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:11/18/2015)... 18, 2015 --> ... new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - Global ... - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture recognition market was ... to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a CAGR ... North America dominated the global gesture recognition ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today ... its Board of Directors. --> ... recently retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one ... with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and ... all the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the gene ... new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report scientists ... and Harvard and the University of São Paolo in ... pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle regeneration, ... Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International ... and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. ... 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its ... as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV ... embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist ... announced that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at ... Hotel in New York City. --> ... www.twistbioscience.com . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, ... focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class ... Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the ... at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York ... . http://capricor.com/news/events/ . --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: