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Author Topic: BRAIN mass  (Read 2541 times)

Offline Rokitansky

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BRAIN mass
« on: 18/05/2004 00:35:29 »
Here is a question concerning anatomy.

I had an obduction today on my pathology classes. And, we have to measure the weight of the brain, in order to see if there could be an edem or something else.... And than, this came on my mind.

I know that average weight of a human brain is about 1400g, and that it is slightly heavier in males than females. (However, in females the density of neurons is higher). So, i`m wondering, how large are variations between individual humans? Or do we all have brains of similar size.

Concerning the inteligence, i know that it is much more important the size of some special areas of the brain, like Wernice`s speach area, but my question is more concerned with pure morfological diffrences.


 

Offline chris

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Re: BRAIN mass
« Reply #1 on: 21/05/2004 01:45:57 »
As with Charles Babbage (the forefather of the computer), when Einstein died his brain was removed and examined in an attempt to discover the source of his genius. No obvious differences were noted.

There have been many attempts historically to map structural differences onto certain character traits. Phrenologists Spurzheim and Gall went as far as to suggest that by feeling the skull you could deduce the shape and structure of the brain beneath and make predictions about character and intellect. That's all known to be absolute rubbish, but obviously there are some hallmark changes that occur in the brain in the presence of certain diseases.

In Huntington's Disease, for instance, the caudate nucleus is particularly vulnerable and shrinks, enlarging the fluid spaces (ventricles). In Alzheimer's there is a characteristic global shrinkage in brain volume, and alcohol abuse can lead to atrophy of the mammillary bodies and profound memory impairment.

I don't think there are any reliable structural differences between the brains of clever and less able individuals, although this may, to a certain extent, be a constraint of the low resolution offered by our scans. Men do have larger brains, on average, than women, and brain mass varies from 1300-1500g.

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx
 

Offline Rokitansky

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Re: BRAIN mass
« Reply #2 on: 21/05/2004 12:42:06 »
Thanks Chris.
 

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Re: BRAIN mass
« Reply #2 on: 21/05/2004 12:42:06 »

 

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