Every so often something exquisitely stupid turns up, something worth celebrating on that account:
A new scientific study puts the final nail in the coffin of a long-standing theory to explain human’s remarkable cognitive abilities: that human evolution involved the selective expansion of the brain’s prefrontal cortex.
It does so by determining that the prefrontal region of the brain which orchestrates abstract thinking, complex planning and ecision making contains the same proportion of neurons and fills the same relative volume in non-human primates as it does
“People need to drop the idea that the human brain is exceptional,” said Vanderbilt University neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel, who directed the study. “Our brain is basically a primate brain. Because it is the largest primate brain, it does have one distinctive feature: It has the highest number of cortical neurons of any primate. Humans have 16 billion compared with 9 billion in gorillas and orangutans and six-to-seven billion in chimpanzees. It is remarkable, but it is not exceptional.”More. (public access) – Mariana Gabi, Kleber Neves, Carolinne Masseron, Pedro F. M. Ribeiro, Lissa Ventura-Antunes, Laila Torres, Bruno Mota, Jon H. Kaas, Suzana Herculano-Houzel. No relative expansion of the number of prefrontal neurons in primate and human evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 201610178 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1610178113
So if we could jack up the primates’ neurons they would become smart like humans?
The main thing to see is that Herculano-Houzel herself cannot possibly believe this bunk. She is forced to cough it out. This will not end well.
See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age?
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