Birds pack more neurons into smaller brains

Being  called a "bird brain" should be considered a compliment: An international team of scientists including Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna has found out that birds have a more efficient neural architecture, allowing them to fit many more neurons into smaller brains than can mammals. More neurons means more computational power. Furthermore, the brains of particularly small birds, like ravens and parrots, have disproportionately more forebrain neurons invoved in complex cognition. These results are published in the  renowed journal PNAS. sollte man folglich als Kompliment gelten lassen. "Birds have primate-like numbers of neurons in the forebrain", Seweryn Olkowicz, Martin Kocourek, Radek Lučan, Michal Porteš, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Pavel Němec. In PNAS Online Early Edition. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.1517131113

Fitch Graphical abstract

 

 

News

Birds pack more neurons into smaller brains

Brains of songbirds and parrots contain very large numbers of neurons, at neuronal densities considerably exceeding those found in mammals

Read more ...

The origin of intelligence

The researchers Fitch, Bugnyar und Huber investigate the evolutionary origin of cognitive abilities with an comparative approach.

Read more ...