The human brain is constantly evolving and changes throughout the duration of one’s lifetime. The increase or decrease in its size is normal and should not be a matter of grave concern unless it has been caused by outer and unnatural forces.

Climate change has become a factor that makes the human brain shrink, according to a study conducted by a cognitive scientist, Jeff Morgan Stibel, from the Natural Museum in California.

What Makes The Human Brain Shrink?

Naturally, with advancing years, the brain shrinks and undergoes changes at every level, from chemicals to morphology. Along with memory decline, the prevalence of dementia, white matter lesions, and stroke increases with age. Levels of neurotransmitters and hormones also vary.

How Does Climate Change Affect The Brain Size?

Stibel’s research includes looking at 298 samples from the last 50,000 years as well as historical temperature, humidity, and rainfall records from nature.

The findings showed that, in comparison to cooler climates, average brain size decreased significantly during warmer climate periods. This study was inspired by Stibel’s prior investigation into the origins of brain shrinkage, which he was trying to understand.

Read More: Study Finds Disturbing Link Between Climate Change And Domestic Violence

Over the past 50,000 years, the Earth has experienced various climate fluctuations, including the Last Glacial Maximum, a period characterised by consistently colder temperatures until the end of the Late Pleistocene. Following this, the Holocene period witnessed rising average temperatures, leading up to the present day.

Stibel’s analysis revealed a consistent pattern of changing brain size in Homo Sapiens, correlated with fluctuations in climate as temperatures rose and fell.

Impacts of the Change

According to Stibel, even a little decrease in brain size in modern humans could have profound physiological effects that are still being thoroughly explored.

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Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: ScienceAlert, WION, Karger

Find the blogger: Pragya Damani

This post is tagged under: temperature, global warming, climate change, human brain, brain size, human brain shrink

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