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:8/20/2014)... Women who are poor experience higher cortisol levels ... levels of the stress hormone, putting them at ... to a new research from the University of Colorado ... American Journal of Human Biology , is the ... directly to the socioeconomic status of their mothers during ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... 4,000 members, it triggers an important first stage in ... of comb used for rearing male reproductive, called drones. ... and Behaviour at Cornell University, led by Michael Smith, ... The results are published in Springer,s journal Naturwissenschaften ... isn,t always a honeybee colony,s top priority. Early ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... leaves, photosystem 1 (PS1) absorbs light and its ... carbon dioxide to biomass. Photovoltaic devices, mostly build ... but produce electricity. One approach for the development ... the semi-conductor with the isolated membrane protein complexes ... a highly stable PS1 from thermophilic cyanobacteria that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):CU Denver researcher shows economic disparities impact infant health 2Worker bees 'know' when to invest in their reproductive future 2A semi-artificial leaf faster than 'natural' photosynthesis 2
(Date:8/21/2014)... 2014 SoundConnect , a ... as one of the nation’s Fastest Growing Private ... the 2nd consecutive year. Inc. magazine today ranked ... 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing ... look at the most important segment of the ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... time, chemists have succeeded in measuring vibrational motion of ... study reveals how vibration of a single molecule differs ... The study was performed at the University of California, ... of Jyvskyl works as a visiting fellow under professor ... The second team was lead by Professor Eric O. ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) August 20, 2014 ... Conference is being held on October 29-30 in ... perspectives from industry, academic and government researchers and clinicians ... in the space. , In the twelve years ... one hundred therapies have been introduced with pharmacogenetic information ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... (PRWEB) August 20, 2014 ... released today including improvements to the enterprise replication ... connectors for Lucene, SOLR and Elasticsearch. This release ... this high performance triplestore – GraphDB™ was formerly ... in deploying the only mature enterprise resilient RDF ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SoundConnect Returns on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies 2SoundConnect Returns on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies 3Seeing a molecule breathe 26th Annual Personalized and Precision Medicine Conference Bringing Together Thought Leaders to Discuss Clinical Implementation, Dx Reimbursement, Big Data, and Sequencing 2Ontotext Improves Its RDF Triplestore, GraphDB™ 6.0: Enterprise Resilience, Faster Loading Speeds and Connectors to Full-Text Search Engines Top the List of Enhancements 2Ontotext Improves Its RDF Triplestore, GraphDB™ 6.0: Enterprise Resilience, Faster Loading Speeds and Connectors to Full-Text Search Engines Top the List of Enhancements 3Ontotext Improves Its RDF Triplestore, GraphDB™ 6.0: Enterprise Resilience, Faster Loading Speeds and Connectors to Full-Text Search Engines Top the List of Enhancements 4
Cached News: