Brain size does not equal Intelligence

From Forbes (first sentence for context, the article is about technology from the Romans):

While we certainly live in an era of amazing technology, it’s not necessarily true that our level of innovation is unprecedented. The fact of the matter is that our ancestors were just as smart as we are (in fact, given the human brain size has been shrinking for centuries, they might have been smarter.)  

Also see: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? from Discover Magazine.

The Discover magazine talked to a “cognitive scientist” (from a pysch dept), who evoked the “idiocy theory” – that we are getting dumber (that is not an inclusive we).

They did not bother to talk a developmental neuroscientist (which I am not). Or anyone who could explain that connections may matter more than number of cells, and that brains do a lot more than what we perceive as “thinking” or cognitive facilities. What if we are losing brain size in the areas that control breathing? Or sensory feedback from genitalia? Now those might be a real problem.

Another hot button issue for me.


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