Why Are Humans So Brainy?

Scientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel is a neuroscientist at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Rio de Janeiro. In this TED talk, she explores human brains in search of answers to puzzling questions about humanity.

Here is her talk:

Suzana developed her own way to count the number of neurons within a brain. She calls it “brain soup.” It’s a simple and fast way to analyze and compare the brains of various species.

A few highlight facts:

  • a brain’s size and the number of neurons are often not related
  • the human brain has on average 86 billion neurons
  • 16 billion of these human neurons are in the cerebral cortex
  • no other species (rodent, primate, etc.) yet studied has so many neurons in its cerebral cortex

The connections between diet and brain potential are fascinating.

Fun stuff! I think I need a sandwich 🙂