Sept. 9, 2022 – “What we found is one gene that certainly contributes to making us human,” said Wieland Huttner, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, and one of the authors of the study.
The human brain allows us to do things that other living species cannot, such as using full-blown language and making complicated plans for the future. For decades, scientists have been comparing the anatomy of our brain with that of other mammals to understand how those sophisticated faculties evolved.
The most obvious feature of the human brain is its size — four times as large as that of chimpanzees, our closest living relatives. Our brain also has distinctive anatomical features. The region of the cortex just behind our eyes, known as the frontal lobe, is essential for some of our most complex thoughts. According to a study from 2018, the human frontal lobe has far more neurons than the same region in chimpanzees does.