Does brain size matter?

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

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    If scientists are correct that the grey matter counts, then brain size only matters indirectly...
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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

    the only reason they are "irrelevant" is because you cannot explain them with your theory.

    so all scientific proof supports your claim?
    well how about these:
    Thus, it seems that statistical correlation of brain weight and "superior intellectual ability" remains rather inconclusive.

    Neither absolute brain weight nor the relationship between brain weight and body size provide us with sensible criteria for comparing the intelligence of different species.

    There are at least two reasons why measures such as brain weight or cranial capacity are not easily interpretable indices of intelligence, even though small observed differences may be statistically valid.

    But Hurlburt says people with bigger brains aren't necessarily smarter than those with smaller ones. Studies have shown a weak correlation between brain size and I.Q. But scientists aren't sure what causes it.

    the above examples was taken from the first page of my search results.
    so much for your "all scientific proof supports your claim".
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  5. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for the links, leopold1. They seem interesting and I'm going to take some time to read them after I do my Accounting homework. In the meantime, mayhaps you can answer a question for me:

    If brain size does not matter, why is it an objective fact that smarter people have larger brains?
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  7. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Let me use an analogy, building muscle. The strongest people have big muscles, but the winner of the body building (muscle building) contests are not the same as tthe strongest people. So there is a connection, a correlation, but that doesn't mean automatically, that just because you have a GIANT head, you are also smart... And vica versa...
  8. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Smarter people generally have larger brains.

    Therefore, at least for Homo sapiens, usually, bigger is better.

    Does anybody disagree?
  9. orcot Valued Senior Member

    In my experience smarter people are generally a whole lot stupider then average person, they yust have a bigger mouth
  10. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Hooray for you.
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

    why is it an objective fact that you cannot tell how intelligent someone is by measuring their headsize?

    why is it an objective fact that pigmys with brains the size of 2 year olds have normal intelligence?
  12. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Why? Because large brains don't always mean higher intelligence. That's why.

    I seriously doubt the veracity of this statement. However, I'll take it as I think you mean it. "Why do some animals with brains larger than humans have lower intelligence than humans?" This has already been answered in this thread. It's because they have different wiring. The brains are different. Therefore, direct comparisons between them are invalid.
  13. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    So do the studies suggest that having a larger brain is a direct or indirect cause of higher intelligence?
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Some years ago I recall running into a study that suggested a larger brain in a human was an advantage in acquiring a variety of abilities - playing a musical instrument and doing crossword puzzles and solving geometry problems, say.

    At any given task no advantage appeared, but the number of different ones done well was larger in the larger brained humans.

    Can't find the study, unfortunately.
  15. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Wasn't there a guy who's head was full of fluid and it kept pressing his brain over and squishing it more and more. They didn't realize he had a problem til he had a seizure. Oh heck! Anyone know what I'm talking about? It was in the news.
  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Also the definition of "intelligence" strongly favors humans because they wrote it.

    For example, the 1/10 ounce bat's brain can IN REAL TIME process echoes extracting more details USEFUL TO THE BAT than dozens of humans computer experts and a room full of high speed modern computers can in a 24 hour day, if processing the same recorded data set.* The bat can identify one insect in a swarm of many different types from about 20 feet away. (One of the more tasty species, no doubt.) He can and then does adjust each of his chirped frequency pulses and their "repetition rates" optimally for that bug at that range, correcting for the three Doppler shifts (His speed when pulse was emitted, and later when the echo is received back and his speed has changed plus the Doppler shift due to bugs speed during the echo reflections.) He seems to even get some data on the bug's speed and direction from EACH echo but CERTAINLY knows how much of the dynamic range change is due to his and the bug's speed. - While still far away, he computes were to fly towards (not directly at the bug's locations when the pulse bounced off of it.) etc.

    If the bat could and got to define "intelligence," then humans and snails would have very low, and about equal, intelligence levels, but the snail’s would be higher as they are sensitive and responsive to ground vibrations.

    *Note also that the computer experts are spaired the complex task the bat also does of dynamically structuring the pulse rate, pulse duration, and frequency chirp structure. But what can you expect from creatures "dumber than snails."

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2008
  17. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

    Time magazine published an article on autism some time ago, it turns out people with autism have larger brains:

    "Harvard pediatric neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert reported last year that the excess white matter in autistic brains has a specific distribution: local areas tend to be overconnected, while links between more distant regions of the brain are weak. The brain's right and left hemispheres are also poorly connected. It's as if there are too many competing local services but no long distance.",9171,1191843-4,00.html

    Are autistic people very smart? Only some.

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