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Thread: In the Human Brain, Size Really Isnít Everything

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    In the Human Brain, Size Really Isnít Everything

    Scientists have long suspected that our big brain and powerful mind are intimately connected. Starting about three million years ago, fossils of our ancient relatives record a huge increase in brain size. Once that cranial growth was underway, our forerunners started leaving behind signs of increasingly sophisticated minds, like stone tools and cave paintings.

    But scientists have long struggled to understand how a simple increase in size could lead to the evolution of those faculties. Now, two Harvard neuroscientists, Randy L. Buckner and Fenna M. Krienen, have offered a powerful yet simple explanation.

    In our smaller-brained ancestors, the researchers argue, neurons were tightly tethered in a relatively simple pattern of connections. When our ancestorsí brains expanded, those tethers ripped apart, enabling our neurons to form new circuits. Dr. Buckner and Dr. Krienen call their idea the tether hypothesis, and present it in a paper in the December issue of the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/sc...verything.html

    Paper: Randy L. Buckner and Fenna M. Krienen, The evolution of distributed association networks in the human brain, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 17, Issue 12, December 2013, Pages 648Ė665
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...64661313002210

    Highlights

    ē The human brain is triple the size of ancestors that lived 3 million years ago.
    ē Widely distributed cortical association regions are disproportionately expanded in humans compared with other primates.
    ē The separate association regions are connected by multiple large-scale networks that mature late in development.
    ē Cortical expansion may have caused critical properties of association networks to evolve as a spandrel.
    ē Many cortical features may be consequences of expansion in the context of conserved developmental programs.

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    Obviously not. The female human brain is smaller that that of the male, but look how many women are leaders in their fields of science, business and the arts. As for me, I'm a married man and wouldn't dare say anything else.
    The knowledge of man is but a flea on the back of a camel.

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     Anglecynn (12-28-2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian B View Post
    Obviously not. The female human brain is smaller that that of the male, but look how many women are leaders in their fields of science, business and the arts. As for me, I'm a married man and wouldn't dare say anything else.
    I hope you are just as willing to say that women aren't better parents or more gentle/moral than men.

    You mighg be sarcastic but the marriege comment sounds a bit submissive. I've noticed that many of the guys who joke about being submissive really are afraid of conflict so they will accept that women are always equal to men except when women are better than men...

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     lgmayka (12-28-2013)

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    I had no idea that a post on brain structure would kick off gender issues. Brain size correlates with body size in mammals. Elephants have huge brains; they are needed to control all that body mass. Human females are on average smaller than males. That is all there is to it.

    As for male-female differences in personality - yes there are some, but these are averages. There is so much overlap that it is always unwise to make assumptions based on gender. You only have to read newspapers regularly to know that some women are bad parents. I can vouch personally for men who are extremely good parents. Many girls prefer literature to science, but some are quite the opposite. Boys on average are slower to talk and less chatty than girls, but don't we all know a man who can talk the hind leg off a donkey. Women may be less aggressive than men on average, but women's boxing is now an Olympic sport, whearas some men are so peaceable you'd be hard put to it to ruffle one of their feathers, let alone provoke an outburst of violence. There seem to be exceptions to any gender generality.
    Last edited by Jean M; 12-28-2013 at 09:57 AM.

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     basque (12-28-2013)

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    Removed post... not to derail the topic.
    Last edited by Nirvana; 12-28-2013 at 10:39 AM.

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    Ha!! with age comes wisdom eh buddy?

    on a more serious note, I'm guessing that proportionally, the female brain is the same size as males, so its misleading to just weigh the two out
    - sort of like my eyeball is probably larger than the average females as I am a large male and for it to fit properly with my face, it has to be bigger-but the size does not relate to function, and a woman's eye works just as well (or better, I have a minor case of y associated color blindness) as mine

    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian B View Post
    Obviously not. The female human brain is smaller that that of the male, but look how many women are leaders in their fields of science, business and the arts. As for me, I'm a married man and wouldn't dare say anything else.
    Furthest Y line=Patrick Whealen 1816-1874, b.Tipperary Co. Ire. d. Kincardine Ont.

    Y-DNA-RL21-L513-Z23516-BY11142('lost Irish 'C' boys?')

    FTDNA=P312+ P25+ M343+ M269+ M207+ M173+ L513+ U198- U152- U106- SRY2627- P66- P107- M73- M65- M37- M222- M18- M160- M153- M126- L705- L577- L193- L159.2- L1333-
    Big-Y=Z23516+
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     basque (12-28-2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuadha View Post
    I hope you are just as willing to say that women aren't better parents or more gentle/moral than men.

    You mighg be sarcastic but the marriege comment sounds a bit submissive. I've noticed that many of the guys who joke about being submissive really are afraid of conflict so they will accept that women are always equal to men except when women are better than men...
    I wasn't intending to be sarcastic, the last comment was meant as a joke. I accept that in some fields, women certainly are better than men, but I won't be drawn into an argument about the relative gender attributes. It's a simple fact of life, some people excel where others fail, regardless of gender.
    The knowledge of man is but a flea on the back of a camel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWhalen View Post
    I have a minor case of y associated color blindness
    I'm no expert on colour-blindness, but I have not heard of any that is Y-related. All I know about is X-related. Because the common mutation for red-green colour-blindness is on the X, more men are red-green colour-blind than women, because they do not have an additional X which gives then another chance to have a working copy of the gene. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness#Genetics

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     basque (12-29-2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    I'm no expert on colour-blindness, but I have not heard of any that is Y-related. All I know about is X-related. Because the common mutation for red-green colour-blindness is on the X, more men are red-green colour-blind than women, because they do not have an additional X which gives then another chance to have a working copy of the gene. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness#Genetics
    Yeah, I think he meant that his Y gets in the way and makes his X work more, but for him as a Canadian male, that's probably a good thing.
    Genographic Project: N52850
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    the danger of tossing a phrase around people who know their science...I only know what I was told long ago, that a much higher % of men have the type of red green color blindness than women...up to 10-15% of the male population was the stat I read...so I blamed it on some y-linked problem...re reading what you wrote, Jean, you mean I can blame my Mom for my color blindness, much like my male patterned baldness?
    Ha! if she were alive she'd give me a dirty look and mutter about stupid scientists


    as for Ilmari....thhpppppttttt!

    M


    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    I'm no expert on colour-blindness, but I have not heard of any that is Y-related. All I know about is X-related. Because the common mutation for red-green colour-blindness is on the X, more men are red-green colour-blind than women, because they do not have an additional X which gives then another chance to have a working copy of the gene. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness#Genetics
    Furthest Y line=Patrick Whealen 1816-1874, b.Tipperary Co. Ire. d. Kincardine Ont.

    Y-DNA-RL21-L513-Z23516-BY11142('lost Irish 'C' boys?')

    FTDNA=P312+ P25+ M343+ M269+ M207+ M173+ L513+ U198- U152- U106- SRY2627- P66- P107- M73- M65- M37- M222- M18- M160- M153- M126- L705- L577- L193- L159.2- L1333-
    Big-Y=Z23516+
    23&me=L21+
    E.A.= S21-, S26-, S28-, S29-, S68-
    Geno 2 (N.G.P.) H1bd+

    Whalen/Phelan DNA Surname Project
    Hidden Content

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