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Why our brains weigh 1.3 kilograms, have ~100 billion neurons, consume 20% of the oxygen we breathe

Posted Apr 12 2012 11:30am

Teamwork Builds Big Brains (Science Now) – “The average adult human’s brain weighs about 1.3 kilograms, has 100 billion or so neurons, and sucks up 20% of the oxygen we breathe. It’s much bigger than an animal our size needs. According to a new computer model, the brains of humans and related primates are so large because we evolved to be social creatures.“
– “The idea behind the so-called social intelligence hypothesis is that we need pretty complex computers in our skulls to keep track of all the complex relationships we have with each other.“
– “… but points out that this hypothesis doesn’t explain all animal brainpower. New Caledonian crows, for example, are impressive thinkers, but they aren’t social. He thinks that those birds have evolved intelligence to deal with certain hard-to-get foods. That need may also have contributed to the evolution of intelligence in apes, he says.”

Study: Cooperation and the evolution of intelligence (Proceedings of the Royal Society)

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