Friday, September 17, 2021

Do Some People Have Bigger Visual Brains?

The size of the visual part of the brain varies a great deal from person to person. According to neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins:

"Region V1, the primary visual region, can be twice as big in some people as in others. V1 is the same thickness for everyone, but the area, and hence the number of [cortical] columns can vary. A person with a relatively small V1 and a person with a relatively large V1 both have normal vision and neither person is aware of the difference. There is a difference, however; a person with a large V1 has higher acuity, meaning they can see smaller things. This might be useful if you were a watchmaker, for example. If we generalize from this, then increasing the size of some regions of the neocortex can make a modest difference, but it doesn't give you a superpower."

From:  A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins

Image from Wikipedia

1 comment:

Dan Gurney said...

I remember reading somewhere that professional baseball players have unusually acute vision. If their stronger visual powers are hereditary, it might help explain why baseball talent runs in families (Bonds, Alou, Jones, for example) Can you say something about that? Is players' visual acuity due to larger visual brains, or more densely packed receptors in the retina, or both, or other factors?