JAN 01, 2019 09:01 AM PST

Neanderthals Were Probably Much Smarter Than They Get Credit for

When you imagine a Neanderthal, what comes to mind? For many, the brain paints a picture of a primitive person; one often recognized for having ‘lesser’ intelligence than modern-day human beings. But was that true?

As it would seem, Neanderthals may have been a lot smarter than we give them credit for. Much of the misunderstandings surrounding Neanderthals comes from common stereotypes, some of which stem from a type of pseudoscience known as phrenology: the study of skill shape as indicative of character or mental ability.

Because Neanderthal skulls shared a lot of standard features with living indigenous populations that Anglo-Irish geologist William King already deemed to be lesser, Neanderthals received their unfortunate stereotype in 1864. This theory was further backed up by the signs of violence observed in subsequent Neanderthal skull discoveries.

But modern science paints a different picture, one that suggests how Neanderthals may have been capable of similar mental capacity and how rough sports could have caused the injuries observed in their skulls instead of violence.

Unfortunately, the stereotype about Neanderthals being of ‘lesser’ intelligence still runs rampant because we still don’t know enough about them to say otherwise. Further fueling the misconception is how the media conveys Neanderthals as ‘cavemen.’ As it would seem, scientists should have questioned the concept of Neanderthals much earlier to avoid this stereotype.

With science advancing with each passing day, perhaps we’ll develop a clearer picture of Neanderthals and what their lifestyle may have been like.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 05, 2018
Cardiology
DEC 05, 2018
The Case For Sexual Healing In Heart Patients
Sex is an important component in the lives of most healthy adults. As such, it is essential for providers working with post-coronary patients to advise the...
NOV 18, 2018
Neuroscience
NOV 18, 2018
How does the brain know when we are full?
Feeling full or satiation is conveyed to the brain by the gut hormones via the enteric neuronal afferents and the endocrine feedback pathways....
NOV 26, 2018
Neuroscience
NOV 26, 2018
Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA)
The negative reaction to certain foods when encountering a food due to adverse post ingestion consequences is called Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA)....
DEC 03, 2018
Neuroscience
DEC 03, 2018
Genes Involved In Dementia Identified
Genetic factors have also been recognized as a critical contributor for dementia and identifying these genes will eventually allow for gene-specific therapeutics to be developed. Although sci...
JAN 14, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
JAN 14, 2019
Microscopy Advances Enable the Visualization of Cortical Neurons in Live Mice
Scientists will be able to get a better look at cells in the brain after three-photon microscopy was improved....
JAN 20, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
JAN 20, 2019
A Flight Through a Fly's Brain
Researchers have combined two powerful imaging tools to visualize the brain at the molecular level....
Loading Comments...