Re: Brain size (was Re: AAT QUESTIONS...)

3 Sep 1995 21:57:16 GMT

H. M. Hubey ( sez:
`VINCENT@REG.TRIUMF.CA (pete) writes:

`>correlate to intelligence, what does determine it? Some change
`>in the nature of synapse development? I'm not sure that our
`>brains develop any differently than other mammals, they're
`>just bigger. And even short lived mammals show (to some extent)

`They're different. You can't just take a dog brain and blow
`it by a factor of X, and get a human brain; different parts
`of it are bigger.

Quite so. I made that point later on. In this post I was responding
to the suggestion that the human brain displayed more intelligence
because of some inherent difference in its structure, not simply
its size. That is, perhaps the dendritic density was greater, or
something. The poster to whom I was responding, had proposed that
the large size of the human brain was the result of building in
redundancy, in response to an increased dependence on the fruits
of this more facile brain, to combat the necrosis of neurons with
age, as our lifespan increased.

Thus, in his speculation, our ancestor's brain, a brain of human relative
proportion, but only as large as a chimp's, might have been capable
of as much intelligence as our own, but would have been more
vulnerable to early senility. As neither of us (I believe) have
the necessary grounding in neurophysiology, at least I don't,
the discussion was essentially speculative.

========================================================================== <== faster % Pete Vincent % Disclaimer: all I know I
% learned from reading Usenet.