It is clear now that more intelligent brains required an excessive blood supply. Throughout our entire evolutionary history this has apparently been the norm.
The old theory that the intelligence of the human brain is related to its relatively larger size has been debunked. Rather than this obsolete theory, the blood supply to the brain is where the whole enigma is resolved regarding intelligence.
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The human brain throughout its history and prehistory not only became larger in size but also became more and more thirstier for a plethora of blood that reached it via the blood vessels of the human body. This bloodthirsty nature of this marvel of creation is something entirely new as a paradigm for scientists.
The blood that flowed to the brains of our ancestors changes in its quantity and quality over the passage of time. The scientists used two holes at the base of the skulls through which the arteries passed as experimental objects to gauge the bloodthirsty nature of human brains in their evolution.
The study was published in the Royal Society journal Open Science.
Thus human intelligence could be monitored from the fossil record that was extant across the ages of man.
While brain size has increased by 350% over the entire timeline of mankind, the blood supply to the brain has increased by a whopping 600%. The contrast lends one food for thought.
The human brain’s need to provide energy to its nerves and strengthen the neuronal connections are the two phenomena which seem to be responsible for this heavy supply of blood. Besides this, complexity of cognition as well as learning capacity required such a state of affairs.
In order to allow the human brain to be such a witty and inventive organ, a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients needed to be delivered to it 24/7. For this blood was the ideal medium since it circulates around the clock.
The brains which were more metabolically active required a more steady supply of blood and so the arteries in the neck were larger too.
The holes in the skulls which were examined were an accurate portrayal of the large quantities of blood which were required to replenish the life-world of the human brain. It was the arterial size that mattered in the end.
The journey of mankind from the Australopithecus to modern man shows how evolution favored a larger and larger blood supply to the human brain.
As human beings we are a unique species that takes longer to grow up and cooperates with others of its kind in order to benefit all alike under the aegis of a social contract.
It is our ability to come up with ideas, language and science and technology that separates us from the rest of the life forms on the planet we inhabit. The central focal organ that has allowed us to transcend our conditions is of course the brain.