Navigation Links
Why Human Brains Are Smarter Than Chimp Brains
Date:2/4/2012

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Extended synaptic development may explain why humans are intellectually superior to primates, a new study suggests.

During the first few years of life, human babies' mental abilities continue to develop and absorb information and experiences from the environment in a way that far surpasses even the closest primate relatives of humans.

This is due to extended synaptic development, according to the study published online Feb. 1 in the journal Genome Research. The finding sheds new light on the biology and evolution of human brain development, according to the researchers.

"Why can we absorb environmental information during infancy and childhood and develop intellectual skills that chimpanzees cannot?" senior author Philipp Khaitovich, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, asked in a journal news release. "What makes the human brain so special?"

He and his colleagues investigated how genes are read, or expressed, during brain development in young humans, chimps (which are closely related to humans), and macaques, a more distantly related species of primate.

The researchers focused on the prefrontal cortex, a more recently evolved brain region associated with abstract thought, planning, impulse control and problem solving, and the cerebellum, an ancient brain region involved in motor control.

"Among all developmental changes specific to the human brain, one process -- synaptogenesis -- clearly stood out," Khaitovich said.

Synaptogenesis, the foundation of learning and memory in the brain, involves the formation of synaptic connections, strengthening useful connections and eliminating useless connections, he explained.

In humans, peak expression of synaptic genes in the prefrontal cortex doesn't occur until about age five. In chimps and macaques, this occurs in the first year of life. This human-specific change occurs only in the prefrontal cortex, not in the cerebellum.

"Our findings suggest that the human brain remains extremely plastic and susceptible to environmental input during the first five years of life," Khaitovich said. "Our study uncovers one of the important mechanisms potentially involved in evolution of human cognition."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about brain development during childhood and adolescence.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Genome Research, news release, Feb. 1, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Actor and Humanitarian Harrison Ford Assists Operation Smiles Relief Efforts in Haiti
2. Human Dental Technology Leads to Breakthroughs for Pet Dental Health at Sergeants Pet Care Products, Inc.
3. Scripps Health Begins Pioneering Study of Human Tumor Sequencing in Cancer Patients
4. New drug for kidney transplant recipients effective in humans
5. Agility Consulting Partners with pan (Performance Assessment Network) to Bring Custom Private Label Assessment Capability to Human Resource Professionals and Consultants
6. Dolphins health shed light on human and ocean health
7. Dolphins could be ideal model to study human cervical cancer, UF veterinarians say
8. Dolphins May Warn of Health Risks in Humans
9. Inadequate access to opioid-based pain relief is a human rights issue for cancer patients
10. Sociologist expands US conversation on human rights
11. State of Oregon Department of Human Services Selects Netsmart Technologies for Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare Integration Project
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment center for ... Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This annual celebration ... world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often refer to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand ... new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is ... The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now ... and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings ... The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn ... specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand ... all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research and ... Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... for Companion Diagnostics The World Market for ... personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the ... Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, ... Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market ... at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: