According to a new study, creativity could be one of the main reasons for the survival of Homo sapiens from related species such as Neanderthals and chimpanzees. Researchers have identified a total of 972 modern genes that regulate three different systems of learning and memory in Homo sapiens.
The idea that creativity could give Homo sapiens a survival advantage over Neanderthals has been around for a long time. But proving all of this has so far proved difficult literally, as science still doesn’t know how creative Neanderthals are.
Evaluating creativity is such a problem for an extinct species that we cannot speak to it Claude Robert Cloninger, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, lead author of the study, said: Live Science Science portal online.
Led by a team from the University of Granada in Spain and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, an international research team has now examined genetics to see what differentiates people from their creative distant relatives. Scientists previously identified 972 modern genes that regulate three different systems of learning and memory in Homo sapiens: emotional reaction, self-control, and self-awareness. The former includes the ability to form social bonds and learn behaviors, while the latter includes the ability to set goals, collaborate with others, and create tools.
The self-knowledge network also demonstrates what is known as “episodic learning,” that is, the development of behavior and memories of the past. Molecular Psychiatry According to a study published in a scientific journal, they can also demonstrate creative imagination.
Self-awareness is what allows us to follow a divergent, original and creative mindset and be flexible Cloninger noted.
In the new study, researchers from Neanderthals (Neanderthal(A remnant of modern man)Homo sapiens) And chimpanzees (Caves pan) The previously analyzed DNA was analyzed. It has been found that
The genes involved in emotional interaction are identical, but chimpanzees lack the genes that lead to human self-awareness and self-control.
Some of these genes were only present in Neanderthals. Moreover, 267 of the 972 genes examined were found to be unique to Homo sapiens, all of which were called regulatory genes. These genes, which chimpanzees and Neanderthals lack, regulate brain networks associated with self-awareness and creativity.
According to the study authors, about 40,000 years ago, Homo sapiens, which enjoyed “unprecedented cultural and technological sophistication”, began to “switch” Neanderthals around the world. They also add that this development may have been driven by their creativity and self-awareness, which allowed them to live longer, healthier lives.
All this, in turn, fostered “technological innovation, behavioral resilience, and a willingness to discover what was necessary for Homo sapiens to expand more successfully around the world.”
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