Saturday, April 30, 2011

Monkeys, Brains, and Human Evolution: New Findings

Two recently conducted studies may add some possible new revelations related to our understanding of human or primate evolution. In one, researchers have concluded that certain monkeys, like humans, have the ability to recall or remember things and then even apply those memories to novel situations, suggesting the possibility that recollection did not necessarily depend upon language and that this ability may have been present in a common primate ancestor 30 million years ago. In another, researchers are suggesting that a single gene mutation may have controlled or directed the evolution of the cerebral cortex of the human brain over the last 5 million years.

Study No. 1

Having a memory like a monkey may not be quite as bad as it sounds. A recent study conducted by Benjamin Basile and Robert Hampton of Emory University shows that rhesus monkeys are capable of not only recognizing things they have seen before, but can also recollect or recall images and impressions from the past by recreating them in a new situation.

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