Study Links Cooked Food to Early Humans’ Growing Brains
Hereâ€™s something for raw-food aficionados to chew on: Cooked food might be a big reason humans were able to grow such large brains compared to their body size, scientists say. If modern human ancestors had eaten only raw food, theyâ€™d have to regularly feed more than nine hours a day, according to a study published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A pair of researchers in SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil, decided to try and help explain why modern humansâ€™ brains were able to grow so large compared to their body size and why other primatesâ€™ brains did not. They looked at the relative brain-to-neuron-counts of a host of primates, from owl monkeys to baboons. For the most part, these primates followed a linear pattern â€“ the bigger the brain, the more neurons they had.