A new wave of scientific discoveries has taken the world by surprise. A new study in the field of neurology and brain anatomy suggests that human brain is very malleable.
A joint operation, that put together a team of scientists, hailing from prestigious universities, such as Georgia State University, George Washington University and The Cancer Center from the University of Texas, has uncovered some stunning facts when comparing the human brain to the chimp’s brain.
According to their findings, it would seem that the human brain possesses a higher degree of plasticity, meaning that the human brain is very malleable and it is capable of responding and adapting to any number of environmental changes.
In order to see the differences in plasticity in both brains, the team of researchers conducted tests on 218 human brains and 208 monkey brains. The team wanted to see if there is a direct link between brain size, genetical background and anatomical structure.
All of the brain were mapped using an MRI machine, which scanned the structure and then provided a 3D computer models.
What did the researchers actually find? It would seem that the brain area, or more specific, the genome part that is responsible for brain growth and size, is similar in both species. Both human and chimp brains are influenced by their genetical background when it comes to the size of their brain.
However, while similar in brain size, there is something that radically differentiates us from the chimp, in term of brain evolution. When comparing the area that actually dictates cerebral structures, the team of scientists discovered that there is a huge discrepancy. While the chimp’s brain structure in inherited, it would seem that our own brain structure is highly dependent on the environment. Basically, the anatomy of the chimp’s brain is dictated by genetics, while ours is dictated by the environment, more specifically by changes that take place in our familiar environment.
By deciphering how the human brain developed over the course of time, researchers will be able to devise new techniques that can help patients who suffer from cerebral disorders.
However, the scientists did say that our ability to evolve and adapt could ultimately lead to our downfall. Professor William Hopkins, from the Neuroscience Institute, stated the human brain’s versatility could leave it vulnerable to a myriad of neurodegenerative diseases.
The result were thoroughly noted and catalogue, and their conclusions have been published in the PNAS journal.