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human brain size

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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human brain size

Postby Livinus » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:01 pm

Since around 30.000 years ago the human brain used to be bigger in size (with Homo neanderthalensis having the biggest brain size. Since then the average brain size has been a shrinking over the past 28,000 years), a friend of mine claims that the potential intellectual capacities of mankind have gone down (because there is a correlation between brain size and intelligence).
This seems very counterintuitive to me, but I couldn't find any facts or arguments to prove the opposite.
Does anyone have an explanation for this? Thanks in advance!
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Re: human brain size

Postby Semisane » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:51 am

Livinus wrote:Since around 30.000 years ago the human brain used to be bigger in size (with Homo neanderthalensis having the biggest brain size. Since then the average brain size has been a shrinking over the past 28,000 years), a friend of mine claims that the potential intellectual capacities of mankind have gone down (because there is a correlation between brain size and intelligence).
This seems very counterintuitive to me, but I couldn't find any facts or arguments to prove the opposite.
Does anyone have an explanation for this? Thanks in advance!


Size or volume of the brain is not necessarily the right indicator for intelligence. One should really look at size/volume compared to entire body size. I could be mistaken, but although Neanderthals might have a larger volume of brain, I think the brain of Homo sapiens would have been larger proportionally to body size.

What is also very important is the amount of neural connections within the brain. This might have be a lot higher in Homo sapiens as well compared to Homo neanderthalensis.

This is speculation really, cause I do not know much about neanderthals, but that might explain differences in intelligence...if there were any. After all it might not be lack of intelligence why Neanderthals died out.

No matter, the two real indicators is the proportional size/volume of the brain and the amount of neural connections within a brain that could tell you more about the possible level of intelligence of an organism than just size alone. :)

I doubt that the capacity of human intelligence has gone down the last 30.000 years, in fact, due to increase in knowledge and education (also an factor in intelligence) this has only increased. That said...even though we humans consider ourselves intelligent, we do act sometimes quite stupid. :lol:
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Postby leesajohnson » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:11 am

The adult human brain weighs on average about 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) with a volume of around 1260 cm3 in men and 1130 cm3 in women, although there is substantial individual variation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_size
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n ... -180947627
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