Human Brain vs Animal Brain
Except sponges, all the other multicellular animals use a network of nerve cells to gather information from the internal body conditions and outside environment. Brain is a truly wonderful organ which controls and coordinates actions in many organisms. Usually it is known as the center of the nervous system. Brain is present in all vertebrates and most invertebrates, except for a few invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish and adult sea squirts. However, they have very primitive nervous systems with simple nerve ends. In many animals, the brain is located in the head, usually closer to the primary sensory organs. Usually the overall size of the brain, smoothness of the cerebral cortex or the amount of folding varies among the animals and humans.
The Human Brain
Human brain is more different than the brain of other animals. It consists of billions of neurons, and each of them is interconnected and thus help to make the brain a part of the nervous system. Human brain is a major part of the central nervous system. It is not the heaviest brain among animals, and it does not have a weight which is proportional to their body (weighing less than 1.5 kg). It is only slightly more complex than that of animals.
The human brain is surrounded by three protective membranes called meninges. The spaces called ventricles are filled with Cerebrospinal fluid, which supplies gases and nutrients to millions of the nutrients in the brain. There are two distinguished areas in the brain, namely white matter and gray matter. White matter consists mainly of nerve fibres, and gray matter consists of neuron cell bodies. The human brain can be divided into three areas; forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain.
The Animal Brain
In certain animals, the levels of intelligence can be compared with the respective brain sizes. However, this is not true for all animals. In primitive animals like cnidarians have no brains or brains like structures; instead, they have nerve net, in which all neurons are similar and linked to one another in a web. First, flatworms have evolved a primitive ‘brain’, by forming an enlarge mass of nerve tissues and cells at the front of their body. This ‘brain’ is a rudimentary nervous system more complex than nerve net in cnidarians. It also has the ability of controlling muscular responses in a better way.
Early stages of vertebrate brains were first reveled from the fossil evidences of early fishes like agnathans. Those brains were small but already divided into three basic divisions which are also found in presently living vertebrate brains. These three basic divisions are mainly, hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain.
What is the difference between Human Brain and Animal Brain?
• Generally, human brain can be divided into three main areas, namely forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. This feature is absent in most of the primitive animals.
• When compared to the size of the brain with the body size, the human brain is the largest among those of other primates.
• The portion devoted to vision in the human brain is greatly enlarged than that of other animals.
• Several areas of the human brain control the language skill of human and it is unique to human.
• Corticalization is the most dominant feature of the human brain when compared with other animals’ brains, especially with the other vertebrates. It creates new cortical structures in the cortex that enable new and more complex functions to be possible.
• Human mind has gained many characteristic abilities which are unique to humans only because of their development of brain. Examples can be humor, appreciation of beauty, awareness of death, meaning of life etc.
• Human brain has more neurons in its outermost layer (Brain’s cerebral cortex) than other animals’ brains do.
• The insulation around nerve fibers in the human brain is thicker than that of other animals, enabling the rapid signal transfer between neurons.
• Glial cells in human brain are more complex than those in other brains.
• The neocortex has more layers in humans than that of other animals, and they are stacked in columns.