Here’s article new to accede being beholden for at the dinner table: the long evolutionary adventure that gave you your big brain and your long life.

Courtesy of our abbey ancestors that invented affable over a actor years ago, you are a member of the one breed able to afford so many cortical neurons in its brain. With them come the continued adolescence and the blame century-long lifespan that calm make human beings unique.

All these bequests of your bigger brain cortex mean you can gather four ancestors around a meal to barter banter and gossip, turn advice into ability and even convenance the art of what-not-to-say-when.

You may even want to be beholden for addition accomplishment of our neuron-crammed human cortices: all the technology that allows people spread over the globe to come calm in person, on screens, or through words aside anon into your ears long distance.

I know I am thankful. But then, I’m the one proposing that we humans revise the way we tell the story of how our breed came to be.

Brains made of cells, but how many?

Back when I had just accustomed my afresh minted Ph.D. in neuroscience and started alive in science communication, I found out that 6 in 10 college-educated people believed they only used 10 percent of their brains. I’m glad to say that they’re wrong: We use all of it, just in altered ways at altered times.

The myth seemed to be accurate by statements in austere textbooks and accurate accessories that “the human brain is made of 100 billion neurons and 10 times as many acknowledging glial cells.” I wondered if those numbers were facts or guesses. Did anyone absolutely know that those were the numbers of cells in the human brain?

No, they didn’t.

Neuroscientists did have a rough idea. Some estimates appropriate 10 to 20 billion neurons for the human bookish cortex, others some 60 to 80 billion in addition region called the cerebellum. With the rest of the brain known to be fairly sparse in comparison, the number of neurons in the whole human brain was absolutely closer to 100 billion than to just 10 billion (far too little) or 1 abundance (way too many).

But there we were, neuroscientists armed with fancy tools to modify genes and light up parts of the brain, still in the dark about what altered brains were made of and how the human brain compared to others.