It has been just reported the fact that a hidden catalyst in the human brain evolution has been discovered. Check out the latest reports about this below.
Human brain evolution is addressed
The human brain is a remarkable product of evolution, but how it evolved from a smaller primate brain into the complex and creative organ we have today remains a mystery.
Scientists have been able to identify the period during which our evolutionary ancestors developed larger brains, which tripled in size as our ancestors evolved from the bipedal primates known as Australopithecines.
However, the reason behind this change is still unknown. While some scientists suggest that the use of fire and the invention of cooking provided our ancestors with enough nourishment for larger-brained ancestors to become dominant, a new theory suggests that fermentation may have played a key role in this development.
Erin Hecht, an assistant professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, suggests that the secret to the growth of our brains lies in our diet. According to one of the authors of a recently published study in Nature Communications Biology, brain tissue requires a lot of energy.
“It requires a lot of calories to keep it running, and in most animals, having enough energy just to survive is a constant problem.”
In order for larger-brained Australopiths to survive, there must have been a change in their diet. Theories suggest that their diet may have changed or that the discovery of cooking allowed them to obtain more usable calories from their food.
However, the problem with this theory is that the earliest evidence of the use of fire dates back to approximately 1.5 million years ago, which is significantly later than the development of the hominid brain.
“Our ancestors’ cranial capacity began increasing 2.5 million years ago, which conservatively gives us about a 1-million-year gap in the timeline between brain size increasing and the possible emergence of cooking technology,” explained Katherine L. Bryant, one of the paper’s co-authors and currently a researcher at the Institute for Language, Communication, and the Brain at Aix-Marseille Université in France.
“Some other dietary change must have been releasing metabolic constraints on brain size, and fermentation seems like it could fit the bill.”
Added Hecht: “Whatever changed in their diets had to have happened before brains started getting bigger.” Check out more reports about the matter in the original article posted by SciTechDaily.