Neanderthals immune to mental illness?

This is more from the realm of the history of the psyche itself, than from history of psychology: According to a report in Discovery News, a recent theoretical study claims that Neanderthals were less likely to have suffered from serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia because their neocortices were not as complex as those of modern humans.

“In a nutshell, I feel that the extremely long maturation time of our brains — greater than 20 years — allows them to develop many and various capabilities, such as language and schizophrenia,” H. Lee Seldon, the theory’s author, told Discovery News.

Seldon, a senior lecturer and an expert on health informatics at Monash University in Australia, added, “Also, because of the long maturation time, environmental factors have more time to exert modifying influences on the final outcome.”


About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.