Three millennia of civilization has had an impact on many aspects of human life. But one contested area of research has been whether changes in civilization have affected the size of our brains.
Research published in 2021 seemed to indicate that our brains shrank over the past 3,000 years — about the time frame when we started farming more widely, and when complex civilizations began to flourish in many parts of the world. But a new study re-examining that prior work has criticized the way those authors used their data. This recent research, published last month in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, suggests that our brains really haven’t shrunk at all in the last three millennia.