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:2/7/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 ... ... its new MyDecision™ program. MyDecision™ empowers employers and organizations with the tools and ... , MyDecision™ combines three elements to cut the cost of providing employee healthcare ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Shark Finds and Kevin Harrington, along with the ... campaign with Belly Bands. , Having a dog is great—except when it wets every ... find nothing works, get Belly Bands, the easiest way to stop dogs from ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Lake City, UT (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... Activz Whole-Food Nutrition , announced that the much-anticipated feature with author Jahnavi Foster, specialist ... Cool Humans Amateur TV Network. , Each week, on his weekly Whole-Food Warrior TV ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for the ... toes. Foot massage, whether administered by a professional masseuse or a loved one, can ... Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) has taken the upcoming Valentine’s Day ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... independent PROSHRED franchises from across the country gathered at the La Valencia Hotel ... top performers. PROSHRED Chicago was named the year’s most outstanding franchise, walking ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , February 5, 2016 ... Research report states that the global active pharmaceuticals ingredients ... is predicted to reach US$185.9 bn by 2020. It ... from 2014 to 2020. The title of the report ... Manufactured, by Geography, and by Therapeutic Area) - Global ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Site Profile: --> ... Recognition People, announced their latest primary healthcare case study where speech ... times and to save the practice money. Site Profile: ... Challenge: --> ,- Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client ... ,- Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since 2013 Challenge: ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  The Senior ... and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz ... for holding today,s hearing , "Developments in ... price increases and growing questions about abusive pharmacy ... Chaffetz (R-UT) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: