Animals With Bigger Brains Are More Intelligent

Posted: Jan 29 2016, 7:26pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Animals with Bigger Brain are Smarter and More Intelligent
A spotted hyena investigates a puzzle box after an experimental trial that showed carnivore species with larger brains relative to their body size are better at solving problems. Credit: Sarah Benson-Amram
  • Brain Size Proven to be an Indication of Intelligence

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Researchers prove that animals with brain size proportional to their bodies were better at problem solving.

It has been a long standing debate that brain size effects intelligence. The one specific detail of the argument implies that the brain size of the animal should be proportionate to their body size and structure.

In research conducted by a team from the University of Wyoming’s assistant professor from the University's Department of Zoology and Physiology, Sarah Benson-Amram, they conducted the study with the hypothesis that a higher species of animals including carnivores who have relatively larger brains that are proportionate to their body size are better at completing problem-solving tasks.

The team including Amram’s fellow authors Eli Swanson (University of Minnesota), Kay Holekamp, Greg Stricker and Ben Dantzer (Michigan State University), travelled to nine zoos across America.

They selected 140 animals from 39 different carnivorous species including animals involved in the study included arctic foxes, polar bears, tigers, spotted hyenas and wolves, among others. The selected species were then presented with a problem solving task.

This task included a metal box which could open by a latch bolt. Each box contained the animal’s favorite food and they had thirty minutes to get it.

The results were then recorded and after a statistical analysis of the readings, it was proven that animals with a brain size proportionate to their bodies were more successful in solving the problem than animals with smaller brain size.

Bears topped the ranks with 70 percent problem solving rate. 35 percent of the animal in the study finished the problem-solving task successfully. That means 49 animals from 23 species were successful in fulfilling their tasks.

The team also noted that the overall, smaller-bodied animals were more successful than the larger ones. Also the animals who lived in social circles were quicker to perform their tasks faster than non-social animals.

This is a great improvement in determining different factors of intelligence among animals and how to enhance and improve that intelligence.

The study published in one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals i.e the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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