ResearchBlogging.orgEvolutionary psychology tends to receive harsh criticism, and often rightly so. One of the main reasons for this is the severe lack of evidence for many of it’s proposals given that the paucity of fossilised brains fails to bolster many a case. And it isn’t even anyone’s fault. That’s just the way it goes sometimes, that the brain is a jelly-like substance that is subject to decay after death, and there’s no way we can objectively analyse or verify any differences in brains of long ago with brains of today.
This isn’t set to change anytime soon, but the remarkable discovery of a medieval child’s brain was the subject of a Neuroimage paper published recently. This is extremely exciting on many counts: the brain has been so fantastically preserved that it is possible to identify the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes, and even the sulci and gyri, the grooves and furrows channeled into brains.
However it is only the left-hemisphere that survived and not the entire brain, which had also shrunk to about 80% of it’s original weight due to the (natural) mummification process.