• Question: why is our brain so small but its one of the most important things in our lives?

    Asked by 10hareloh to Daniela, Hannah, Ian, Jono, Mark on 25 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 25 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10hareloh,
      our brain is small compared to our body…your right! But is is incredible…all the things it can do. why??

      Even though our brains can be smaller than other animals like a whale (its pretty big), we have lots of folds and ridges and details in our brain. This is why more and more information is kept and stored and processed. So a horse brain is probably the same size as ours, but it is simpler and doesn’t have many fold. This is because a horse just needs to do the basics in life, like live, breathe, eat and find a mate.

      But by chance and evolution, humans have been able to evolve. The most important things our brains have given us is our personalities. The front part of brain is so much more developed than animals, that we have learnt to be different from each other. That is why we love different things, we have different jobs…….by being different we have been able to create a world so advanced.

      Without the brain being so folded and complex, we wouldn’t be able to speak languages, think, dream, create things….be everything a human is…
      This is all because we have more folds in our brain – we usually think of wrinkly things as being old, but the brain is soooo wrinkly and this is important in why we are humans.

      Also the brain is fully of electricity and can heal itself. This is because it doesn’t act like the other parts of our bodies.
      I’m a brain scientist and I love how complicated and little we know about the brain. We know a lot about other parts of our bodies like the heart, lungs, but we know much less about the brain – because in those folds and wrinkles there is so much stuff we can’t get to and investigate. The brain is only ‘small’ so we can fit it into our heads lol

      The size of the brain – if we unfolded it would be bigger than a large pillow – thats pretty big for something we can fit into our little skulls 😛


    • Photo: Daniela Plana

      Daniela Plana answered on 25 Jun 2013:

      Hey 10hareloh!

      Although our brain is small, it’s incredibly dense, so there’s actually millions of little parts to it… the neurons (parts of the brain) are all linked together and can communicate really fast using electricity. It’s the most complex part of our bodies and as you say incredibly important to our lives!

      It’s not so much the size of it that’s important to how many things it does, but how many different parts of it there are…

      Hope that helps,

    • Photo: Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson answered on 25 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10hareloh,

      Interesting question! You should check out this question as well as it goes some way to answering your question: https://tinj13.imascientist.org.uk/2013/06/24/does-the-size-of-your-brain-alter-how-clever-you-are/

      The size of our brain isn’t necessarily important – it’s the arrangement of it’s different regions and the connections that exist between them and the rest of our body. A human can have a relatively small brain but be really intelligent, because of the arrangement of neurones that send signals to and from the brain.

      Hope that helps a bit!


    • Photo: Mark Hodson

      Mark Hodson answered on 25 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10hareloh,

      compared to some animals our brains are actually pretty big, particularly when you bear in mind our size as well. I guess it’s a good example that size isn’t everything!