HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Bigger is smarter

ALLENDALE, Mich. -- When it comes to estimating the intelligence of various animal species, it may be as simple measuring overall brain size. In fact, making corrections for a species' body size may be a mistake. The findings were reported by researchers at Grand Valley State University and the Anthropological Institute and Museum at the University of Zrich, Switzerland. The study has now been published online in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Evolution.

"It's long been known that species with larger body sizes generally have larger brains," said Robert Deaner, assistant professor of psychology at Grand Valley and the first author on the study. "Scientists have generally assumed that this pattern occurs because larger animals require larger nervous systems to coordinate their larger bodies. But our results suggest a simpler reason: larger species are typically smarter."

Deaner said the findings imply that a re-evaluation may be in order for many previous studies that have compared brain size across different animal species, including ancestral hominids.

The new results build on a paper by the same researchers, published in the online journal Evolutionary Psychology, in July 2006, which showed that some primate species consistently outperform others across a broad range of cognitive tasks. That finding provided evidence for species differences in intelligence or "domain-general cognition," in the parlance of the field. This intelligence allows an animal to tackle new and unpredictable situations. Domain-general cognitive ability stands in contrast to domain-specific skills that are suited to particular environment challenges, such as a bird remembering where it cached food.

The new study compared how well eight different brain size measures predicted the domain-general cognition variable generated in the earlier study. To the researchers' surprise, overall brain size and overall neocortex size proved to be good predictor
'"/>

Contact: Mary Pirkola
pirkolam@gvsu.edu
616-331-2221
Grand Valley State University
18-May-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Bigger horns equal better genes
2. Copper circuits help brain function -- could tweaking the circuits make us smarter?
3. Making medicine smarter
4. VCU study shows big-brained people are smarter
5. Were bigger brains really smarter?

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Bigger smarter

(Date:11/4/2014)... CITY, Nov. 5, 2014 – University of Utah engineers ... to help jet fuel produce electricity without needing to ... used to power portable electronics, off-grid power and sensors. ... today in the American Chemical Society journal ACS ... through a chemical reaction between a fuel and an ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... (November 4, 2014) — Think about the way our ... do neighboring cells know that they are supposed to ... do these tissues find the correct place and alignment? ... these crucial questions. , In a new study, UM ... communicate with their surrounding neighbors, at the head-trunk region. ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... A majority of Madagascar,s 101 species of lemurs are ... for the rainforests they call home. A new study ... can have on rainforest tree populations, which raises concerns ... the region,s rich biodiversity. , A large proportion of ... Lemurs in turn disperse the seeds of their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Jet-fueled electricity at room temperature 2The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 3
(Date:11/26/2014)... The ETC (Emerging Technology Centers) ... centers, announced today that applications for AccelerateBaltimore™ (AB) ... “Do you have a big idea?,” asked ETC’s ... know about it. AccelerateBaltimore helps you and your ... just 13 weeks.” Interested game changers with ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 SonaCare Medical, a leading ... devices, recently participated in the American Urology Association’s ... .” Key opinion leaders in urology presented on ... small renal masses while attendees had the opportunity ... in hands-on labs. Attendees at the Los Angeles, ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... (PRWEB) November 25, 2014 The Pittcon ... its official conference and exposition mobile app, ... free download in the App Store for iOS and ... valuable resource tool before, during and after the event. ... details on exhibiting companies, technical sessions, Conferee Networking sessions ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... (PRWEB) November 26, 2014 SoundConnect ... company is proud to announce that Darren Suders has ... Sales. Darren will drive the partner program ... customer experience. , Darren brings more than ... held key roles in channel operations, from policy development, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:AccelerateBaltimore Applications to Close in 6 Days 2AccelerateBaltimore Applications to Close in 6 Days 3SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 3Pittcon Releases 2015 Mobile App 2SoundConnect Appoints Director of Channel Development & Sales 2
Cached News: