Humans Have Better Sense of Smell than Neanderthals

Posted by on December 14th, 2011


Studies of the similar sized, but differently shaped brains of humans and Neanderthals have revealed one key difference. Our sense of smell is more accurate and intense.

So was reality different for our genetic cousins? Before you dismiss smell as a trivial attribute to survival, consider this:

Olfactory information projects to brain regions directly responsible for processing of emotion, motivation, fear, memory, pleasure and also attraction. Neuroscientists have coined the term “higher olfactory functions” to describe those brain functions which combine cognition (memory, intuition, perception, judgment) and olfaction. The greater olfactory bulbs and relatively larger temporal lobes in H. sapiens compared to any other human species may point towards improved and different olfactory sense possibly related to the evolution of behavioural aspects and social functions.

Was this evolutionary advantage part of the reason why we survived and they didn’t? How much did this effect general behavior? Is that burning? Did I leave the iron on when I started typing this post?

…I’ll be right back.

[Science Daily]

Comments are closed.