Thursday, September 03, 2009

Specialization of the species

A news report links problem-solving abilities and brain region specialization:

Being strongly right- or left-handed might be a sign of intelligence – for bird brains, at least.
Ambidextrous parrots are a lot less smart than their left- or right-biased counterparts, say Maria Magat and Culum Brown at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, who set the birds problem-solving tasks.

All animals have cerebral lateralisation, meaning that their brains are divided into two hemispheres responsible for processing different tasks. Strongly lateralised individuals are strongly "handed" – or strongly "footed" in the case of birds.

"Our study shows that strong lateralisation improves problem-solving ability and foraging in birds, which is an evolutionary advantage," says Brown.

No comments: