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Mzungu mchagga
10-11-10, 21:52
Neanderthal newborns had similar brains to human infants, though just after birth stark changes began to set in, so that by 1 year old the two children would've had very different noggins and may have even viewed the world differently, researchers now say.
These new findings could shed light on how our closest extinct relatives might have thought differently than us, and reveal details about the evolution of our brain (http://www.livescience.com/health/baby-brain-growth-evolution-100712.html).
Past studies of Neanderthal skulls revealed their brains were comparable in size to ours (http://www.livescience.com/history/080908-neanderthal-skulls.html). This suggested they might have possessed mental capabilities similar to modern humans.
Still, the brains of adult Neanderthals were a different shape than ours — theirs were less globular and more elongated. This elongated shape was actually the norm for more than 2 million years of human evolution, and is seen in chimpanzees as well.

Comparing scans
To learn more about when differences in brain shape first started appearing in development, researchers created virtual imprints of 11 Neanderthal brains, including a newborn, based on CT scans of their skulls.
The brains of newborn Neanderthals (http://www.livescience.com/culture/neanderthal-modern-humans-brains-101108.html) and human infants are about the same size, and both had relatively elongated braincases, likely to help fit through the birth canal, which is roughly similar in shape in both species. After birth, however, and especially in the first year of life, our brains and theirs start to diverge, with those of modern humans becoming more globular.
"I was surprised to see how strong that difference was, even though modern humans and Neanderthals are so closely related, and the genetic differences are so minor (http://www.livescience.com/history/neanderthal-genome-mating-100506.html)," researcher Philipp Gunz, a paleoanthropologist at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology at Leipzig, Germany, told LiveScience.
Modern humans therefore depart from an ancestral pattern of brain development that separates our own species from chimpanzees and all fossil humans, including Neanderthals. The overall shape of the brain probably does not have too much significance in and of itself toward brain function, "but I would say that it does reflect changes in the pattern and timing of the growth of the underlying brain circuitry," Gunz said. This internal organization of the brain is what matters most for mental ability.
"In modern humans, the connections between diverse brain regions that are established in the first years of life are important for higher-order social, emotional, and communication functions," Gunz said. "It is therefore unlikely that Neanderthals saw the world as we do."

Gene differences
This new view on human brain development might help to explain the results of a recent comparison of Neanderthal and modern human genomes.
"Only a few genes separate modern humans from Neanderthals, some of which are related to the brain," Gunz said "What our results suggest is that these genes might be linked with the speed and pattern of brain development."
It is important to note "that all interpretations about Neanderthal cognition will always be somewhat speculative," Gunz cautioned. "What our research could allow is to study what separates modern humans from Neanderthals, to learn something about ourselves and maybe something about Neanderthals as well."
The scientists detailed their findings in the Nov. 9 issue of the journal Current Biology.

SOURCE: http://www.livescience.com/culture/neanderthal-modern-humans-brains-101108.html




I wonder how Neanderthals perceived their environment. Just a minor thought of mine, people with dyslexia or dyscalculia also suffer from a wider perceptional dysfunction. Not that I want to compare these two things, but it shows how far-reaching the result of a different perception can be.

Maciamo
11-11-10, 11:08
It is entirely possible that some of our brain functions were inherited from Neanderthal. After all, Europeans have about 5% of Neanderthalian DNA, so why wouldn't it include genes related to the most important part of our body ?

You mentioned dyslexia and dyscalculia, but I doubt that these are Neanderthal-specific. To be Neanderthal-specific, traits should be most common among people with the highest percentage of Neanderthal DNA, starting with northern European, followed by southern European, then Middle-Easterners, Central & South Asians, East Asians, and be almost completely absent from sub-Saharan Africa.

This is relatively obvious for physical traits such as fair hair and eyes, hairiness (body and facial hair), flat thumbs, occipital buns, etc.

For neurological or psychological traits or disorders, it is more difficult to observe. We need statistics. I think that one of the psychological traits that characterises most northern Europeans, then southern Europeans, then Middle-Easterners, etc. and least East Asians and sub-Saharan Africans is the sense of individualism (as opposed to collectivism). I think that this may be a trait inherited from Neanderthals rather than Homo Sapiens. Individualism shouldn't be confused with selfishness, which is totally different. An individualistic person prefers to do things by him/herself and doesn't mind being alone (without feeling lonely). It doesn't mean that they have only their own interest in mind and don't care about the group's well-being. It's just that they work better alone than in team, and need a lot of private time by themselves (the opposite of gregarious collectivists, who constantly seek the presence of others).

