Humans are proud of their brainpower. Our noggins are some of the largest nature has to offer, and we like to think that we are an intelligent species.

It is not something we like to think about. The hypothesis put forward by a close-knit group of paleontologists has been ignored by experts for more than four decades.

A team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas says the brain shrinkage hypothesis doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

The idea that the human brain had shrunk in volume by about four ping pong balls was popularized in a paper by Jeremy De Silva and his colleagues.

They said this happened just 3000 years ago.

That is newer than other theories. The last ice age ended about 11,700 years ago, and some scientists theorize that human brains began to shrink.

The loss in brain size was shown in the paper.

It was suggested that a smaller brain was developed because information could now be shared among people.

Our brains did not become dumber; they became more efficient.

Not everyone was sold on the appealing theory. The UNLV team claims to have changed the idea.

The brain size of humans has not changed over the last 30,000 years.

We can't find a reduction in brain size in modern humans over the course of time.

The findings are based on a new analysis of skulls, put together by Villmoare and his colleagues, which is different from the De Silva paper.

Only 23 of the 987 skulls analyzed by De Silva and colleagues come from a specific time period. The data in the new study is much smaller. Modern humans have been around for 300,000 years.

UNLV researchers aren't sure if all of the 10 million years of early human history is relevant to an event that happened 3000 years ago.

Most of the human fossils were dated within the last 10 percent of the time series. It's difficult to find older fossils.

Researchers used human cranium fossils from the last 30,000 years to create a more normal distribution.

Researchers found no significant change point in human cranium size when using the same methods as De Silva.

Human brain size has been remarkably stable over the last 300 years, according to the conclusion of a group of people.

Evidence does not support the hypotheses of recent change.

There is little doubt that De Silva and colleagues will have something to say. The authors hoped that others would try to understand their hypothesis.

They received what they wanted.

There is a new study in the journal.