Humans have some of the biggest brains and it’s not only for problem solving. Why we have big brains might just surprise you…
Why Are Human Brains So Big?
“There are many ways to try to explain why human brains today are so big compared to those of early humans, but the major cause may be social competition, new research suggests. But with several competing ideas, the issue remains a matter of debate. Compared to almost all other animals, human brains are larger as a percentage of body weight. And since the emergence of the first species in our Homo genus (Homo habilis) about 2 million years ago, the human brain has doubled in size.”
A Potential Role For Glucose Transporters In The Evolution Of Human Brain Size
“Differences in cognitive abilities and the relatively large brain are among the most striking differences between humans and their closest primate relatives. The energy trade-off hypothesis predicts that a major shift in energy allocation among tissues occurred during human origins in order to support the remarkable expansion of a metabolically expensive brain. However, the molecular basis of this adaptive scenario is unknown. Two glucose transporters (SLC2A1 and SLC2A4) are promising candidates and present intriguing mutations in humans, resulting, respectively, in microcephaly and disruptions in whole-body glucose homeostasis.”
Ask A Neuroscientist: Does A Bigger Brain Make You Smarter?
“The relationship between brain size and intelligence, both amongst humans and between different species, has never been particularly well-defined. Humans like to believe that our exceptional cognitive abilities must indicate that we are the kings of the animal kingdom in terms of brain size, or at least that we have the largest brains relative to our body size. As nature would have it, both of these common assumptions are incorrect.”
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