LeBrok
11-11-10, 18:35
I agree with your individualism versus selfishness point of view. Another Neanderthal traits could be lower spirituality level. Europeans, and mostly Northern Europeans are the least religious people on the planet.

I think East Asians are showing strong traits of their local Homo Erectus. Some Chinese scientists claim that their whole linage comes straight from their Homo Erectus, but I think it'll be similar situations to Europeans and Neanderthals. Chinese just want to be very special, hehe.

Wilhelm
11-11-10, 19:00
I agree with your individualism versus selfishness point of view. Another Neanderthal traits could be lower spirituality level. Europeans, and mostly Northern Europeans are the least religious people on the planet.

I think East Asians are showing strong traits of their local Homo Erectus. Some Chinese scientists claim that their whole linage comes straight from their Homo Erectus, but I think it'll be similar situations to Europeans and Neanderthals. Chinese just want to be very special, hehe.
I don't agree that norther europeans are the least religous. Maybe now, with liberalism and all that stuff, but in the past they have always been very relgious (wether Paganism or Christianity)

LeBrok
11-11-10, 23:05
Now we are more free to follow our true nature, and individuality, personal freedoms, differences are more accepted. In the past we needed to conform to the group, otherwise we were kicked out, died of hunger or even killed. That's the same reason gays are more willingly coming out of closets these days.
It is also interesting how North Europe are more comfort oriented in their cloths, and South Europe is more fashion inclined. Or South European food is priced as more tasty than North cuisine. Is North missing sense of taste in both?
We also know that Neanderthal art was much simpler and less varied than Cro Magnon.

Gusar
12-11-10, 05:20
For neurological or psychological traits or disorders, it is more difficult to observe. We need statistics. I think that one of the psychological traits that characterises most northern Europeans, then southern Europeans, then Middle-Easterners, etc. and least East Asians and sub-Saharan Africans is the sense of individualism (as opposed to collectivism). I think that this may be a trait inherited from Neanderthals rather than Homo Sapiens. Individualism shouldn't be confused with selfishness, which is totally different. An individualistic person prefers to do things by him/herself and doesn't mind being alone (without feeling lonely). It doesn't mean that they have only their own interest in mind and don't care about the group's well-being. It's just that they work better alone than in team, and need a lot of private time by themselves (the opposite of gregarious collectivists, who constantly seek the presence of others).


Maciamo can you please try to articulate? This seems to have a lot of innuendo to me which I can't figure out. If you are suggesting that northern Europeans are more individualistic then southern... I have the opposite opinion whereby I view northern Europeans (particularly Germanics) as highly beurocratic, robotic, emotionally suppressed (almost autistic like) and willing to conform. If anything I feel liberated by a sense of individualism when I travel west to eastern or southern Europe.

Maciamo
12-11-10, 11:10
Maciamo can you please try to articulate? This seems to have a lot of innuendo to me which I can't figure out. If you are suggesting that northern Europeans are more individualistic then southern... I have the opposite opinion whereby I view northern Europeans (particularly Germanics) as highly beurocratic, robotic, emotionally suppressed (almost autistic like) and willing to conform. If anything I feel liberated by a sense of individualism when I travel west to eastern or southern Europe.

There are many forms of individualism. People don't always behave with the same level of individualism at work, within their family, in their home society or in foreign countries. For example, Italians are very individualistic in their way of thinking, opinions, style, and behaviour in society, but very collectivist at home and for business (strong family ties, importance of the extended family and personal relations for business). Americans are very individualistic at home, at work and in life in general, as long as they stay in the USA. When travelling or working abroad they become surprisingly collectivist, travelling in groups and sticking with their fellow Americans. German, Dutch and Scandinavian people are quite collectivist as a society, caring a lot about the common well-fare, but individualistic in their opinions, behaviour, way of working, and regarding family. The Brits and the Aussies are pure individualistic in every sense of the term.

