October 8, 2013 5:19 AM

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The study combined behaviors of monkeys and humans, and examined images of their brains and fossil evidence to overturn a widespread theory which suggests that the development of bipedal locomotion preceded the evolution of manual dexterity to free human hands to use fingers to control various tools.

“Evolution is not usually thought of as being accessible to study in the laboratory,” Atsushi Iriki, the study's leader and a neurobiologist at RIKEN-BSI, said in a statement. “But our new method of using comparative brain physiology to decipher ancestral traces of adaptation may allow us to re-exam...

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