About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Bigger Brains in Humans is Being Attributed to Cooked Food

by Savitha C Muppala on July 18, 2010 at 9:54 AM
Font : A-A+

 Bigger Brains in Humans is Being Attributed to Cooked Food

Humans' big brains is being attributed to the consumption of cooked food, scientists have revealed.

According to one controversial evolutionary theory, early humans developed a taste for cooked food around 2 million years ago, and this set in motion a series of changes that made us utterly different from any other animal.

Advertisement

Now, scientists have presented fresh evidence in support of the idea - and it all comes down to how you chew.

Christopher Organ of Harvard and Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and Charles Nunn and Richard Wrangham at Harvard University had predicted that if humans are uniquely adapted to eating cooked food, then we should spend far less time chewing than other primates, as cooked food tends to be softer than raw food.
Advertisement

To test this, they gathered data from various primate species and looked at the correlation between chewing time and body size, taking into account how the different species were related to each other.

A primate species of our size should, in theory, spend 48 per cent of the waking day chewing, they found. Yet on average we chew for less than 10 per cent of the day, says Organ.

The team found that we have small molars for our body size.

"In H. erectus the molars are considerably smaller than in the earlier hominids," New Scientist quoted Leslie Aiello, president of the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in New York, as saying.

For Wrangham, cooking is the explanation. Around 1.8 to 2 million years ago, he says, H. erectus or perhaps an immediate ancestor acquired a taste for food that had accidentally fallen into a fire.

Because the cell walls in cooked food are already partially broken down, it needs less chewing and is easier to digest. Wrangham argues the additional energy humans gained allowed them to evolve bigger brains and build complex social relationships. He points out that the fossil record suggests the size of hominin brains grew rapidly around this time.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Ataxia Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
Big Brains Linked to Better Life and Reproduction
Anthropologists from Duke University and the University of Zurich have found that the extra ......
Memory Loss may Be Averted in People With Big Brains
The bigger your brain is, the lesser you are prone to memory loss, says a new study stating that ......
Babies' Brains Flexible - Why?
The reason why a baby's brain is flexible and changes easily has been discovered by scientists, who ...
Study: Our Brains Store Templates for Our Own Ringtones
A new study indicates that the human brain is wired to hear familiar sounds, such as a person's ......
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use