The Dutch organizational sociologist Geert Hofstede, who studied the interactions between national cultures and organizational cultures, came up with a scale of individualism for 56 countries around the world, along with other cultural factors such as assertiveness and competitiveness ("masculinity)", fear of the unknown ("uncertainty avoidance") or how hierarchical a society is ("power distance"). These form his Cultural Dimensions (http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_dimensions.php).

He defines individualism like this :


Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word 'collectivism' in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world.

Here are some of his values for individualism (high score) vs collectivism :

- UK : 89
- Netherlands : 80
- Italy : 76
- Belgium : 75
- Denmark : 74
- Sweden : 71
- France : 71
- Germany : 67
- Poland : 60
- Czech republic : 58
- Austria : 55
- Slovakia : 52
- Spain : 51
- Turkey : 37
- Greece : 35
- Bulgaria : 30
- Romania : 30
- Portugal : 27

So apart for the exception of Italy (and to some extent France), there is a tendency towards more individualism in the north and less in the south.

Here are some values for East Asia and Africa :

- Israel : 54
- India : 48
- Argentina : 46
- Japan : 46
- Iran : 41
- Brazil : 38
- East Africa : 27
- Malaysia : 26
- Hong Kong : 25
- Singapore : 20
- China : 20
- Vietnam : 20
- Thailand : 20
- West Africa : 20
- South Korea : 18
- Taiwan : 17
- Pakistan : 14
- Comobia : 13
- Indonesia : 12
- Panama : 11
- Ecuador : 8
- Guatemala : 6

Unsurprisingly, most of the countries at the top of the list have a lot of northern European blood and a high percentage of R1a and/or R1b lineages (Israel, India and Iran). Argentinians are almost of pure European descent (mostly Spanish, with some Italian and German), contrarily to countries like Ecuador or Guatemala, which are predominantly Native American. About two-third of the Brazilian gene pool is European, while the last third is Native American and African, hence the slightly lower individualism despite the strong European culture.

Japan is the only country that is 100% non-European with such a high level of individualism. However, having lived in Japan for many years and studied every facet of the country and culture, I have to disagree with Geert Hofstede. I think that the Japanese are barely more individualistic than other East Asians, perhaps a score of 25 or 30 but not 46.

Back in 2004, I analysed individualism in a few selected countries here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8313), focusing on the case of Japan in more detail on Wa-pedia (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/culture-shock-137/japanese-more-individualist-collectivist-4391/) (my website about Japan).

Mzungu mchagga
12-11-10, 14:51
It is entirely possible that some of our brain functions were inherited from Neanderthal. After all, Europeans have about 5% of Neanderthalian DNA, so why wouldn't it include genes related to the most important part of our body ?

You mentioned dyslexia and dyscalculia, but I doubt that these are Neanderthal-specific. To be Neanderthal-specific, traits should be most common among people with the highest percentage of Neanderthal DNA, starting with northern European, followed by southern European, then Middle-Easterners, Central & South Asians, East Asians, and be almost completely absent from sub-Saharan Africa.

This is relatively obvious for physical traits such as fair hair and eyes, hairiness (body and facial hair), flat thumbs, occipital buns, etc.

For neurological or psychological traits or disorders, it is more difficult to observe. We need statistics. I think that one of the psychological traits that characterises most northern Europeans, then southern Europeans, then Middle-Easterners, etc. and least East Asians and sub-Saharan Africans is the sense of individualism (as opposed to collectivism). I think that this may be a trait inherited from Neanderthals rather than Homo Sapiens. Individualism shouldn't be confused with selfishness, which is totally different. An individualistic person prefers to do things by him/herself and doesn't mind being alone (without feeling lonely). It doesn't mean that they have only their own interest in mind and don't care about the group's well-being. It's just that they work better alone than in team, and need a lot of private time by themselves (the opposite of gregarious collectivists, who constantly seek the presence of others).

No no, it's not that I wanted to refer dyslexia or dyscalculia to Neanderthals. I just wanted to give one example how a different way of perception can affect coordination abilities. But I wouldn't doubt in the end it was some kind of perceptive feature that made Neanderthals disadvantaged to modern humans.
With your other ideas, I find them rather interesting, but somehow it sounds a bit too fantastic to me that we inherited individualism from Neanderthals. Do you think that the distribution of individualism among humans has always been like it is today? That for example an ancient North European Bronze Age society has been more individual than the Greek or Near Eastern? Even if we argue that Northern Europe has been oppressed by religious and aristocratic values all the time and now suddenly recovers and can play it's full individualistic potential, who could tell me that other places in this world aren't oppressed by religious or hierarchic values either? I also think that wealth plays a certain role.

