BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Humans and primates are extremely alike, and 99.5 percent of our DNA is similar to their genetic material. Therefore, only 0.5 percent makes us different from apes and, although it sounds so small, this tiny difference makes us so distinct from them. A team of researchers have decided to explore the human brain, and find out what is similar and different between us and apes.
The differences between us and primates make us who we are
Even our brain is similar to that of primates. The structure and function of the tissue is incredibly similar, but we still have plenty of regions in the brain which don’t resemble apes. These distinct features make us stand out from other animals, so a team of researchers from Yale University decided to explore these differences.
The distinct features of a human brain are the product of evolution, which propelled our species to move on from the stage of primates. In most part, there are those which contribute to our advanced cognitive capabilities. After comparing a human brain with that of a monkey and of a chimpanzee, researchers discovered ours is a full-scale primate brain with some added features.
Some regions of the brain are still strikingly similar to that of primates
First of all, they are much larger and have more cells, which explain their improved performance. The way in which cells function is different as well, as they have other ways to make neural connections. However, the study is remarkable for identifying the similar areas in our brains.
Therefore, researchers discovered 16 regions of the human brain where gene expression is extremely similar to the one of primates. One of the areas was the prefrontal cortex, and it was the first time when scientists found evidence of any similarity. This region is associated with most intellectual activities which have made humans stand out.