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
Grand Valley State University

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:

(Date:10/12/2015)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/zg9h9r/biometrics ) has ... "Biometrics: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2015-2021" ... --> The study is designed to ... Research represents a selection from the mountains of data ... with selections made by the most senior analysts. Commentary ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oct. 8, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... solutions, announced today that it will report financial ... on Thursday, October 22, 2015, after the close ... conference call for analysts and investors at 2:00 ... may discuss forward-looking information.    http://investor.shareholder.com/synaptics/ ...
(Date:10/6/2015)... Track Group, Inc. (OTCQX: TRCK), a global ... a contract with the Virginia Department of Corrections to ... sentences under the Department,s oversight. Derek Cassell ... with the Virginia DOC will expand our footprint in ... position as a trusted leader in offender electronic monitoring ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 09, 2015 , ... From blood to food to medicine, ... from their surroundings for research, diagnostics, and cell therapy—also known as cell sorting—can ... Arbor-based startup Akadeum Life Sciences is developing a radically new product ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 8, 2015   Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... the appointment of Joseph L. Vaillancourt as ... Nir Nimrodi who continues in his role as ... endeavors to generate sustainable, biologically based solutions to environmental ... he held a variety of key roles including, Vice ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 8, 2015  ATCC, the premier global biological materials ... been selected by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for ... academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology organizations committed to speed a ... United States , and more than 5 million ... United States , and more than 5 million ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 8, 2015 http://www.GoldmanResearch.com . ... --> Goldman Small Cap Research, a stock ... and microcap sectors, announced today that it has ... Biotech, Inc. (OTCQB - PMCB), a publicly traded, ... preparing treatments for cancer and diabetes. To view ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: