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Re: Hands and brains

To David:

>I would disagree that only absolute size is important.  I'm
>not positive, but I'm assuming elephant brains are quite
>larger than human brains.

Yes, you are right, I always thought different, but today I did some
research and found that indeed dolphin and elephant brains are bigger.

>While social and intelligent
>animals, they're certainly not more intelligent than human
>beings.  Perhaps the absolute size of a certain section
>of the brain?  Like the cerebellum?

I think you mean cerebrum (the large brains).

>I don't know enough
>about elephant anatomy to say whether or not one part of
>an elephant brain is larger than another part.

I'm not sure either anymore, but think that indeed the absolute size of the
different kinds of the brain is important.
Like Kelly wrote, doplhins have a large part of their brain devoted to sonar
and communication and probably less to the eyes.

>my instinct tells me that there is some sort of minimum
>constant k=c*s, where s is size and c is connectivity (i.e.
>number of neural connections per brain cell)... so that
>creatures with smaller brains could still be intelligent if
>they had a higher density of connections.  Well,
>actually, another possibility is that there is simply a minimum
>number of connections...

I think connectiveness depends on the function of a certain part of the brain.