Big Brains

ProCi Inst prociinst at
Thu Apr 16 03:48:06 EST 1998

Im Artikel <01bd64b8$832bfca0$47c032cc at bill>, "gilmour" <gilmour at>

(large snips)

>Skulls do not grow to accommodate a
>predetermined brain size, the opposite is true, brains grow to fit a
>genetically determined skull size.  

(more large snips)

But you see, they don't. You have a point about the malleable skull of newborn
babies being a major adaptation, but after birth the eventual size of the skull
follows the growth of the brain rather than vice versa. 

Proof of this is the growth of hydrocephalus children in times when there was
no operation to relieve the pressure of the liquor. The remaining part of the
collection of specimens gathered by the famous 19th century anatomist
Virchow, on display in east Berlin, includes the skeleton of one such child who
survived for several years. In that case, the skull never closed completely and
grew into something like a gigantic bowl - large enough to accommodate
the huge brain inside.

(How skulls manage to contain our big ideas, may be a different matter.)

Kind regards,
Wolfgang Heinemann, Bochum

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