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Clint Eastwood helps shed new light on brain evolution

London, Mon, 06 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 6 (ANI): To get a better understanding of brain evolution, researchers had humans and monkeys watch Clint Eastwood's film.


Defying the previous studies, the researchers pointed out that brain regions that do the same work in monkeys and humans are not always found in the same part of the skull.


Earlier studies comparing brains across species tended to assume that human brains were just blown-up versions of monkey brains and that functions are carried out by anatomically similar areas, New Scientist reported.


Delving deeper into their idea, Wim Vanduffel of Harvard Medical School in Boston and the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) in Belgium, and colleagues scanned the brains of 24 human volunteers and four rhesus monkeys as they watched 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'.


They contrasted the brain responses of every individual to the same sensory stimulation, to figure out which brain areas had similar functions.


Researchers found that most of the human and monkey brain maps lined up, but certain areas with an identical function were in totally different places.


The team asserted that the discovery is vital for building more precise models of human evolution.


"You can't assume that because A and B are close together in the monkey brain, they need to be close together in the human brain," Vanduffel said. (ANI)


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