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Brains: Man vs.Chimp

Andrew_R._Mitz arm at helix
Tue Jul 25 14:53:17 EST 1995

suzanne smith (suzannes at vir.com) wrote:
: 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.

There is probably more motor cortex dedicated to the hindlimb in chimps.
A better example is that the chip has a larger tail representation.

: 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.

Excellent point.

: 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

I think you are wrong here. If you have a reference, I would like
to see it.  We are about to use a similar "compelling" optical
ilusion on a rhesus monkey.

: Ray
: rbourgeois at dawsoncollege.qc.ca

Andrew Mitz, Biomedical Eng., National Institutes | Opinions are mine alone 
of Health Animal Center, Poolesville, MD          | arm at helix.nih.gov       

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