The Question of Intelligence
Why Do We Care?: The Question of Intelligence
Many people are interested in the relationship between body size and brain size. One may expect larger animals to have larger brains, but we want to know more about the relationship for two main reasons:
- First, knowing something about the general relationship may help us learn something interesting about brains, cognition, and intelligence in general;
- Second, if there is a general relationship between body and brain size, then we need to factor it out when talking about brain size and intelligence (or cognition)... For example, cows have bigger brains than most monkeys, but that most likely has more to do with having larger bodies than more intelligence.
There are multiple methods for studying the brain and its relationship to behavioral complexity. Let's take an indepth look at these methods, which include:
- looking at the absolute magnitude of the brain
- measuring brain size versus body size
- measuring cortical folding
- measuring neocortex
- measuring volume of gray matter versus volume of nerve cells
- looking at specific brain structures
First, though, have you thought about what intelligence is anyway? How do scientists talk about it? Go here for a discussion of the relevence of intelligence.