help! Dolphin/Human brain

Dag Stenberg stenberg at cc.Helsinki.FI
Fri Feb 17 15:25:51 EST 1995


Kevin (keh134 at duke.usask.ca) wrote:
} I am interested in obtaining information concerning the differences in human 
} and dolphin brain biology.  If someone who subscribes to this newsgroup could 
} direct me to some possible sources of such information, I would be most 
} appreciative.

There was a neuroscientist named - Lilly who used to study dolphins,
until he found out that it was unethical to treat them as objects of
research. I lift my hat and bare my head to this scientist. I suggest
you try to find some of his writings.  He was active in the seventies, I
think. One of the experimental problems was that dolphins rely on
voluntary respiration, thus when you anesthetize them to implant
electrodes, they will die. Sad end to highly intelligent animal.

There is a Russian group who has studied dolphins since. The leading
scientist is Mukhametov. They used to study Black Sea dolphins, and they
continued after Lilly quit. Among other things, they showed that
dolphins sleep one hemisphere at a time.

Dolphins are interesting because they
- have a cortex as complicated and larger than humans
- they remember a lot (sea charts, fish movements, etc.)
- they are as social as dogs, horses, and better men
- they are stronger and better fighters than man, yet do not attack but
attach to man.

Maybe we should not study dolphins too aggressively. I apologize to my
friend Professor Mukhametov, and bare my head to Dr. Lilly, if still 
alive.

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Dag Stenberg     MD PhD                    stenberg at cc.helsinki.fi
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