1. Joined
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    11 Jun '14 17:525 edits
    How toddlers ( 2-year old humans ) and crows respond to a puzzle (of sorts ) was compared and it appears that crows, despite known for their great intelligence (at least for a bird ) which they no-doubt have, cannot fully understand the causality of certain chains of events while toddlers can thus showing a subtle but fundamental difference in intellect;

    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-toddlers-action-caledonian-crows.html

    So it appears that while crows understand causality to the extent of something along the lines of "If I do X then A and then B and then C happens so I can make C happen by doing X", they greatly lack the ability to understand causality to the extent of "If I do X then A and then B happens which then causes C to happen therefore, to make C happen, I only need to make B happen somehow and not necessarily by doing X because there may be an easier or quicker or more direct way of causing B".
  2. Cape Town
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    12 Jun '14 07:13
    Originally posted by humy
    So it appears that while crows understand causality to the extent of something along the lines of "If I do X then A and then B and then C happens so I can make C happen by doing X", they greatly lack the ability to understand causality to the extent of "If I do X then A and then B happens which then causes C to happen therefore, to make C happen, I only need t ...[text shortened]... arily[/i] by doing X because there may be an easier or quicker or more direct way of causing B".
    To be fair, their brain is not much bigger than a pea, so their ability is nevertheless quite amazing.
    Their brain still has to handle sight, hearing, feeling, body functions, movement, etc leaving only a tiny portion for logic.
  3. Joined
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    12 Jun '14 08:13
    Yes I totally agree; given their tiny brain size, I think a crow's intelligence is just amazing!
  4. Joined
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    12 Jun '14 08:30
    Originally posted by humy
    Yes I totally agree; given their tiny brain size, I think a crow's intelligence is just amazing!
    Intelligence in relation to brain size...

    Do someone know:

    Is the brain of an elephant bigger or smaller than the human brain?
    Same question about a whale?

    Is there a correlation between a brain size and intelligence? Or do you have to compare the body mass as well?

    Is it possible for an insect to acquire intelligence?

    How do we measure intelligence of an animal when we cannot communicate with it? Is it only the human intelligence we can measure of animals?
  5. Cape Town
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    12 Jun '14 08:57
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Is there a correlation between a brain size and intelligence? Or do you have to compare the body mass as well?
    I believe there is a correlation between intelligence and number of neurons rather than physical brain size. There is also something about the surface area of the human brain that makes it especially intelligent, but I do not recall the details.

    Is it possible for an insect to acquire intelligence?
    That depends on your definition of intelligence. I have heard that their brains are much more hardwired from birth than mammals which are more hardwired to learn rather than hardwired with specific behaviours.
    I also recall that insects are capable of reprogramming their brain for different functions enabling them to achieve more with less.

    How do we measure intelligence of an animal when we cannot communicate with it? Is it only the human intelligence we can measure of animals?
    We can communicate with animals. But intelligence tests include a lot more than asking a persons opinion. Most animal intelligence tests involve devising a puzzle to be solved in order to get a reward. The same works well for humans and communication is not necessary.
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    12 Jun '14 09:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I believe there is a correlation between intelligence and number of neurons rather than physical brain size. There is also something about the surface area of the human brain that makes it especially intelligent, but I do not recall the details.

    [b]Is it possible for an insect to acquire intelligence?

    That depends on your definition of intelligenc ...[text shortened]... ved in order to get a reward. The same works well for humans and communication is not necessary.[/b]
    Thank you for your answers. It gives me new insights and the most important thing: I learn!

    Yes, the number of neurons ia important. But if an elephant has a bigger brain than humans (?), doesn't it have more neurons too? And therefore more intelligent?

    Often we think that we are intelligent because we figure it out how to fly to the moon or making supercomputers and atomic bombs and such. But this is a technological intelligence that species without technology never can achieve.

    I believe that dolphins are more intelligent than humans, by how the suface area of their brain are folded. Their communication could be far more advanced that the human communication. But what do they do with their intelligence? Do the think out things that humans cannot ever do? Or are they philosophical in their minds? With proper equipment, can they do marvels that man cannot even think about?
  7. Cape Town
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    12 Jun '14 11:19
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    But if an elephant has a bigger brain than humans (?), doesn't it have more neurons too? And therefore more intelligent?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_by_number_of_neurons

    As you will see from the above lists, humans have approximately twice the number that elephants have and that the list closely matches our understanding of animal intelligence despite large differences in animal or brain physical size.

    You will also note that men have approximately 20% more than women 🙂
  8. Cape Town
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    12 Jun '14 11:22
    You may also enjoy this video on the topic:
    https://www.ted.com/talks/suzana_herculano_houzel_what_is_so_special_about_the_human_brain#

    It can also be found on youtube if you prefer.
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    12 Jun '14 14:47
    Fascinating!
  10. Standard memberDeepThought
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    12 Jun '14 15:11
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Intelligence in relation to brain size...

    Do someone know:

    Is the brain of an elephant bigger or smaller than the human brain?
    Same question about a whale?

    Is there a correlation between a brain size and intelligence? Or do you have to compare the body mass as well?

    Is it possible for an insect to acquire intelligence?

    How do we measure in ...[text shortened]... when we cannot communicate with it? Is it only the human intelligence we can measure of animals?
    How do we measure intelligence of an animal when we cannot communicate with it?
    The language of bees has been completely decoded, apparently. With things like bees one has to consider the colony as a whole, rather than individuals within it. I remember reading an article where they were talking about progress in decoding dolphin, which is a far more interesting species - sorry I can't give a reference for this. The stuff about bees is on the Wikipedia page.

    Considerable work has been done on chimps. They can learn human sign language and can remember up to about 300 words. They are our closest living relatives (as far as species go), I heard on a (I think) Radio 4 program that they'd tried to teach a female chimp how to make stone tools. She got the basic idea - bash the stones together so they make a cutting edge. What she couldn't get her head around was that one has to vary the force and direction of the blows to fashion a blade. In the end she solved the problem another way - she smashed the two stones together breaking the stone she was working on into tiny shards. She reached in and picked out a sharp shard.

    I think they normally regard neural density, rather than overall size as key. There is a certain amount of brain to body mass required to do routine housekeeping within the body (making sure things like systolic diastolic systolic diastolic.. happen correctly), we have huge brains that use up 25% of our bodies energy requirements and cause us temperature regulation problems. To the extent that we have no fur and our guts are about a yard shorter than one would expect from the anatomy of other great apes. Again I can't give references for all this as they are factoids I picked up from various nature documentaries over the years.
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