TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

"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???

0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 15 2012: The cortex of Albert Einstein had more connections between neurons than the average person. (I am still a bit horrified over the slicing and dicing of his brain.)
    Albert Einstein is, of course, well known for thinking thoughts well out of reach of every "other ""primate".
    For the main difference I am thinking about the abillity to avoid contact with the hypothalamus/frontal cortex region, in fact, not to be distracted by "every day live".

    I could be wrong but my guess is that FOXP2 is connected/interrelated to procreation. (For many generations humans can procreate all year round).
    • Mar 17 2012: Einstein's brain specifically had more connections in the Visual Cortex- - not particularly the entire brain. Einstein himself described his thought process as "visualizing" the observer as stationary or moving at the speed of light.
      Would a simily enhancement in connectivity elsewhere produce remarkable results? For example, the auditory cortex- - would that make great music?
      Is there any research in this type of question- - results would be fascinating, wouldn't they?
      Has anyone studied methodologies which would allow us to create additional neural connections- - genetically, or in childhood or as adults? I was often told in college that if I studied something several different ways- -reading, speaking about the subject, teaching others about the subject, etc., that it would create more connections and improve long-term memory of the subject,. It makes intuitive sense, but I have never seen any science on the issue. This raises interesting ethical issues as well. Is it possible to increase IQ? Is that a good idea? While we in the 1st world probably do not need ditchdiggers any more, that may not be true elsewhere. What is the effect of increasing IQ on other human enterprises? If anyone knows about such studies, I would be interested to know.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.