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Evidence for a secular increase in human brain weight during the past century.

Abstract

7397 post-mortem records have been studied. These comphrhend all 20- to 50-year old men and women who had been autopsied in The London Hospital since 1907. Fresh brain weight, body weight and height were abstracted and analysed statistically according to sex and to year of birth, any person with a cerebral or skeletal abnormality having been excluded. Fresh brain weight in men increased gradually by an average of 0-66 g per year from a mean of 1372 g for those born in 1860 to 1424 g in 1940-a total of 52 g. The weight of the female brain increased by 0-28 g per year from 1242 g to 1265 g over the same period. No appreciable rise in fresh brain weight occurred in women until 1900, after which date the increase was of the same order in the two sexes. Evidence of secular increases in body height and in body weight is also given.

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    Source

    Annals of human biology 4:3 1977 May pg 253-7

    MeSH

    Adult
    Autopsy
    Biological Evolution
    Body Height
    Body Weight
    Brain
    England
    Female
    History, 19th Century
    History, 20th Century
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Organ Size
    Sex Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Historical Article
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    900889