Human and Neanderthal brains have a surprising ‘youthful’ quality in common, new research finds

A Neanderthal skull next to a human skull.

Many believe our particularly large brain is what makes us human – but is there more to it? The brain’s shape, as well as the shapes of its component parts (lobes) may also be important.

Results of a study we published Thursday (Jan. 5) in Nature Ecology & Evolution (opens in new tab) show that the way the different parts of the human brain evolved separates us from our primate relatives. In a sense, our brains never grow up. We share this “Peter Pan syndrome” with only one other primate – the Neanderthals.

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