According to the researchers Ruhr University Bochum in the Germany, the birds have higher neuronal density multitasking as compared to humans. The journal ‘Current Biology’ published this week has disclosed the study that says the pigeons are capable of switching their attention from one phase of task to another more efficiently than humans.
The researchers believe that it is closed to the fact that birds have the higher concentration of neurons i.e. neuronal density in the cortical region of their brains. Even their neurons are the most densely packed by six times than those of humans.
This study was performed, with the experiment of the behavioral tests of humans as well as birds. Since, the birds, more similar to the pigeons don’t have the exact complex layers in brain, while the cerebral cortex of humans, a thin layer of brain which covers cerebrum’s outer portion, has a “six times as many nerve cells as humans per cubic millimeter of brain”.
Sara Letzner, a study author and RUB biologist stated in the news release that, “For a long time, scientists used to believe the mammalian cerebral cortex to be the anatomical cause of cognitive ability; it is made up of six cortical layers. In birds, however, such a structure does not exist. That means the structure of the mammalian cortex cannot be decisive for complex cognitive functions such as multitasking.”
Letzner added, “Researchers in the field of cognitive neuroscience have been wondering for a long time how it was possible that some birds, such as crows or parrots, are smart enough to rival chimpanzees in terms of cognitive abilities, despite their small brains and their lack of a cortex.”