Originally published 03/13/2013
Neanderthals' keen vision may explain why they couldn't cope with environmental change and died out, despite having the same sized brains as modern humans, new research suggests.The findings, published today (March 12) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggest that Neanderthals developed massive visual regions in their brains to compensate for Europe's low light levels. That, however, reduced the brain space available for social cognition."We have a social brain, whereas Neanderthals appear to have a visual brain," said Clive Gamble, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton, who was not involved in the study....
Originally published 02/05/2013
The identity of a mysterious patient who helped scientists pinpoint the brain region responsible for language has been discovered, researchers report.The finding, detailed in the January issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, identifies the patient as Louis Leborgne, a French craftsman who battled epilepsy his entire life.In 1840, a wordless patient was admitted to the Bicetre Hospital outside Paris for aphasia, or an inability to speak. He was essentially just kept there, slowly deteriorating. It wasn’t until 1861 that the man, who was known only as “Monsieur Leborgne” and who was nicknamed “Tan” for the only word he could say, came to physician Paul Broca’s ward at the hospital....