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Elephant and Human Brains... COMPARED

comaprison of human brains to elephant brains

lexie fenn

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of Elephant and Human Brains... COMPARED

Elephant and Human Brains a Comparison by Alexandria Fenn The Brain Forebrian: largest & most highly developed part of brain. consists mostly of cerebrum (source of intellectual activities, memory, imagination). Contains temporal lobes. Midbrain: Controls some reflex actions. part of circuit that moves eyes. Hindbrain: Wrinkled ball of tissue called cerebellum. cerebellum controls vital functions and coordinates movement (playing drums, dancing) Elephant Brain -Elephant brain bigger than any other land mammal -Located at back of skull away from forehead -Born with 35% of adult brain mass (humans born with 26%) -adult brain weighs about 4.3kg (bulls) and 3.6kg (cows) whereas adult human's weighs about 1.35kg Myth #1: A bigger brain is a better brain. -There is a correlation between larger brains with cognitive ability ex. humans, dolphins, apes,
and elephants have larger
brains then ants. -then this would have to also apply with other species ex. cows have a larger brain than monkeys, but are less cognitively capable than most, if not all, primates. Cognition: Of or pertaining to the mental process of perception, memory, and judgement as contrasted with emotion & volitional process Myth #2: Human brains are largest relative to body size. -In 335BC, Aristotle said that the
relation of brain size to intelligence
is about ratio of brain weight to body
weight -Humans brain-to-body ratio is huge
compared to elephants (about 1/40 vs
1/560 respectively) -Equal to that of a mouse though
which is also 1/40 -Is smaller than that of some small birds (1/12) Myth #3: A bigger briain has more
neurons than a smaller one -The assumption that the density of the brain is more or less constant across various animals is false -Herculano-Houzel's study shows different mammals follow different "scaling rules" -Elephant brains are more dense than human brains despite being smaller in comparison with body weight elephant brain human brain has more neurons per tsp Neurons &
Herculano's Study Temporal Lobe: Generally related to hearing in mamals, and speech in humans. Where we hold memory. Is more developed in elephants. -Neurons have tree-like branches that intertwine with those of their neighbours -They form the vast electrical &
chemical network that is our brain. -They control subconscious bodily
functions -2009, Herculano liquified 4 mens brains using "isotropic fractionation" technique -Counted neurons in small sample, then multiplied it by the size of whole brain -Discovered average of 86 billion neurons in humans -Elephants: 23 billion
-Rats: 56 billion
-Mice: 75 billion Cerebellum: Relates muscle coordination; trunk coordination directly related to cerebellum. 3 enlargements compared to humans: Olfactory lobe: Connected to fine innervation of sense of smell in trunk. Temporal lobe
of cerebrum Cerebellum Infrasound -Low frequency, under 16Hz (hertz) -Humans can't hear it (can hear down to 20Hz) -Recently discovered that is how elephants communicate -can send signals 20km because unlike human sounds, it doesn't shatter, and it can bend and go around obstacles -Emitted from storms & volcano eruptions von Economo Neuron Cells -Study conducted on elephant brain shows spindle-shaped cells called von Economo neurons -Only found in intelligent mammals such as humans, apes, elephants, and a few others -Located in anterior cingulate cortex, are elongated with only one dentrite (recieve signals) at each end -4 times bigger than other cells in brain -Help with sensations such as pain, hunger, and for recognizing when one has made a mistake -Humans have roughly half a million (1.25% more than elephants)
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