The human ability to recognize patterns in pitch and tempo may emerge from pre-existing abilities in other species.
In other primate species, the brain areas that comprise the default mode network involve two systems that are not strongly connected to each other. The regions, one responsible for cognitive tasks and the other for the suppression of external events, appear to be only recently linked by evolution. This linkage may have facilitated the capacity for abstract thought that lead to the rapid evolution of human cognitive abilities.
Research of lemurs sheds light on the evolutionary origins of musicality in humans.
A new study reports human brain size decreased in size approximately 3,000 years ago, and the brain shrinkage parallels the expansion of collective intelligence in human societies.
The answer to what makes the human brain unique may lie in junk DNA.
Studying 50 species of primates, researchers found 80% of the species studied performed corpse carrying behaviors as a way to process grief. Following the loss of an infant, some primate mothers carried the body for up to four months following death.
Researchers have identified 2,000 genes in humans linked to longevity. The genes are associated with biological mechanisms that drive the prolongation of life in mammals, including DNA repair, coagulation, and immune response.
Almost half of the identified human accelerated regions of the genome appear to act as neurodevelopment enhancers, researchers say. The findings shed new light on the genetic basis of human evolution.
A new study reveals the impact climate played in the evolution of the human brain and body. Studying 300 fossils from the genus Homo found across the globe, researchers found those who lived in colder climates had larger body frames. Larger bodies provided a buffer from colder temperatures. Brain size tended to be larger in those who lived in environments with less vegetation and survived by hunting large animals, a task that involved higher cognitive function.