Mzungu mchagga
12-11-10, 15:08
This is relatively obvious for physical traits such as fair hair and eyes, hairiness (body and facial hair), flat thumbs, occipital buns, etc.


To this point, I wouldn't deny either that we inherited these traits from Neanderthals, but- there's no absolute prove for this, yet! It might have also been some sort of convergent development between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon who lived in the same climatic and biogeographic regions. As both versions are still possible, you can't put your's as a scientific fact!
BTW didn't the admixture take place 100.000 years ago and Han as well as Papuans should have the same fair hair then?

LeBrok
12-11-10, 18:32
The blond hair, light eyes gene comes with as whiter skin combo. Whiter skin is only advantages in in Higher Latitudes, probably also good for hunting in the snow. In equatorial areas without, sunscreen and clothing, white skin is a no-no. In some sub Saharan countries there are tribes with high ancient R1b (white skin origin), but they all look the same black as others around.
As for the Huns, not sure, maybe they didn't like or take white women home? Or maybe they ate enough raw liver to compensate for level of vitamin D, or they have some late mutation that gives them more efficiency with D3. After all Eskimos can survive in Arctic without the sun for thousands of years.
It looked more logical 4 thousands years ago when white hair was spread from Europe to China.

Mzungu mchagga
12-11-10, 20:03
Well, not even the whiter skin of Europeans and East Asians derives from the same mutation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182896

Wilhelm
12-11-10, 20:14
The blond hair, light eyes gene comes with as whiter skin combo. Whiter skin is only advantages in in Higher Latitudes, probably also good for hunting in the snow. In equatorial areas without, sunscreen and clothing, white skin is a no-no. In some sub Saharan countries there are tribes with high ancient R1b (white skin origin), but they all look the same black as others around.
As for the Huns, not sure, maybe they didn't like or take white women home? Or maybe they ate enough raw liver to compensate for level of vitamin D, or they have some late mutation that gives them more efficiency with D3. After all Eskimos can survive in Arctic without the sun for thousands of years.
It looked more logical 4 thousands years ago when white hair was spread from Europe to China.
The gene responsible for the white skin of europeans is found at 99.9 % of Europeans, and rarely found outside of Europe.

Cambrius (The Red)
12-11-10, 22:10
The gene responsible for the white skin of europeans is found at 99.9 % of Europeans, and rarely found outside of Europe.

Yes, it's receptor gene MC1R that controls skin coloring / shade The test results I've seen concluded that there is little MC1R differentiation between Northern and Southern Europeans. No other population groups tested outside of Europe had the same MC1R variants as Europeans.

Wilhelm
13-11-10, 01:05
Yes, it's receptor gene MC1R that controls skin coloring / shade The test results I've seen concluded that there is little MC1R differentiation between Northern and Southern Europeans. No other population groups tested outside of Europe had the same MC1R variants as Europeans.
Actually it's the same for all europeans, there is no differenciation between South and north.

LeBrok
13-11-10, 02:03
Light eye colour people have lighter skin yet, than brown eye people. It means that there is another gen in action.

East Asian might have picked up other white skin gene from Asian Home Erectus.
Home Erectus in Europe and Asia had a million years to develop lighter skin mutations. Cro Magnon left Africa about 70-100 years ago. Which way is simpler to develop white skin gen? Wait for the random mutation to happen, or pick it up while mingling with Home Erectus? I'll give it only 10% chance or less that Cro Magnon did it on it's own.

Cambrius (The Red)
13-11-10, 06:07
Light eye colour people have lighter skin yet, than brown eye people. It means that there is another gen in action.

East Asian might have picked up other white skin gene from Asian Home Erectus.
Home Erectus in Europe and Asia had a million years to develop lighter skin mutations. Cro Magnon left Africa about 70-100 years ago. Which way is simpler to develop white skin gen? Wait for the random mutation to happen, or pick it up while mingling with Home Erectus? I'll give it only 10% chance or less that Cro Magnon did it on it's own.

I've seen any number of North Africans with green or blue eyes and darker skin tones.

