The Shrinking Brain
Our Stone Age ancestors had more gray matter than we do. Are we more efficient, or are we not as bright?
John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
“Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.
“That was true for 2 million years of our evolution,&r...
The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.
Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:
- The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
- Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
- Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
- Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!
Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on DiscoverMagazine.com, please log in.