Neanderthal's brain developed differently than modern man's

Neanderthal's brain developed differently than modern man's

Researchers from the Max Planck Society have shown that the neuronal stem cells of a modern human brain spend more time preparing their chromosomes for separation than the Neanderthals, which results in fewer errors in the distribution of chromosomes into sub-cells and may have implications for the development and functioning of the brain.

Scientists have explored the importance of replacing six amino acids in three proteins that play a key role in the distribution of chromosomes during cell division, such proteins were also found in Neanderthals, but their composition was slightly different.

To explore the significance of these changes for the development of neocortex, scientists have explored the effects of replacing protein elements on mice. In these animals, the composition of amino acids in these proteins is identical to Neanderthals in these six amino acids, so the changes have made them a model of the developing modern human brain.

We have discovered that the three amino acids of modern man in two proteins cause a longer metaphase, a phase in which chromosomes prepare for cell separation, and this leads to a smaller error when chromosomes are distributed among the sub-cells of nerve stem cells, like modern humans.

To verify whether a set of amino acids has the opposite effect, researchers have introduced genetic amino acids into the organoids of the human brain, a miniatural organotype structure grown from human stem cells that simulate the early development of the human brain.

Researchers believe that this evolutionary mechanism protects modern human beings from chromosomal division errors and promotes cognitive functions, and research shows that some aspects of the evolution and functioning of modern human brains may not depend on their size, as they are the same for non-Anderthals and modern humans.