TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

"What is so special about human brain, as compared to other primates"?

I have been long researching on brain evolution, the organization and brain size, as well as their role in shaping today's human brain. However, as compared to other priamtes, I do not see what it is that makes the human brain so special!! Brain size wise, it apparently does not make us special: although humans do have the biggest sized brains amongst mammals, evidently it is not linked to their intelligence. What is it about the human brain that is so different and special???

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 16 2012: haha I shall thank you for posting a relative article, if anything!!

    I actually have researched quite a lot about it and have found the following points as for what it is that makes the human brain unique:

    1) Human have a 3 times bigger relative brain size (relative brain size: the analogy between body mass/weight and brain size..) than a hypothetical human primate of the same body size. It has not been proven that size is related to cognitive ability and therefore the aforementioned fact does not necessarily suggest that humans have an enhanced cognitive capability because of their brain size.. However, solely the fact that the human brain is 3 times larger than its expected size, does somewhat make the human brain unique.

    2) The connectivity of the neurons in the brain and in particular the cerebral cortex are more developed than in other non human primates. Still, the actual different regions of the brain are the same ones in the human brain and the brain of other non human primates; for example a rat's brain consists of the same components as this of a human, however, the neural connections in a human brain are more developed. The above said (developed neural connectivity has been linked with enhanced intelligence)

    3)Genes: FOXP2: a gene involved with language, speech production and reading, appears to have had a mutation. the mutant gene is apparent only in human brains, the original form of the gene is apparent in other mammals as well. the mutant gene has been linked to the ability for humans to speak, read etc.

    another gene that only exists in the human brain: ASPM

    :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.