Scientists of Vanderbilt University in the US found that the number of neurons in the cortex determines the average life span of animals, including humans. About it reported in a press release on MedicalXpress.
Previously it was thought that the main prognostic parameters of the duration of life is body weight and rate of metabolism. However, these indicators only work in 20-30% of cases, and birds live about 10 times longer than mammals of the same size. At the same time, the number of cortical neurons can accurately predict the life expectancy in 75% of cases.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 700 species of warm-blooded animals and compared them with information about the number of neurons in the brain. It turned out that parrots and songbirds live longer than primates with the same weight, and the latter, in turn, live longer than other mammals with the same body weight. In addition, birds need more time to reach sexual maturity.
Scientists have shown that life expectancy is directly dependent on the absolute number of cortical neurons. It does not matter the size of the animal and speed its metabolism. According to researchers, this is due to the fact that the cerebral cortex plays a key role in adaptation to environment and stress response.
Video, photo All from Russia.