Simple Socializing Leads To A Bigger Brain For Most Mammals

Simple Socializing Leads To A Bigger Brain For Most Mammals
Arts & Culture

A new study from the University of Oxford has revealed that highly social mammals developed larger brains over time.

Daniel Edmundson
  • 30 november 2010

Do you ever wish you could increase your brain size and improve your intellectual capacity?

Researchers at the University of Oxford recently conducted the first study to chart the evolutionary history of the brain across different species of mammals over the course of 60 million years. The major discovery, they concluded, was that there was a large difference between mammals that socialized frequently and those that did not.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Susanne Shultz, explains:

“This study overturns the long-held belief that brain size has increased across all mammals. Instead, groups of highly social species have undergone much more rapid increases than more solitary species. This suggests that the cooperation and coordination needed for group living can be challenging and over time some mammals have evolved larger brains to be able to cope with the demands of socialising.”

With an analysis of data on the brain and body size of more than 500 species of living and fossilized mammals, researchers found that groups with relatively larger brains tended to live in stable social groups, versus solitary mammals that grew slower during the same period.

So, what does this mean for humans? No answers yet, but there is evidence that men’s best friends, dogs, have long developed bigger brains due to highly social play, rather than their feline counterparts, who are more solitary in everyday life.

University of Oxford: Socialising Lead To Bigger Brains in Some Mammals

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