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Mr Rayon

Did dinosaurs have bigger brains than modern day humans?

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If so, why didn't that make them smarter than modern day humans?

 

Why doesn't a large brain necessarily translate to higher intelligence?

 

How many animals out there today have bigger brains than modern day humans?

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Mr. Rayon,

 

I am a layman, so take what I have to say, with a grain of salt, but let me give an example of larger brain size, and what additional capabilities that might carry with it, that does not require one animal being "smarter" than another. Neanderthals had larger brains than modern humans. 1600 cubic centimeters compared to 1250-1400 for the modern human. They also had larger eyes and a bigger nose, suggesting that perhaps they had better eyesight and a better sense of smell than modern humans. This made them "smarter" in terms of being able to internalize and model their environment. Whether that makes them better at problem solving in general, it's hard to say, as seeing and smelling your prey certainly solves the problem of finding them.

 

So ingeneral I would imagine a larger animal, with more muscle to command and control and more surface area to have nerves to attach to and perhaps larger eyes and tongue and nasal areas and ear drums or whatever, would require a larger nerve center to receive the sense signals and house the predictive motor simulator and put out the motor control signals to accomplish coordinated purposeful motion.

 

Does not mean though that an elephant would be better at puzzles than a mouse.

 

Baby Neanderthals have the same size brains as baby modern humans. As the Neanderthal grew to maturity their brain size increased. Indicating perhaps that as their model of the world grew so did the cells and synapses that held it. Or perhaps there is a certain way they had of growing the brain, as they used it, like a muscle might grow. In any case, intelligence is a matter of some discussion, as functional intelligence is something being considered in education today. Different people might be creative, or analytical or practical, and each has the potential to be helpful, and thus the person is "smart" in that way. I would think a larger brain would indicate that the creature needed such to be a smart, that kind of creature. Does not really say which areas of its brain are the most developed or capable. Might be an excellent flyer, but lousy at speech.

 

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar

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No dinosaurs did not have brains bigger than humans...

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Intelligence is not directly related to brain size. It is partly the ratio of brain size to body size, and also the structure of the brain.

 

Shouldn't that be the number of neurons and how they're connected? I have a hard time believing that if a hypothetical creature the size of a whale has a human brain, that they would somehow be less smart than a human.

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Brain density was my first thought. Then I remembered dinosaurs had small brains when I read moons post.

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Shouldn't that be the number of neurons and how they're connected? I have a hard time believing that if a hypothetical creature the size of a whale has a human brain, that they would somehow be less smart than a human.

 

 

Sperm whales have brains several times as big as a humans and every bit as complex...

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Sperm whales have brains several times as big as a humans and every bit as complex...

 

But what kind of complexity? Is it geared towards the kind of intelligence we have? That's why I said 'how it's wired up' and not 'complex'. Example: A brain of a trillion neurons, where each neuron is randomly connected to a million other neurons, is certainly very complex, but doesn't do anything useful.

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But what kind of complexity? Is it geared towards the kind of intelligence we have? That's why I said 'how it's wired up' and not 'complex'. Example: A brain of a trillion neurons, where each neuron is randomly connected to a million other neurons, is certainly very complex, but doesn't do anything useful.

 

 

You'll have to define complex, I was using the idea of how convoluted the surface of the brain is, ours, compared to most mammals is highly convoluted. The brains of whales are also convoluted as are the giant brains of elephants both of which have brains much bigger than human brains, both are considered to be highly intelligent as well.

 

On the other end of the spectrum are the brains of Mormyrids, small but bigger in proportion to their body size than humans...

 

Interesting factoid: both whales and mormyrids use echo location as a means to navigate and to find prey...

Edited by Moontanman

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