Does brain size matter?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by francois, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. leopold Valued Senior Member

    the point i am trying to make is in answer to your question "is brain size at all important". the simple answer is no.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    But what about all this stuff? Is it all garbage?
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    apparently brain size doesn't mean a whole lot does it.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Good idea. I will get one up soon about the correlation of IQ with height. - We need to keep all these dumb short people out of our schools, so I will work on that thread first.

    Both height and brain volume correlate more strongly with innate IQ at birth than skin color does. Thus, US and many others are discriminating on the obvious, but much less valid, basis of skin color. - Silly is it not? (When more important correlates like height could easily be used.)*

    I am thinking of calling my new thread:

    "Tax money is wasted educating short people."

    What do you think? Other suggestions?
    *Not only is height a better indicator of IQ potential than skin color, it is almost impossible for a short person to cheat. All blacks with generalized vitiligo can pass for whites and some like Michael Jackson have other means.
    No short person can add more than a few inches even with every expensive painful surgery and vitiligo of some form is found in about 3% of the population - does not hurt is not contagious. Anyway you look at it, discrimination against short people (already done to some extent) is much better basis for improving the race's IQ than discrimination based on skin color. After we get the "shorties in their place," we can make more progress with laws that prohibit them from marrying, or at least not with us "tallies." - There is plenty of precedent for this in many state's miscegenation laws.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2006
  8. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    Again, you fail to comprehend the importance of the material.
    Nature is not a "dumb bitch".
    Please explain how you can possibly think a person with a slightly smaller brain cannot function well, if a person with a damaged brain can.

    francois said - "Within a species, because brain structure is generally very consistent, I think brain size plays an important role in an organisms intelligence. "

    Yes, the brain is GENERALLY consistent, and specifically, inconsistent. Humans are generally primates, and specifically something else.

    Also, I would like to see who has come out and said in other threads "there is no correlation of brain size and intelligence," and "brain size has nothing to do with intelligence!" - the most strident claim I have seen , just happened here when Leo said brain size was unimportant, but I haven't said that.

    I have said however that brain size cannot account for a lack of cognitive function, except in the most extreme cases where the brain is too small to contain the necessary building blocks a brain needs to create functionality.

    re-athletes - what about surfing? basketball? obviously the biggest muscles don't make the best athlete. Your view of the brain's cognitive function is like a person who thinks weightlifting is the only sport that exists. There are many functions in sports - balance, strength, planning, endurance, spatial referencing, etc., and being extremely good at one function can override a deficit in another.
    You don't even see that the brain functions overlap - the link I posted about men and women's brains shows that they must. Different types of material (grey and white matter) can even be used to perform the same function.

    Your position on cognitive function is highly oversimplified.

    Edit - very funny billy - how tall are you francois?
  9. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Based on the links posted throughout this thread, is it fair to make the following statement:

    General intelligence is somewhat correllated to brain size within the average adult human population, but is by no means correllated on an individual level.

    Generally true, or not?

    As for brain function remapping, this works best in children whos brains are still developing. For adults with serious brain matter loss, the outlook is bleak.
  10. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    You're comparing brain sizes of different animals, leopold1--different animals with different kinds of brains. Animals that are homo sapiens, however, all have very similar brains, so in that regard, brain organization isn't much of a factor. A "false killer whale" has a different type of brain than a homo sapien, wouldn't you agree?

    Did you read any of those studies that talk about brain size and intelligence correlations?

    Billy T:
    First, thanks for the response. Yeah, that would be interesting to know--the correlation of IQ and height. But you seem to be making an assumption here when you say "We need to keep all these dumb short people out of our schools, so I will work on that thread first." The underlying assumption is that I want to discriminate against people who have small brains. That is unwarranted. This is a science forum. I am interested in this stuff. Is there something wrong with that? Let me know what I should or should not talk about or be interested in. I need guidance very much.
    It is silly, I agree.

    If you want, go for it. But if you think you're mocking me in some way, you should know it's a complete non-sequitur.

    Cole man!
    I know she's not a dumb bitch. I was being fah-see-shus.

    Uhm. Okay, this one is easy. I don't! I don't even know where you're getting this stuff. Non-sequiturs and strawmen. You have an infinite stock pile of them don't ya!

    You want me to name names? Well, you've heard it from the one and only leopold1. There are others. I'm not naming names. They can come here and explain themselves.
    If that's what you think, tell me why you think it's true. Like I said in the first post, I don't want this to be a discussion about opinions and "I believe this, because... einstein had a small brain and..." Back up what you say with studies or at least something incisive. So far, I've explained and bolstered my claim (that brain size is important) with studies and published research. I want you guys to do the same.

    My claim is not "It's impossible to be intelligent if you have a small brain."
    My claim is not "Brain size is the only factor that plays a role in a person or animal's intelligence."

