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Movement made us smarter (and still does)

Exercise By Elizabeth Nolan Brown for

The idea that carnivorous cooking took us from cavemen to CEOs has been floating around for a while. But recent research suggests that it may be exercise—not meat eating—that helped humans boost their brainpower. In a paper that will be published in January, anthropologist David A. Raichlen says physical activity was key in the development of bigger brains.

Bigger brains, of course, are linked to increased intelligence. The human brain is about three times larger than makes sense when compared to other mammals.

Evolutionary scientists have cited social interaction and meat-heavy diets as key reasons why human brains got bigger and human beings got smarter. But according to the New York Times, an “emerging scientific view of human evolution” holds that prehistoric brains were “shaped and sharpened” by movement, as well. In fact, physical activity and endurance may have been even more influential than socializing or diet on human brain development.

Keep reading for more on the link between movement and the brain…

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