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Study connects life to number of neurons instead of body size | Life

Unlike cells in the body, which are constantly filled, neurons in the cortex are considered an individual's lifetime. – AFP…

 Unlike cells in the body, which are constantly filled, neurons in the cortex are considered an individual's lifetime. - AFP pic Unlike cells in the body, which are constantly filled, neurons in the cortex are considered an individual’s lifetime. – AFP pic

NEW YORK, Nov. 1

– A new study published in Journal of Comparative Neurology couples the number of neurons in the brain to how long humans and other warm blooded animals live and when they reach sexual maturity.

Could people live longer than gorillas because people have more neurons? A study led by Suzana Herculano-Houzel, professor of psychology and life sciences at Vanderbilt University, suggests that the number of neurons in the cortex could determine life expectancy and sexual maturity.

Neurons compared to body size

Herculano-Houzel investigated more than 700 warm blooded species. She compared records of their lifespan with data about the number of neurons in each brain’s brain and saw a pattern.

Some species of birds live longer than primates of the same size, which, in turn, live longer than non-primary mammals of similar size. Contrary to what is often assumed, it appears that a species size does not determine how long it lives.

The same species of birds also takes longer to reach sexual maturity than primates of similar size.

Human life and maturity

In this light, contrary to certain assumptions, people do not have an unusually long childhood and youth. Instead, this period is proportional to the number of neurons in the human brain cortex.

According to Herculano-Houzel, given the number of neurons in the human cortex, the time it takes people to achieve sexual maturity and longevity is perfectly logical. For example, they live longer than gorillas – which are larger animals – because the human brain contains more neurons.

Connecting Cortex and Lifespan

Unlike cells in the body, which are constantly filled, neurons in the cortex will be assumed to be an individual’s lifetime. When a neuron is damaged it will not be replaced. Because the cortex is directly linked to the body’s adaptability and how it interacts with the environment, if neurons are injured, the body’s functionality is reduced and life expectancy reduced.

Take care of your mind

Cortex plays a direct role in emotions, stress management etc. and aging begins from adolescents. The study therefore advocates taking care of your mind and keeping neurons healthy and occupied for the best chance to live for a long time. – AFP Relaxnews

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