Brain Evolution: Environment May Not Be An Important Factor In Size

International Business Times 

Humans, specifically Homo sapiens, have entrenched themselves at the top of the food chain, something most people take for granted and ascribe to the powers of the human brain. But for all that, scientists don't really understand why our brains evolved to be as large and powerful as they are. A popular theory, which has been around for a long time, is called the cognitive buffer hypothesis, and it says large brains evolved to deal with fast or unexpected changes to the environment, thereby helping with survival. In other words, a variable environment would lead to larger brains among species that live there. But it is difficult to verify this theory using humans, since us modern humans are the only survivors of the Homo genus, and we have nothing to compare with.

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