Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How our Brain works

Women can take comfort from the discovery that it is the quality of connections in the brain, not the overall size, that really matters.

It is increase in the number of synapses in larger animals that allows more sophisticated thought.

For decades, men have gloated over how they have bigger brains, and thus must be smarter, a simple side effect of how they tend to have bigger bodies.

Now female intuition that this is simplistic, misleading, even just plain wrong, has been found by new research on the evolutionary origins of the brain and how it evolved into the remarkably complex structure found in humans.

The research in the journal Nature Neuroscience by Professor Seth Grant, Head of the Genes to Cognition Programme at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, suggests that it is not size alone that gives more brain power.

Instead, he found that, during evolution, increasingly sophisticated molecular processing of nerve impulses - notably by providing more connections in the brain - allowed development of animals with more complex behaviours.

"We are one step closer to understanding the logic behind the complexity of human brains," he said.

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