Brain Mass Concepts

Miles Robinson m-robinson7 at northwestern.edu
Wed Sep 12 17:49:36 EST 2001

    I have a basic question about brain mass studies. It has been supposed
that the brain mass to body mass ratio can give realtively good quantitative
measure of "intelligence". However, when looking at the brain as a control
system for the body, it's hard to overlook that fact that a larger body mass
does not necissarily require a larger brain to maintain equivalent
functionality. For example, a single muscle doesn't require more neurons as
it gets larger during the evolutionary process as far as I can see. I reason
this way because an entire muscle moves together and thus the whole organ
gets the same signal from the brain, so why is it necessary for multiple
neurons to control something that only requires as single signal? Is it not
more reasonable to use the critera of number of organ systems or sub-systems
vs. brain mass to quantitatively evaluate intelligence? Or better yet the
number of body systems to brain divisions?

Your attention appreciated
EE student at Northwestern U.
(Not a neuroscience student)

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