This web exhibit was first built in 2000 by Patricia Anne Kinser, Haverford College, under the direction of Paul Grobstein, Bryn Mawr College. The updated version of Comparative Neuroanatomy and Intelligence is now online at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/brains. This old version has been archived in place, and will continue to be available for teachers and students who are using it.

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The Neuron- Up Close and Personal

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The Brain Magnified: Forebrain

Degree of magnification
Monkey
Cat
Rat
4x
monkey fore low power
cat forebrain low power
rat forebrain low power
10x
monkey forebrain med power
cat forebrain med power
rat forebrain med power
20x
to come
cat forebrain high power
rat forebrain high power



Unfortunately, we don't have photomicrographs at each magnification for every animal. However, an interesting comparison is between the cat and the rat at 20x (highest power) magnification. The neurons in these pictures look VERY similar, don't they? Amazing!

At the same magnification, the neurons of each animal look very similar and even identical. Why, then, do you suppose these animals behave in different ways if even the neurons look similar? If the building block of the brain (the neuron) is the same in every type of animal's brain, why don't all animals act the same????

No one has a true or certain answer to that question. However, often people generalize that one must look at the larger picture to get an answer. Others argue that more needs to be known about the neurons in particular. What do you think? Do we learn more by looking at the larger-scale structures of the brain or studying each individual neuron?? Learn more about neurons by clicking on the button below...





I want to learn more about neurons!!!

Go back to the beginning of this magnification section

Huh? Can we start over?




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