LeBrok
13-11-10, 08:46
Yes, but wouldn't you say that overall these people were lighter skin than brown eye people living in same are?
Blue eye people tent to have the lightest skin of all. It all comes to the mutation that suppresses OCA2 gen that produces P protein, which take part in production of pigment melanin. The less melanin the lighter the skin.
Actually there are many gens taking part in skin, hair and eye tones. Therefor there is no one formula that fits all. But the general trends are not to difficult to spot.

Mzungu mchagga
13-11-10, 17:11
So, there are two genes responsible for pale skin and fair hair: SLC24A5 and MC1R

We can exclude SLC24A5 coming from Neanderthal as the mutation occured very recently: http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/4784/eurospaleonlyrecentlypu0.jpg

MC1R was the same gene that turned Neanderthal pale, although the mutation on the gene was different from ours: http://www.kqed.org/quest/blog/2010/05/24/my-3000th-great-grandpa-was-a-neanderthal/

So the question still remains open! :good_job:

LeBrok
13-11-10, 19:48
This is how evolution works, it's never static. Even though we picked gens from Neanderthals, they are not exactly same to the letter after 25 thousand years since last one died. I would be surprised if they were. Even identical twins are not 100% identical with their genomes.

Also there is HERC2/OCA2 cambo that effects skin colour.
http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2008/02/blue-eyes-correlate-with-lighter-skin.php

Cambrius (The Red)
14-11-10, 04:10
Yes, but wouldn't you say that overall these people were lighter skin than brown eye people living in same are?
Blue eye people tent to have the lightest skin of all. It all comes to the mutation that suppresses OCA2 gen that produces P protein, which take part in production of pigment melanin. The less melanin the lighter the skin.
Actually there are many gens taking part in skin, hair and eye tones. Therefor there is no one formula that fits all. But the general trends are not to difficult to spot.

Yes, blue eyed people generally have lighter skin.

how yes no 2
30-01-11, 19:35
Here are some of his values for individualism (high score) vs collectivism :

- UK : 89
- Netherlands : 80
- Italy : 76
- Belgium : 75
- Denmark : 74
- Sweden : 71
- France : 71
- Germany : 67
- Poland : 60
- Czech republic : 58
- Austria : 55
- Slovakia : 52
- Spain : 51
- Turkey : 37
- Greece : 35
- Bulgaria : 30
- Romania : 30
- Portugal : 27

So apart for the exception of Italy (and to some extent France), there is a tendency towards more individualism in the north and less in the south.

Here are some values for East Asia and Africa :

- Israel : 54
- India : 48
- Argentina : 46
- Japan : 46
- Iran : 41
- Brazil : 38
- East Africa : 27
- Malaysia : 26
- Hong Kong : 25
- Singapore : 20
- China : 20
- Vietnam : 20
- Thailand : 20
- West Africa : 20
- South Korea : 18
- Taiwan : 17
- Pakistan : 14
- Comobia : 13
- Indonesia : 12
- Panama : 11
- Ecuador : 8
- Guatemala : 6



non-sense...
individualism / collectivism has nothing to do with genetics...it is entirely due to social environment of people e.g. culture and rulling ideology.....

clear example is difference between communism and capitalism oriented societies.... living in each will shape person to be more collectivist or more individualistic... this has nothing to do with genetics, as we can clearly see the change from collectivism to individualism in people living in countries that did recent transitions from communist to capitalist systems... one of issues that can be observed in this switch from collectivistic communism to individulalistic capitalism is decrease in moral values, and in friendlies to fellow people... on other hand most comunist societies were based on fear, so there is also advance towards being able to freely speak about anything and not being obsessed with reflecting how this or that will be understood by "higher authorities"....


I wouldnot be so rough on collectivism.... essentially, isn't a marriage and family kind of collectivism?
and to be honest, collectivism has some nice side-effects.. as people are much warmer to fellow people whom they see as part of same group....

essential problem with collectivism is when collectivism degenerates from uniting "for" some goal, towards uniting "against" some other group...that kind of collectivism needs enemies to survive... we see extreme of it in racism, nationalism, in religious and ideological fanatics e.g. in suicide terrorist...

claiming superiority of e.g. north Europe people or white people due to e.g. less degree of individualism, is also kind of degenerate type of collectivism as it reflects group oriented thinking with need to assign superiority to own group and draw self-esteem from that imagined superiority....