The Presumable Brain of My Own Creation

July 21, 2014

For this assignment I chose to create my own creature, which I have yet to name but I am open to suggestions. My creature is a mix of a shark and a dolphin, however it also has some completely fictional qualities. However, the majority of the brain is very reminiscent of a dolphin’s brain.

To begin with, as seen in both the drawing of the creature and the drawing of the brain, he has an astounding sense of smell because he has three olfactory bulbs which are very highly developed. The shark has very developed olfactory bulbs because it relies primarily on its sense of smell, so I wanted to encompass this realistic feature and then exaggerate it with my character.

Furthermore, as can be seen in the diagram of the brain, the creature has a very large cerebral cortex. This is because the creature is very intelligent. I envision him being very lonely with plenty of time to ponder the deeper meanings in life. Since the cerebral cortex plays a central role in perceptual awareness, consciousness, thought and language, I wanted the cerebrum to be the most developed part of his brain. Even more so than the human brain! His forebrain is much more developed than his hindbrain. The forebrain is associated with intellectual functions such as speech and abstract thought, while the hindbrain is responsible for controlling autonomic functions such as respiration and heartbeat. My creature is very philosophical and suffers from severe breathing problems.

Lastly, I wanted his spinal cord to be very crooked because of the way he hunches, unlike the shark or dolphin spinal cord, which extend more or less straight back. imagebrown


The Hippogriff Brain

July 21, 2014

The hippogriff is a mythical creature that originates in Roman mythology. It has the wings and upper body of an eagle, and lower body of a horse. It also makes an appearance in the third installment of the Harry Potter series.

Because its head is that of an eagle, I believe that the hippogriff would have some variation of the typical avian brain. Relative to the brain of typical invertebrate, birds have a large cerebral cortex and cerebellum. They also have some of the largest optic lobes in the animal kingdom. Their olfactory bulbs, however, are very small.

The hippogriff is described as demonstrating high cognitive ability. They are able to communicate with individuals of different species using body language, and are able to recognize individuals and show affection. Hence, I believe the cerebral cortex of the hippogriff would be very large, perhaps close to the relative size of that of a chimpanzee.

Due to its complex anatomy, I believe the cerebellum of the hippogriff would also have to be quite large. The cerebellum controls fine movement controls, and would be responsible for balance and coordination during flight. Though most birds require this, the hippogriff’s would need to be larger due to it disproportionate distribution of body weight. The hippogriff would also have an arguably more coordinated ability to travel on ground, due to its horse legs. This would also be controlled by the cerebellum. Thus the cerebellum would be very big in the hippogriff, as it would need to allow for both of these actions. To accommodate these functions, there would also be presumably more fine motor connections than in a regular vertebrate.

I would also argue that, while the optic lobes would be very large (as is the case with most birds), the olfactory bulbs would not be as small as in most birds. This is because, unlike most birds, the hippogriff spends a great deal of its time on the ground, especially when hunting. The sense of smell is most useful at ground level, and would be a valuable adaptation for predation.

Finally, I believe the hippogriff would have a high EQ, due to the fact that it is a predator (a trait that is commonly associated with high EQ).

Hippogriff


The Presumable Brain of a (presumably) fictional character

July 21, 2014

Cerberus – and its three brains?

Cerberus, for those that are unfamiliar with Greek Mythology, is a three-headed hellhound that guards the gates of the Underworld. Oh and it also has a mane of snakes, a serpent’s tail, and lion’s claws. Other than in Greek Mythology, Cerberus also appears in more modern texts including Paradise Lost and more contemporarily, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. What would be different in Cerberus’s nervous system when compared to that of other dogs?

Well, for one, Cerberus would, presumably, have a spinal cord that branches out into three different cords when the back breaks into the three separate heads. Each branch would connect to one brain of the three-headed hellhound. Communication between the three heads would be imperative. For this reason, Cerberus would most likely have an intricate spinal cord system that stretches from front to back and left to right encompassing the three heads and the length of the beast.

Cerberus, would presumably have to have far more motor connections than the average dog to control the movement of the vast snake nest growing on its mane. Following similar logic, Cerberus’s cerebellum would also be quite large due to the fact that he must control and coordinate his movements very precisely considering the fact that he has three heads and a plethora of snakes around his neck.

Cerberus’s cerebrum has to be bigger than that of the average dog because Cerberus carries out a difficult task; guarding the gates of hell. Assuming Cerberus is aware of this task and carries it out with thought, he must be conscious of himself and consequently, he must have a bigger cerebrum (in each of his brains), but not as big as those of humans because Cerberus is not quite that intelligent or developed.

Cerberus’s olfactory bulbs would be similar to those of dogs, and perhaps even more salient, for he has a fantastic sense of smell that comes in handy when smelling out intruders or assailants. Nevertheless, Cerberus’s olfactory bulbs would be similar to those of regular dogs because the overall olfactory sense is similar.

 

Don’t get bitten. YikesCerberus!


Serotonin

July 19, 2014

What neurotransmitter did you choose and why? I chose serotonin because it was 1 of the 2 I had heard of. (Dopamine seemed like a very popular pick so I went the road less traveled) .

What message did you try to convey? I tried to show the non-“trippy” side of serotonin. A lot of the time it is associated with LSD and psychedelic drugs so I attempted to stay away from that.

Describe a little bit about your creative process too, why you designed it like you did, what look were you going for, etc. Contrary to my last answer, I used a psychadelic theme with a lot of different colors.