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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/265

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251
BRAIN WEIGHTS AND INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY.

mounted by these animals, that it is impossible not to recognize in their actions the characteristics of a rather high intelligence."[1] The sheep has a much larger brain than the beaver, with numerous and complete convolutions, yet it is one of the most stupid of domestic animals. Again, though birds have convolutions in the cerebellum, they have none in the cerebrum, and yet they are more capable of education than any living beings except the human race. The eagle is complete master of the lamb; the magpie, the hawk, the raven, and the parrot with his talking powers, are not excelled in sagacity by the dog, the horse, or the elephant, notwithstanding the latter animals have brains of superior size and elaborate convolutions.

Squirrels manifest foresight and economy in storing nuts for the winter's use; yet they have no brain convolutions. The cetacea, especially whales, have much larger brains than men, with more numerous and more complex convolutions and deeper sulci; yet their intelligence bears no comparison with that of the human race.

Three eminent men are known to have had very small convolutions of the brain—viz., Louis Asseline, Dr. Tiedemann, and Baron von Liebig. We have to add to this remarkable list two, not named, but described by Dr. Wagner as having been very intelligent, who yet possessed very few convolutions in their very small brains.[2] As Wagner's book was printed before Liebig died, he could not have been one of the two to whom the author referred.

Idiots often possess as large brains as men distinguished for intellectual power, and their brains have as deep sulci, and convolutions as fine, as large, and as complex. Our table of the common and weakminded contains a mention of an idiot whose brain weighed 53 ounces, or exactly as much as Napoleon's, and had fine convolutions and a large frontal lobe, but who could never learn to speak.

The elephant carries a far larger brain than man, finely formed, broad and high in front, with much more numerous and complex convolutions and deeper anfractuosities, and yet no intelligent person would for a moment claim that its mind excels or even equals that of man.

It may be well here to allow some eminent physiologists to give their views on this subject. "The researches of anatomists have disposed of every point advanced by Gall. Curiously enough, M. Camille Dareste has placed beyond dispute the fact that the number and depth of the convolutions bear no direct proportion to the development of intelligence, whereas they do bear a direct proportion


  1. Anatomie comparative du système nerveux, tome i, 1839, p. 506.
  2. Ueber die typischen Verschiedenheiten der Windungen der Hemisphären und über Lehre von Hirngewicht, Göttingen, 1860. Also see Pathology and Therapeutics of Mental Diseases, London, 1870, p. 23.