HERE’s another fact to make it easier to tease our southern counterparts – new research has found northerners are likely to have bigger brains.
A study by Oxford University has found that people from countries further from the equator have evolved more grey matter and have larger eyes from those from sunnier climes.
That’s because living in areas with long, dark winters and cloudy skies means the eyes and brain have to work harder to process images. It also gives the eyes more chance to take in more light and allow the brain to deal with all the extra information.
Researchers tested the capacity of brains from across 12 countries.
They found the northern area had larger eye sockets and brain cavities than those from equatorial regions.
The English had an average brain size of 1.4 litres, while Micronesia, which is very near the equator, had a capacity of just 1.3 litres.
But try not to lord it over our southern friends too much, it may not mean northerners are any smarter.
Research student Eiluned Pearce said: “Having bigger brains doesn’t mean that higher latitude humans are smarter, it just means they need to be bigger to deal with the extra visual input.”
The study also took into account the generally bigger build of northerners as a way to stay insulated.