Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chimp & human resting brain state   posted by Razib @ 10/16/2007 12:06:00 PM

A comparison of resting-state brain activity in humans and chimpanzees:
In humans, the wakeful resting condition is characterized by a default mode of brain function involving high levels of activity within a functionally connected network of brain regions...We find that, like humans, chimpanzees show high levels of activity within default mode areas, including medial prefrontal and medial parietal cortex. Chimpanzees differ from our human sample in showing higher levels of activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex and lower levels of activity in left-sided cortical areas involved in language and conceptual processing in humans. Our results raise the possibility that the resting state of chimpanzees involves emotionally laden episodic memory retrieval and some level of mental self-projection, albeit in the absence of language and conceptual processing.

Any cognitive neuroscience people want to chip in?

Addendum: Readers might be interested in this post by Chris Chatham on primate evolution & handedness & neuroscience.