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

Troy Kelley (
Thu, 7 Sep 1995 13:11:59 GMT

Subject: Re: Brain size (was Re: AAT QUESTIONS...)
From: H. M. Hubey,
Date: 2 Sep 1995 21:10:48 -0400
In article <> H. M. Hubey, writes:
>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.
>Regards, Mark

There are differences in the human brain, in terms of certain structures
being bigger or different than other animals.

For example, if you look at other intelligent creatures on the planet
(particularly dolphins) you will find that they have a unusually large
area of the brain which is associated with emotional controls (the limbic
system). This would lead one to hypothsize that perhaps whales and
dolphin have more "emotional control" than human beings.

Also, because early humans spent so much of their time shaping objects,
particularly stone tools, and because this skill had such a direct impact
on the survivle of the species and to sexual selection (males with the
best tools probably were able to secure better females) these areas of
the human brain are particularly well developed. This might also help
explain why males tend to be more spatially oriented than females, who
tend to be more verbally oriented. It might also help to explain why so
many people are right-handed (this is just a personnel theory of mine).
Since spatial relations are controled by the right side of the brain, and
the human right hand is controled by the left side of the brain, this
leaves the two areas independent of each other and can allow each side to
utilize all of its resources to work together to shape tools. The
probablem with this theory is that most apes and chimps are right handed
as well, and they have not been shaping stone tools, at least that I know
of. But it still could be that similar operations are being performed, in
that when chimps are using their right hand (digging for termites with a
tig) they are still using the right side of their brain's to process
spatial information.

Also, I am convinced that the human brain is different from other animals
in terms of motivational tendencies. Humans have had to struggle with
their enviornmental delemias for so long that they had to develop certain
motivational strategies for coping with the hostile world. (Part of this
could have been brought about by AAT - i.e. naked skin) Much of this was
brought about by our poor physical makeups. We can't run very fast, we
can't really see very well at night, we aren't very strong (even compared
to our closest relatives chimps and gorillas), we can't hear very far, we
can't smell a lion unless it was in our faces, we can't even keep
ourselves warm at night unless we have some other animals hide on us to
keep us warm. But we had a good brain. And we had to use our good brain
to develop strategies to cope with our physical limitations. So we
developed tools for protection, and warmth, which overcame our physical

It is interesting to note that increases in intelligence came about the
same time our increases in tool development was taking place.

I wish I had more time to develop these ideas. But back to work.