Brain Function Not Completely Dependent on Size

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Geo Beats
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In order to determine the intelligence of a species, scientists often use the brain mass relative to the body size of an animal. But it turns out that although relative brain size does play a role in the level of intelligence, there are other factors that might also be relevant.

In order to determine the intelligence of a species, scientists often use the brain mass relative to the body size of an animal.

But it turns out that although relative brain size does play a role in the level of intelligence, there are other factors that might also be important to the development of an intelligent brain.

Neuroscientists from Harvard University have offered up an explanation for how complex brains capable of high levels of intelligence evolved in modern humans.

By mapping the connections in the human brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers were able to compare the brain structures of several species.

Mammalian animal brains are separated into areas called cortices that control different sensory inputs like vision, along with motor cortices for behavior. These cortices are connected by neurons in a straightforward fashion. Human brains however, also have well developed association cortices wired in a complex and random pattern.

The researchers found that there are more of these connections in the human brain which reportedly control our decision making, memory recall and introspection.

There is no definitive test for animal intelligence, but because of our faculties and cognitive capabilities, and advanced use of tools and language, humans are believed to be the most intelligent species on the planet.

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