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Chimp, Bonobo Study Sheds Light on the Social Brain

(Science Daily) It's been a puzzle why our two closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have widely different social traits, despite belonging to the same genus. Now, a comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for these behaviors, from the aggression more typical of chimpanzees to the social tolerance of bonobos.
"What's remarkable is that the data appears to match what we know about the human brain and behavior," says Emory anthropologist James Rilling, who led the analysis. "The neural circuitry that mediates anxiety, empathy and the inhibition of aggression in humans is better developed in bonobos than in chimpanzees."
Community: We are more closely related to bonobos than to chimpanzees, though strongly related to both. This research adds to knowledge about the genetic bases of some of our behaviors. I’d write a book about these built-in drives and how they might benefit us all, if I could ever find a publisher.
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