    All my claim states, is: "Brain size is important. Generally, in populations, smarter people have bigger brains." It's not controversial (at least to scientists), it's not unsubstantiated and it's not oversimplified. Since you think it's oversimplified, tell me why you think so.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

    no, because i consider brain size almost irrelevant when discussing intelligence. i say almost because a really tiny brain would be considered retarded.

    frankly i feel environment plays a greater role in intelligence than brain size thus:
    According to Garlick, recent advances in neuroscience and cognitive science have suggested that different intellectual abilities require different neural connections in the brain and that the only mechanism that allows the brain to grow such connections would be an adaptation mechanism that responds to environmental input.
  12. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    That is what I was saying to francois for the last bunch of posts - given ALL the evidence, this makes the most sense.

    There is absolutely no reason why a persons brain could not grow, in dimensions and structurally, according to the mental tasks set before them in childhood, as their brain matures - even tiny changes could have large results, IF they are changes which have a purpose. Untrained, unused brain mass isn't going to help anyone very much - hence the kuzweil/savant with stupid offspring example.

    edit -
    People with good hand-eye coordination play sports well, but which percentage of the coordination is the cause and which is the result? You don't know. The percentage is inextractable. So, you can't prove the genetics specifically, but you CAN prove that practice is of utmost importance.
  13. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Of course not true:

    1. I saw a guy's brain's X-ray. He had a special condition with walnut-sized brain and he had normal intelligence.

    2. We aren't using our brains very effectively. Only 10% of so its capacity is being used. As others pointed out in this thread, you can remove a huge part of the brain of a child and still can have a normal adult.
  14. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

    I've heard about this 10% capacity claim. But I also heard that it is in fact only 10% being used at any one time. That is, the whole of the brain is used, but not all at the same time?

    Those stories about people fucntionaing normally with only half the brain are facsinating - is it some kind of in-built redundancy?
  15. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Yes and no. Differences in brain structure can facilitate the growth of proper connections.

    And as I have been showing ad nauseum in the other thread, most data regarding intelligence in the human brain is focussing more and more on the structure of the brain.

    Hence what is the difference between a rodent and a human brain. It's mainly structural.

    For instance a very rough structural difference between mouse and human brain:

    Here is for instance a normal mouse brain and one of a transgenic mouse where beta-catenin is protected from normal degradation.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    It mimicks the increase in cortical surface.

    Moreover the human brain has a 6 layers of neurons in its cortex while most animals have only 3.

    Moreover, although the histology of the brain is basically the same in every human, the morphology isn't. Every brain is structurally different.

    The biggest structural differences can of course be found between men and women.

    Similarly you might have noticed that they genitalia are different too.

    One could measure how far genitalia could shoot sperm and you find a striking correlation. Men shoot sperm much further with their genitalia than women.
  16. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    On a related note:

  17. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    What about short people with big heads?
  18. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  19. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Cole... that was never my argument. It was never my argument that a person who is untrained and has a bigger brain would outperform a person who has a smaller brain, but is trained. I hate those kinds of analogies. They are so riddled with logical flaws. I'm not even going to indulge you.

    I want people who disagree with my thesis to disprove that smarter people generally have larger brains. To do this, citing a few examples of freaks with small brains and high IQs is not going to be sufficient. Similarly, if I based my argument on only a few samples, I wouldn't expect anyone to take me seriously. If I mentioned a few people who had large brains and high IQs and used that as evidence to bolster my argument, well, that would be pretty lame and illogical.

    But this general tendency is very well documented, as I have already demonstrated.
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

    to give you the benefit of doubt i have checked your links.
    all of them but one are broken and in the case of wiki the title doesn't exist.
    the sole functioning link is:
    from the above link is this:
    It remains to be determined what the contribution of nature and nurture are to this cerebral size relationship with intelligence, Witelson said. She added that the results point to the need for responsibility in considering the likely future use of magnetic imaging (or MRIs) of brain structure as a measure of ability in student and workforce settings.

    pay particular attention to the first sentence of the quote francois.
  21. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    Can you show the brain size is not the RESULT of environmental and not genetic factors?
    You find a correlation and assume it is a cause - I thought we already went over this.

    Indisputable Fact - A correlation is not a cause.

    Homework for you- design a study which would provide some evidence for your idea. Do that, and then maybe you will see why you haven't shown anything yet.
  22. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    I am not saying that putting a baby in a maze and feeding it cheese will make its brain develop like a mouse's or vice versa - rather that the small differences in structure can mean big differences in function, and that there are differences in structure throughout human populations.
  23. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    The point of this thread is not whether or not brain size has anything to do with genetics. I'm sure it does. Similar to how other physical characteristics are determined by genetics.

    The point is that smart people generally have larger brains.

Share This Page