January 19th, 2012

Ann Vole

Different kinds of brains

There are a few dozen factors for brain intelligence and/or functional speed and all seem to negatively interact with the other factors to make the gains of one factor partially canceled out by the loss of the negatively affected factors. As each animal species pushes some boundary of form or function by increasing the effect of one factor, it's brain becomes less effective in other functions due to the losses in other factors. When comparing brain size to body size, all animals generally fall along a particular logarithmic line ("3/4 power") but it is also noted that for rodents, the angle of that line is different then for primates. This line's angle seems to be due the strategies of how to make the smartest brain for an animal typical of that family of animals. Rodent design seems to maximize intelligence for mouse-sized rodents but primates seem to be maximized for small human and chimpanzee sized primates. This leads me to want to plot all the "brain size to body size" numbers for various families of animals (specifically rodent families) and see if I can categorize them by types of brain designs which may be a clue to finding species most likely to have a language in the wild or able to adapt to language use easier even if it is not found in wild populations.