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Science Shows Why You’re Smarter Than a Neanderthal

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posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 12:13 AM
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Abstract on the paper

Previous research has identified morphological differences between the
brains of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans (AMHs). However,
studies using endocasts or the cranium itself are limited to investigating
external surface features and the overall size and shape of the brain. A comp-
lementary approach uses comparative primate data to estimate the size of
internal brain areas. Previous attempts to do this have generally assumed
that identical total brain volumes imply identical internal organization.
Here, we argue that, in the case of Neanderthals and AMHs, differences in
the size of the body and visual system imply differences in organization
between the same-sized brains of these two taxa. We show that Neanderthals
had significantly larger visual systems than contemporary AMHs (indexed by
orbital volume) and that when this, along with their greater body mass, is
taken into account, Neanderthals have significantly smaller adjusted endocra-
nial capacities than contemporary AMHs. We discuss possible implications
of differing brain organization in terms of social cognition, and consider
these in the context of differing abilities to cope with fluctuating resources
and cultural maintenance.

Smithsonian article on this subject




The overall explanation for why Neanderthals went extinct while we survived, of course, is more complicated. Emerging evidence points to the idea that Neaderthals were smarter than previously thought, though perhaps not smart enough to outmaneuver humans for resources. But not all of them had to—in another major 2010 discovery,a team of researchers compared human and Neanderthal genomes and found evidence that our ancestors in Eurasia may have interbred with Neanderthals, preserving a few of their genes amidst our present-day DNA.



The actual paper

New insights into differences in brain organization between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans

Conclusion (part of) from the paper

Whereas AMHs appear to have concentrated neural investment in social adaptations to solve ecological problems,
Neanderthals seem to have adopted an alternative strategy that involved enhanced vision coupled with retention of the
physical robusticity of H. heidelbergensis , but not superior social cognition. For instance, only in Neanderthals, not
AMHs, does body mass , and hence brain volume ncrease over time. While the physical response to high latitude
conditions adopted by Neanderthals may have been very effective at first, the social response developed by AMHs seems to
have eventually won out in the face of the climatic instability that characterized high-latitude Eurasia at this time.




posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 02:26 AM
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Comparing the size of those skulls you would suggest they were much robust and larger then the homosapien.
So in strength one would think that the neanderthal would be supreme in their time.


 But not all of them had to—in another major 2010 discovery,a team of researchers compared human and Neanderthal genomes and found evidence that our ancestors in Eurasia may have interbred with Neanderthals, preserving a few of their genes amidst our present-day 


So reading this I would think it's other way around . That they raped the homosapien woman to cause the interbreed?



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 04:37 AM
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a reply to: 0bserver1

That is an intersting theory. Perhaps their penchant for raping homo sapien women got them voted off the island by homo sapien men. Maybe they were hunted to extinction by our angry forbears. I am of the opinion that there was some kind of genetic mismatch between the two species which rarely resulted in fertile offspring when they interbred.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 05:16 AM
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a reply to: Hanslune

I wonder if there is another thing and that was simply friendship and cooperation. They may have started out as enemies but if faced with hostility from the animal kingdom its not that unlikely that these two species would not have cooperated in dealing with a common enemy and fought side by side if circumstances necessitated it. In Israel we know they lived close to each other and humanity's natural instinct seems to help each other. I suspect they could communicate quite easily, probably upset each others groups often, but when the chips were down and threatened43 why should we not also give the thought they cooperated some consideration?

Neanderthal I read was built for colder climes but could not adapt to the warmer ones yet seemed to have been living in many places that would have challenged their physiology well before the so-called last ice-age. So we know he could cope within certain ranges of temperature and survive.

The idea of raping Hsaps obviously could have hapened but what about finding a hsaps child or neanderthal child and adopting them into the tribe and then their breeding later - the possibilities are so endless its impossible to be sure about each and every situation.

I don't think we should assume the worst type of scenarios because its only what 1 in 12 psychopaths so the huge majority could easily have cooperated happily enough in those times. Also why is it so taboo about our having neanderthal genes within our genome? If we do, we do - so what?



