Humans don't use as much brainpower as we like to think and are on a par with shrews, lemurs and pygmy marmosets

Mail Online | 10/31/2017 | Mark Prigg For
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We aren't quite as exceptional as we like to think when it comes to brainpower, researchers have revealed.

Scientists have long believed humans devote a larger share of their daily calories to their brains than other animals.

Study - Case - Species - Treeshrew - Lemurs

However, a new study has found this isn't the case - and that species like the pen-tailed treeshrew, lemurs and pygmy marmosets devote as much of their body energy to their brains as we do.

Although the human brain makes up only 2 percent of body weight, it consumes more than 25 percent of our baseline energy budget.

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The new study, published in the Journal of Human Evolution, compared the relative brain costs of 22 species.

'We don't have a uniquely expensive brain,' said study author Doug Boyer of Duke University.

Dogma - Evolution - Studies

'This challenges a major dogma in human evolution studies.'

Boyer and his graduate student Arianna Harrington decided to see how humans stack up in terms of brain energy uptake.

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Because energy travels to the brain via blood vessels, which deliver a form of sugar called glucose, the researchers measured the cross-sectional area of the bony canals that enclose the cranial arteries.

By coupling these measurements with previously published estimates of brain glucose uptake and internal skull volume as an indicator of brain size, they examined seven species, including mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, monkeys and humans.

Researchers - Canals - Arteries - Blood - Brain

The researchers were able to show that larger canals enclose arteries that deliver more blood, and thus glucose, to the brain.

Then, using a statistical technique called multiple regression,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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