The Method Section: Brain Size and Intelligence
00:00 – Intro
02:42 – A history of brain studies
08:30 – Issues in comparative studies
10:09 – Marine Mammals as a study group
16:45 – Are dolphins really intelligent?
22:32 – Ending outro
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Links from the show:
- Oehlschlager & Oehlschlager (2002) “Brain” chapter in Encyclopedia of marine mammals edited by Perrin, Wuersig, Thewissen
- Healy SD & Rowe C (2007) A critique of comparative studies of brain size. Proc Roy Soc Lond B 274:453-464
- Marino L, et al., (2007) Cetaceans have complex brains for complex cognition. PLoS Biol 5(6): e139. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050139
- Mcgowen et al., (2011). Phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the brain-development gene microcephalin (MCPH1) in cetaceans. BMC evolutionary biology. 11. 98. 10.1186/1471-2148-11-98.
- Pearlmutter, Barak & Houghton, Conor. (2009). A New Hypothesis for Sleep: Tuning for Criticality. Neural computation. 21. 1622-41. 10.1162/neco.2009.05-08-787.
- Osvaldo (2011). External measures of cognition. Front Hum Neurosci, 5, 108.
- Wright et al., (2017) Neuroanatomy of the killer whale (Orcinus orca): a magnetic resonance imaging investigation of structure with insights on function and evolution. Brain Structure and Function, 222, 417–436.
- Wright et al., (2018) Diffusion tractography reveals pervasive asymmetry of cerebral white matter tracts in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Brain Structure and Function, 223, 1697–1711.
This week on The Method Section, Tom investigates brain size and complexity and how it relates to animal intelligence. Does having a bigger brain correlate to the intelligence of an animal or is it the relative brain size and complexity that determines it? Or is it none of these? Find out a bit about the history of comparative brain size studies, what we learnt from them and why they needed to change! Tom takes a look at the marine mammals, specifically cetaceans and looks at their case of being intelligent, are they as smart as people think? Music by: Joakim Karud – https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.
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