There is startling evidence which appears to suggest that humans owe their big brains to a DNA ‘typo’ in their genetic coding. Research indicates that this mutation was inherited from human’s evolutionary ‘cousins,’ the Neanderthals and Denisovans.
Nonetheless, there is no evidence of this mutation in chimpanzees—human’s closest living creature. Larger brains developed as a result of continuous human evolution. Expansion of the neocortex region of the brain was discovered to be pushed by a human gene. Scientists added that the gene came about 5-6 million years ago post the human-chimpanzee line split.
The modern human’s brain weighs over (1,352) i.e. almost 4 times that of a chimpanzee (384g). This discovery explains how humans evolved big brains. The size of brain boosts the number of brain cells found in the region. The research led by Dr. Wieland Huttner from Germany revealed that the gene is fixed in the human genome and all living humans have the gene thus offspring will also have a big brain.
The ancestors of modern humans began walking upright between 2 to 6 million years ago. During this period of evolution, their brain size began increasing. Humans started using tools and spreading all over the earth adapting to all environments. Just over 800, 000 years ago, the human brain experienced further growth.
Be as it may, the question of how early humans developed big brains is till yet to be satisfactorily answered. Also, researchers need to know its relation to human intelligence and thinking abilities.
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