Week 6: Brain anatomy

This week there was no lecture, but instead an exercise session where we learned about brain anatomy, and made a rough model of the brain with some modeling clay. I haven’t ever been very skillful with modeling clay, and my brain did not really end up resembling anything human.

In chapter 7 of the course book there is an interesting picture that has the brains of different animals in it. It is surprising to me how big and complex looking the brain of the sheep is. Maybe they use the brain for social structures inside the herd? I wonder how the brains of other herd animals are. I also remember reading somewhere that the brains of dolphins are actually larger than humans, and it seems to be so in the picture. The brain of the dolphin is also quite unique looking. I did not find good info on dolphin intelligence, or what they use such a big brain for by a quick search.

The cat and rabbit are similar size animals, and seem to have similar size brains as well. The rabbits brain is much smoother, makes sense that the predatory lifestyle of a cat requires more complex brain structure. Rabbits are not that social either. An interesting remark is that cats, who are not social, but are regarded as shrewd animals seem to have simpler brain structure than sheep which are social but are not typically thought of as very smart.

The ratio of cerebrum to cerebellum varies a lot between animals. The brain of the mammals in the picture all seem to have a pretty complex cerebellum, but the cerebrum varies a lot in its complexity between different animals.