However modern humans living at higher altitudes have also evolved larger vision processing areas in their brains and this has not resulted in reduced cognitive abilities. The findings seem to run counter to recent research that has dispelled the earlier view that Neanderthals were "stupid brutes" and instead were only slightly less intelligent than ourselves. Indeed although modern humans' advantage was only slight it was apparently just enough to tip the balance in their favour in the battle for survival during the ice ages.
John Hawks is among those sceptical.
The single most important correlate of orbit diameter is body mass. Neandertals were bigger on average. QED.
— John Hawks (@johnhawks) March 13, 2013