Why are our brains smaller than our Pleistocene ancestors? Anthropologists have been scratching their heads about this phenomenon for years now, says Dr. Jeremy DeSilva.
It is said that throughout evolution, the human brain dramatically increased in size. However, 3,000 years ago, something unexpected happened. The human suddenly shrank.
A biological anthropologist, a behavioral ecologist, and an evolutionary neurobiologist decided to put their heads together to try and solve this mystery, and they just might have found a clue to this phenomenon. And they found this clue on the humble little ant.
By studying models and patterns of worker ant brain size, structure, and energy use in some ant clades, the authors posit that the human brains decreased in size to conserve energy. Our increased reliance on collective intelligence and group decision-making through time may also be one of the reasons why our brains got smaller.
Learn more about this study over at Frontiers Science News.
(Image Credit: Pjt56/ Wikimedia Commons)
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