Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Northern humans have bigger brains

People from northern parts of the world have evolved bigger eyes and brains with more developed visual processing to help them to cope with long winters and grey skies, a study has suggested.

The finding came after scientists measured the eye sockets and brain capacity of 55 human skulls representing 12 different populations from across the world. The larger organs are adaptations to low light that have appeared only since humans moved into northern Europe and Asia.

Eiluned Pearce, from Oxford University's school of anthropology, said: "Having bigger brains doesn't mean that higher-latitude humans are smarter; it just means they need bigger brains to be able to see well where they live."