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 06:08 AM
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I guess they only used less than 10% of their brain
but still if its bigger than homosapien brains then they still use more than us, this is a stupid study based on absolutely nothing but assumption, conjecture and 10% brain stupidity

Some people make stuff up with out thinking



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:11 AM
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originally posted by: borntowatch
I guess they only used less than 10% of their brain
but still if its bigger than homosapien brains then they still use more than us, this is a stupid study based on absolutely nothing but assumption, conjecture and 10% brain stupidity


and this is a stupid post based on zero knowledge of the topic. especially when you bandy about anachronisms pertaining to percentages of brain used by any species. we all use all of our brains and you're entirely excluding the FACT that in primates, brain size is measurably proportionate to body size and mass. HSN had more mass than contemporary AMH as well as current HSS populations.



Some people make stuff up with out thinking


as you demonstrate with increasing regularity



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:21 AM
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originally posted by: 0bserver1
Comparing the size of those skulls you would suggest they were much robust and larger then the homosapien.

So reading this I would think it's other way around . That they raped the homosapien woman to cause the interbreed?



There were likely rape episodes from both sides of that equation. It wouldn't be restricted solely to HSN. As Shiloh7points out, there are sights in the Levant(Northern Israel up to Central Lebanon) where both species occupied not just the same general area but the same sites. The Lithic technology utilized by Neanderthal prior to the arrival of AMH was actually superior to that of AMH who soon adopted the technology(though they also eventually improved upon it). To me, there was at least some level of cooperation and I believe very strongly cohabitation, based on the fact that there are grave sites containing remains of both species that are contemporary. This indicates they were burying their dead together and that simply isn't something you do to an aggressor or enemy. It implies friendly and, in my opinion, familial bonds based on working together and sharing the same sites. It's a hypothesis that clearly needs more research and I have not had the chance to do such work in several years but fingers crossed that may change soon.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:25 AM
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It has been suggested that we were hunter-gathers that followed the herds south as the ice age grew and that the Neanderthals were more fishermen, gathers, farmers and so did not move as the ice age overcame them to a point they could not recover from. In the end it was all luck for us since we got down to about 10,000 humans on the planet and that is why there is little DNA diversity in humans today.

One other question...is that homo sapiens scull as old as the Neanderthals? Who is to say we were smarter back then...

Lastly there wasn't much interbreeding past a very early stage of homo sapiens since the Neanderthals genome is a very low percentage across most of the population. If there was, lets say in the last 60,000 years, we would have spikes of more percentages in our population and we do not.
edit on 17-12-2014 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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a reply to: Hanslune

Excellent, I'm pretty thrilled to see this paper finally published as I've been following the research for a little while now.
The conclusions are pretty compelling though I'm not sure I totally agree with all of them, particularly that the lesser social capacity helped lead to their demise. I believe we have discussed previously and found that we both came to the same conclusion that disease likely played a large role in that regard. I also believe that in the next few years that line of research will be picked back up and either confirmed or ruled out due to new advances in sequencing technology. I think that we will be able to find traces of viral DNA in the MtDNA and should be looking in the same time frame as the skulls used in this particular study. I do agree though with the conclusions relating to size of the occiput in relation to brain size/usage. It makes me kind of mad that we didn't have the capability to do this type of work 15 years ago whewn I was researching it but it's definitely the kick in the teeth I need to get off my ass now that all my kids are in school and I actually have time to do the appropriate research again. looks like I'm sending out some applications over the next few weeks to see what programs I can get into!



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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originally posted by: Xtrozero
It has been suggested that we were hunter-gathers that followed the herds south as the ice age grew and that the Neanderthals were more fishermen, gathers, farmers and so did not move as the ice age overcame them to a point they could not recover from. In the end it was all luck for us since we got down to about 10,000 humans on the planet and that is why there is little DNA diversity in humans today.


I would disagree with their lack of mobility. Post Toba as temperatures dropped globally, this expanded the available habitat for Neanderthal and we see some populations moving into the Middle East into what is present day Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.


One other question...is that homo sapiens scull as old as the Neanderthals? Who is to say we were smarter back then...
Yes, the skulls are contemporary. From the article-

comparing the skulls of 13 Neanderthals who lived 27,000 to 75,000 years ago to 32 human skulls from the same era.




Lastly there wasn't much interbreeding past a very early stage of homo sapiens since the Neanderthals genome is a very low percentage across most of the population. If there was, lets say in the last 60,000 years, we would have spikes of more percentages in our population and we do not.


you definitely bring up an interesting perspective. Something that I've tossed around lately is that we have no knowledge, that I'm aware of at least, regarding how the Toba even affected Neanderthal populations aside from the temporary drop in temperature allowing some of them to move into areas as far south as present day Iraq. We have a pretty good idea that AMH populations were drastically reduced to the brink of extinction but little is known about the overall impact on Neanderthal populations in Europe at the time. Unless someone can correct me and point me towards the appropriate paper for which I would be quite grateful.

