Since the theory of Evolution took hold in the scientific community, Biologists, Neurologists, Psychologists and others have pondered why human beings have “high intelligence” capacities as opposed to our close relatives, the chimpanzees.
Some so-called “ancient astronaut theorists” have posited the idea that perhaps ancient extraterrestrials “fixed” the primordial slime that would become human beings millions of years later by placing their own genes or modified genes. There was even a movie on this in 2012 whose storyline presented a group of scientists going to a far away moon to meet the “engineers” who “created” the human race. This, of course, is just a product of the overactive imagination and has no scientific basis.
Well, scientists have found the “big-brain” gene, or ARHGAP11B which allows human beings to have greater intelligence than our relatives in the hominid family. This gene is believed to be specific to humans and humanoids of the past: Neanderthals and Denisovans. The gene is just 804 characters long and allows the neocortex of the brain to produce more neurons. The neocortex is found in mammals and is about 4 mm thick. It contains six layers of grey matter and surrounds the white matter in the cerebrum. The neocortex makes up about 77% of the volume of the human brain. This region allows for reasoning, advanced memory, speech, vision, advanced motor and sensory control and other biological functions unique to human beings.
This gene can give much insight on the brain and perhaps may lead to a better understanding of autism and other neurological differences that are considered a deviance from the norm.