Science and Technology

Fossils Unearth New Understandings

Posted on: Tue 28 Jan 2020

Intelligence in human ancestral lineage has been studied through tool use, presence of agriculture and more recently, brain size. However anthropologists have struggled to closely chart human brain evolution through history.

Roger S. Seymour, Professor Emeritus of Physiology at the University of Adelaide, collaborated with colleagues in South Africa to study 35 fossil skulls. They found a correlation between the size of two small holes and the rate of blood flow to the cerebrum. This facilitated estimation of the size of carotid arteries, which functioned to represent cognitive activity better than brain size.

Roger joins Breakfast’s Tom Mann and Zoe Kounadis to discuss his research. His work has been published in summarised version in The Conversation this week.

Produced by Leon Bishop

Image sourced: Brett Eloff (CC 4.0)


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