Chimpanzee’s born with immature frontal lobes, Like Humans.
On August 11, 2011, Current Biology are the firs to track the development of the chimpanzee brain to the human brain in comparison.
Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University in Japan says “One of the most marked evolutionary changes underlying human-specific cognitive traits is a greatly enlarged prefrontal cortex. It is also one of the latest-developing brain regions of the cerebrum.”
He also says, “Both humans and chimpanzees need to render their neural network and brain function more suspectible to the influence of postnatal experience.”
Chimps and humans both enjoy close relationships between their young and adults, like smiles and mutual gazes. But, the greater prefrontal expansion in the human brain may give a role in development of language, complex social infrastructure, and other abilities that make us unique.
Matsuzawa’s team made the discovery of this by magnetic reasonance imaging (MRI) studies of 3 growing chimpanzees from the age of 6 months to 6 years. Chimpanezee’s reach pre-puberty at the age of 6 years old.
In the last ancestor of chimpanzees and humans, the studies suggest that they were less mature and more protracted on their neural connection in the prefrontal portions of the brain. The last ancestor to human and chimps were called, macaques.
Matsuzawa says that his group was interested in exploring the development of the brain over evolution. The team was hoping to compare the humans and chimps brains into the young adulthood. They noted that chimps also enter late puberty at the age of 11-years old.