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True   Likely   Speculative
Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
No Difference
Human Universality: 
Population Universal (Some Individuals Everywhere)
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Idiopathic epilepsy has been shown to occur in humans, as well as non-human primates. Seizures can vary in their manifestation, from obvious convulsions to fainting. During a seizure, brain activity becomes abnormally synchronized, which reflects a large, abnormal population of neurons firing as an ensemble. Seizures also generally have a focal region, commonly the medial temporal lobe, from where they can spread to other parts of the brain. Research has been done in many primate species showing that idiopathic epilepsy can occur in nonhuman primates. For instance, the Senegalese baboon is photosensitive and has light-induced seizures (Menini, 1976). Additionally, researchers have induced epilepsy in adult marmosets by injecting pilocarpine (cholinergic agonist) into the temporal lobe; the animals’ pathophysiology closely mirrored that of human temporal lobe epilepsy (Perez-Mendes et al., 2011).

While epilepsy has been seen in captive great apes, such as orangutans and chimpanzees (www.centerforgreatapes.org), there is no conclusive evidence demonstrating epilepsy in wild apes. Further research is required to reliably demonstrate epilepsy in wild great apes.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Possible Appearance: 
100,000 thousand years ago
Probable Appearance: 
30,000 thousand years ago
Definite Appearance: 
200 thousand years ago
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