Male Brains...

James Woodson jwoodson at ucla.edu
Wed Aug 6 12:20:02 EST 1997


>
>It means if dont know already that the average male brain would have more
>capacities to store more information than an average female because of
>the extra neurons.

There is little evidence that neurons alone store information, other than
by short-term activationally dependent mechanisms.  The evidence that LTP
and other forms of synaptic strengthening are "memory" storage is
constantly debated.  In fact, LTP may be an intermediate form of
neurotoxicity. (See McEachern & Shaw, (1996) Brain Research Reviews, 22:1
51-92 for an excelent critique).  Regardless, it's not what you have in
memory that counts, it's what you're able to do with it.  Similarly,
increased neuronal connectivity means nothing if the connections are all
wrong!

 Of course not everybody is more clever than the next person
>because of brain size but one must also consider the fact that in human
>evolution Homo Sapien has the biggest brains than any proto humans, though
>people may argue that it is related to body size, however this is not always
>the truth when you consider the brain of an elephant is much smaller
>than that of a human child.

You are wrong on this point. Homo sapiens brains are significantly smaller
than Neanderthal brains were.
Would you therefore infer that Neanderthals were more intelligent than we are?
Einstein's brain was remarkably small.  (People were shocked to find this!)
Later, research by the Scheibel's on Einstein's cortex demonstrated
increased dendritic density in comparison to control brains from "normal"
dead people.  The human brain stores inordinate amounts of useless
information for terriffic amounts of time (example, what was your first
grade teacher's name?) No neural system has yet been demonstrated to
account for this longevity of relatively minor bits of information.


 Coincidentally some psychologist argue that
>there are a "fine line" between a "geniuse" and a "pyschopath" and that
>may have something to do with the general trend that men often more likely
>to be involved in violent crimes associated with the extra neuron's desire
>to experiment or commit an act deemed socially unacceptable by law, this can
>be as a result of been deprived certain social task (or a job), in matter of
>fact the biggest female brain on record was from a woman serial killer,
>they weighed her brain after she was executed for her crimes.


The above statement is evidence of exactly the kind of incorrect
associations I previously referred to.
Any correlation between IQ and aggression and brain size is spurious at
best.  Innate aggression, ususally correlated with hypothalamic, not
cortical, structures, is inhibited by the frontal lobes. Removal of the
frontal lobes has resulted in little to no decline in IQ!.  (However, it
most definately resulted in a decrease in brain size).

I recommend reading more published literature (textbooks, journals, etc)
and less internet garbage.

James Woodson


James C. Woodson* - Behavioral Neuroscience
U.C.L.A. Dept. of Psychology, Franz Hall
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA  90095

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient
solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection."  - Jules Henri
Poincare

* Research in mechanisms and loci of sexual differentiation of the brain,
motivated responding, developmental interactions between nerve growth
factors and endogenous gonadal steroids, evolutionary psychology, & learned
helplessness.  All opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not reflect
those of the University of California, Los Angeles.

P.S. You may be able to find out more about me by visiting my web site, at
http://ratbrainsex.psych.ucla.edu/





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