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Learning About Human Brains From Monkeys

(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Our brains are very compartmentalized and certain areas of the brain are involved for certain tasks. This independent activity can be found in certain species of monkeys as well. The fact that this happens allows us to study them.

Take the Macaque monkey brain. They have a specific area in their brains completely dedicated to responding to the sight of faces. Ninety-seven percent of the neurons in an area of their brain responded at least twice as strongly to faces, as they do to other objects. Most of the neurons responded to all kinds of faces – monkey, human and even cartoon.

The hope is that monkey studies will translate to humans.

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