Study Links Cooked Food to Early Humans’ Growing Brains

Study Links Cooked Food to Early Humans’ Growing Brains

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Here’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, they’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 São Paulo, Brazil, decided to try and help explain why modern humans’ brains were able to grow so large compared to their body size and why other primates’ 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 – the bigger the brain, the more neurons they had.

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