Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dolphin cognitive abilities raise ethical questions, says Emory neuroscientist

Date:
February 27, 2010
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
Many modern dolphin brains are significantly larger than those of humans and second in mass to the human brain when corrected for body size, says a scientist. Some dolphin brains exhibit features correlated with complex intelligence, including a large expanse of neocortical volume that is more convoluted than that of humans, extensive insular and cingulated regions, and highly differentiated cellular regions. This has ethical and policy considerations.

Many modern dolphin brains are significantly larger than those of humans and second in mass to the human brain when corrected for body size.
Credit: iStockphoto/Clint Spencer

Emory University neuroscientist Lori Marino will speak on the anatomical basis of dolphin intelligence at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference (AAAS) in San Diego, on Feb. 21, 2010.

Related Articles


"Many modern dolphin brains are significantly larger than our own and second in mass to the human brain when corrected for body size," Marino says.

A leading expert in the neuroanatomy of dolphins and whales, Marino will appear as part of a panel discussing these findings and their ethical and policy implications.

Some dolphin brains exhibit features correlated with complex intelligence, she says, including a large expanse of neocortical volume that is more convoluted than our own, extensive insular and cingulated regions, and highly differentiated cellular regions.

"Dolphins are sophisticated, self-aware, highly intelligent beings with individual personalities, autonomy and an inner life. They are vulnerable to tremendous suffering and psychological trauma," Marino says.

The growing industry of capturing and confining dolphins to perform in marine parks or to swim with tourists at resorts needs to be reconsidered, she says.

"Our current knowledge of dolphin brain complexity and intelligence suggests that these practices are potentially psychologically harmful to dolphins and present a misinformed picture of their natural intellectual capacities," Marino says.

Marino worked on a 2001 study that showed that dolphins can recognize themselves in a mirror -- a finding that indicates self-awareness similar to that seen in higher primates and elephants.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Dolphin cognitive abilities raise ethical questions, says Emory neuroscientist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173112.htm>.
Emory University. (2010, February 27). Dolphin cognitive abilities raise ethical questions, says Emory neuroscientist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173112.htm
Emory University. "Dolphin cognitive abilities raise ethical questions, says Emory neuroscientist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173112.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lion Makes Surprise Comeback in Gabon

Lion Makes Surprise Comeback in Gabon

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The noble lion has made a comeback in southeast Gabon, after disappearing for years, according to US wildlife organisation Panthera, which recently took live video footage of a male. Duration: 00:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tracking This Warbler's 'Extraordinary' Transoceanic Flight

Tracking This Warbler's 'Extraordinary' Transoceanic Flight

Newsy (Apr. 1, 2015) The blackpoll warbler makes one of the longest nonstop flights in the animal kingdom: three days straight for some 1,500 miles. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) A gorilla comes to the rescue of her sister who fell into a moat in Israel&apos;s Safari zoo. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins