authors pointed out.
“Probably the most widespread assumption about how the human brain evolved is that size increase was concentrated in the frontal lobes,” study lead author Robert Barton, from the anthropology department at Durham, explained in a university news release.
“It has been thought that frontal lobe expansion was particularly crucial to the development of modern human behavior, thought and language, and that it is our bulging frontal lobes that truly make us human,” he said. “We show that this is untrue: Human frontal lobes are exactly the size expected for a non-human brain scaled up to human size.”
Barton added that other areas of the brain considered to be more primitive, such as the cerebellum, were just as important during human evolution.
In conducting the research, the researchers examined data coming from previous human and animal research. Using a new method, these people analyzed the speed of evolutionary modify. The investigators found human frontal lobes would not evolve particularly fast after your split from chimpanzee lineage.
As opposed to the size of the frontal lobes, the study authors suggested higher human intelligence is the result of extensive brain networks linking many different parts of the brain. The structure of these networks might be more critical for intelligence than the dimensions of one region of the human brain.
The study was published in the May 13 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Source: HealthDay News