Chimpanzee Human Brain Development Intelligence – Business Insider
Despite sharing 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, humans have much bigger brains and are, as a species, much more intelligent.
Now a new study sheds light on why: Unlike chimps, humans undergo a massive explosion in white matter growth, or the connections between brain cells, in the first two years of life.
The new results, published today (Dec. 18) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, partly explain why humans are so much brainier than our nearest living relatives.
But they also reveal why the first two years of life play such a key role in human development.
“What’s really unique about us is that our brains experience rapid establishment of connectivity in the first two years of life,” said Chet Sherwood, an evolutionary neuroscientist at George Washington University, who was not involved in the study.
“That probably helps to explain why those first few years of human life are so critical to set us on the course to language acquisition, cultural knowledge and all those things that make us human.”