How do genes influence brain development?
By comparing our genome with those of other species, scientists discovered some regions of the genome that are very different in humans. Called human accelerated regions (HARs), these areas of our genome have been implicated in the development of the human brain. Since 2007 more than 200 HARs have been identified. They appear to tell nearby genes when to switch on or off, and many of these nearby genes are involved in brain development and function. By studying these regions scientists should gain a better understanding of why our brain is unique.