New study sheds light on human evolution

eAwaz Lifestyle

Beijing – A recent study, published in the journal eLife, led by Chinese scientists has shed new light on the origin and evolution of human language. It will help explain the longstanding mystery of human origin by comparing the differences and similarities between humans and other non-human primates in brain structure and function, Xinhua reported. The study says as it is difficult to confirm the homology of functional brain areas between different species, there is still a lack of reliable technical means to conduct cross-species studies on the evolution of brain structure and function. Research team of Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has provided a novel method for studying the evolutionary brain mechanism of language and tool use by mapping cross-species brain network groups. Using structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, they analyzed the structural asymmetry of the inferior parietal lobule, a brain structure most relevant to language and tool use, among three primates: human, chimpanzee, and macaque. They found the asymmetry of brain structure and its anatomical connectivity pattern is the inherent biological basis that drives the evolution of language and tool using.