Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
Are Whales Smarter Than We Are? -- Scientific American

Cetacean brains, such as those of dolphins (left) and humpback whales (right), have even more cortical convolutions and surface area than human brains do. Does that mean they're smarter?

[...] The frontal lobes of the dolphin brain are comparatively smaller than in other mammals, but the researchers found that the neocortex of the Minke whale was surprisingly thick. The whale neocortex is thicker than that of other mammals and roughly equal to that of humans (2.63 mm). However, the layered structure of the whale neocortex is known to be simpler than that of humans and most other mammals. In particular, whales lack cortical layer IV, and thus have five neocortical layers to humankind's six. This means that the wiring of connections into and out of the neocortex is much different in whales than in other mammals. The researchers' cellular census revealed that the total number of neocortical neurons in the Minke whale was 12.8 billion. This is 13 times that of the rhesus monkey and 500 times more than rats, but only 2/3 that of the human neocortex.

Wikipedia gives more numbers -- do they match? There are then these beasts:

The elephant brain in numbers -- Frontiers in Neuroatonomy

We find that the African elephant brain, which is about three times larger than the human brain, contains 257 billion (109) neurons, three times more than the average human brain; however, 97.5% of the neurons in the elephant brain (251 billion) are found in the cerebellum. This makes the elephant an outlier in regard to the number of cerebellar neurons compared to other mammals, which might be related to sensorimotor specializations. In contrast, the elephant cerebral cortex, which has twice the mass of the human cerebral cortex, holds only 5.6 billion neurons, about one third of the number of neurons found in the human cerebral cortex.
by das monde on Thu Dec 7th, 2017 at 05:57:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:

Display:

Occasional Series