Tag Archives: elephants

Elephant neural variation suggests a contemplative mind

An article in The Conversation explores the variety of neuron structures in the elephant brain.

Taken together, these morphological characteristics suggest that neurons in the elephant cortex may synthesize a wider variety of input than the cortical neurons in other mammals.

In terms of cognition, my colleagues and I believe that the integrative cortical circuitry in the elephant supports the idea that they are essentially contemplative animals. Primate brains, by comparison, seem specialized for rapid decision-making and quick reactions to environmental stimuli.

Seismic communication: Elephants communicate through their feet

During our recent meeting to discuss animal intelligence, Eve mentioned elephants communicating over large distances by transmitting and receiving low-frequency waves through their┬áskeletons and feet. This was in the context of my question, “Is physical embodiment necessary to higher cognition?” This article and video from KQED show and explain the phenomenon.