LONDON (Daily Mail) - A five-year research into why Homo sapiens triumphed over Neanderthal man in the battle to survive is to be revealed this week.

Scientists using the latest dating methods will show that modern man walked the planet much earlier than was believed and Neanderthals died out much sooner than was estimated.

The study showed that although the brains of Neanderthals matched modern man in size they were not clever enough to survive long term.

They had bigger eyes to adapt to the long dark nights and winters and used more of their brain to focus on the physical needs of their larger bodies.

Modern humans from our sunny Africa homeland evolved their frontal lobes - responsible for thinking and cerebral prowess - which they used for social networking with other groups in times of need.

When they wanted help as the ice age approached, modern man could communicate, developing an ability to speak a complex language and setting up operations far from their homes unlike Neanderthals.

The results of the research will be unveiled at a three-day conference at the British Museum in London under the title When Europe was covered by ice and ash.

Neanderthals once dominated Europe, but disappeared after modern man was thought to have emerged 60,000 years ago. Now according to the research programme Reset - Response of Humans to abrupt environmental transitions - Homo sapiens could have arrived 45,000 years ago. Five thousand years later Neanderthals had all but vanished altogether.

Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum said: 'Previous research on Neanderthal sites which suggested they were more recent than 40,000 years old appear to be wrong. 'That is a key finding that will be discussed at the conference.'

Speaking to the Observer, Prof Stringer said there had been no single cause for Neanderthals dying out although some scientists had firmly believed a massive volcanic eruption had led to their extinction.

The explosion of the Camp Flegrei volcano west of Naples 39,000 years ago showered 60 cubic miles of ash into the atmosphere, across 1.4 million square miles, causing temperatures to fall dramatically across Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.

The ash layer meant scientists using radiocarbon dating, discovered there appeared to be no neanderthal sites 39,000 years ago - 10,000 years earlier than previous was thought.

Mr Stringer told the Observer: 'There may not have been a single cause of Neanderthal extinction. They may have disappeared in different regions for different reasons, but the background cause is clear. They didn't have the numbers.'