Creativity could be one of the main reasons Homo sapiens survived and dominated over related species such as Neanderthals and chimpanzees, according to a new study.
The idea that creativity may have given Homo sapiens a survival edge over Neanderthals has been around a long time, said senior author Dr. Claude Robert Cloninger, a professor emeritus in the psychiatry and genetics departments at Washington University in St. Louis. But that’s a tricky case to prove, as we still don’t know how creative Neanderthals actually were, he said.
“The problem with evaluating creativity in extinct species is, of course, you can’t talk to them,” Cloninger told Live Science. So an international team of researchers, led by a group at the University of Granada in Spain and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, looked at genes to examine what distinguished humans, including their creative ability, from their distant relatives.