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Brains: Man vs.Chimp

suzanne smith suzannes at vir.com
Sun Jul 23 18:36:08 EST 1995

kspencer at s.psych.uiuc.edu (Kevin Spencer) wrote:
> jps at phantom.com (Jeffrey Soros) writes:
> >At present I'm looking for information that describes the differences and 
> >similarities between human brains and those of chimps and other 
> >primates.  I'm particularly interested in instances where the human brain 
> >would NOT  be considered superior. Any info or suggested avenues for 
> >research would be tremendously appreciated.

I would imagine that the motor cortex of chimps is "better"
developed than that of human brains, as would be the cerebellum for 
the same reason.  I am referring particularly to the 
dexterity of the lower limbs.

In fact, anywhere you see dramatical behavioral differences between
humans and chimps you would expect to see a correlated difference
in cortical function.  And in terms of your novel, you could 
probably work it so that what we would perceive as a "disadvantage"
in fact turns out to be an advantage for a given scenario.  For
example, having a smaller prefrontal cortex makes a chimp less
likely to contemplate the moral implications of a particular action
than a human would in the same circumstance.  Hence, the chimp
saves the day by making a more timely decision .... etc.

Similarly, although it does not have to do so much with innate
anatomical differences but rather with the upbringing, chimps are
less likely (although I don't have references for you) to confuse
the size of two lengths as humans do when the "arrows" at the tip
of the line point in different directions.  I.e. we would say
that line A is shorter than B whereas a chimp would not:

                   >------<    line A
                   <------>    line B

Ah well, just having fun here.  Let us know what you cooked up.

rbourgeois at dawsoncollege.qc.ca

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