In regards to when we interbred with Neanderthal... according to Svante Paabo at the Max Planck Institute who is pretty much THE game in town as far as genetic sequencing of paleoanthropological remains, has, based on new tests, determined that it occurred approximately 50-60KYA when they(HSN) were already on the decline. The degree of their genetic influence on us has more to do with them being essentially eliminated as a wholly separate species by ~40KYA and then more migrations into Europe slowly diluting the hybrids over time. The hybridization is almost exclusive to European AMH with some ingression from back migration into Africa 3-6KYA leading to smaller percentages in parts of Africa as well as from European colonialism of the 16-19th centuries introducing some more HNS genes into those populations.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: Hanslune

Duh, we're still here and they're not?



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

I suppose that depends on how you want to define "us" on the we're still here end of that equation. In Europe "us" is a result of hybridization with Neanderthal. Asia and paleoindians from the Americas are a result of hybridization with Denisovan and some Neanderthal ingression. To an extent "us" is "them".



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:03 AM
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a reply to: peter vlar

Pre-coffee sarcasm/humor....



edit on 17-12-2014 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 10:11 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

ahhhhhh lol and the above was my pre coffee denseness apparently!



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 11:05 AM
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Here's what happened. Interbreeding was just the start, but it was after the number of hybrids amassed to a sufficient
age to do their damage. Lets take a more modern look at it using bees. What happened when they bred together the
african honey bee with the european honey bee? They got a vicious little killer bee thats very territorial. I surmise the same thing happened. The hybrids killed off the neanderthals and drove the africans out of europe and asia, and basically just drove them back to africa. Too smart for their neanderthal competition, and just a tad stronger than their african competition after intellect had been equalized. Lets face it, the hybrids have never stopped killing or cooking up news ways to kill people in large numbers with brutal efficiency.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 05:42 PM
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originally posted by: peter vlar

I would disagree with their lack of mobility. Post Toba as temperatures dropped globally, this expanded the available habitat for Neanderthal and we see some populations moving into the Middle East into what is present day Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.


Well we almost went extinct so I don't think it would have taken much less in mobility for them to go all they way. It does seem that we could breed much faster, so one should wonder if that might have been a factor.



In regards to when we interbred with Neanderthal... according to Svante Paabo at the Max Planck Institute who is pretty much THE game in town as far as genetic sequencing of paleoanthropological remains, has, based on new tests, determined that it occurred approximately 50-60KYA when they(HSN) were already on the decline. The degree of their genetic influence on us has more to do with them being essentially eliminated as a wholly separate species by ~40KYA and then more migrations into Europe slowly diluting the hybrids over time. The hybridization is almost exclusive to European AMH with some ingression from back migration into Africa 3-6KYA leading to smaller percentages in parts of Africa as well as from European colonialism of the 16-19th centuries introducing some more HNS genes into those populations.


I think it is safe to say that they died out and were not just assimilated.



posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 06:08 PM
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They had better ESP, though. That's why they were able to survive so long.



posted on Dec, 18 2014 @ 01:15 AM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift
They had better ESP, though. That's why they were able to survive so long.


...and you know that - how?



posted on Dec, 18 2014 @ 01:16 AM
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originally posted by: CAPT PROTON
Here's what happened. Interbreeding was just the start, but it was after the number of hybrids amassed to a sufficient
age to do their damage. Lets take a more modern look at it using bees. What happened when they bred together the
african honey bee with the european honey bee? They got a vicious little killer bee thats very territorial. I surmise the same thing happened. The hybrids killed off the neanderthals and drove the africans out of europe and asia, and basically just drove them back to africa. Too smart for their neanderthal competition, and just a tad stronger than their african competition after intellect had been equalized. Lets face it, the hybrids have never stopped killing or cooking up news ways to kill people in large numbers with brutal efficiency.


Except that (in your theory) the 'non-hybrids' have not been less violent.



posted on Dec, 18 2014 @ 01:17 AM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: Hanslune

Duh, we're still here and they're not?



Well some of us are them - at least in part.



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