Micro-humans and brain power

If we were able to create “micro humans” - either by genetic engineering, or breeding (much as miniature dogs and horses are made) such that these little micro people could live, breathe and walk around, all of about 12 inches high, what would the impact be on their brains?

If they had smaller brains, would that make them much less intelligent? Or have less learning or memory capacity?

They would make a happy, friendly, crunchy noise when you stepped on them.

Does that help? :slight_smile:

Well, it depends on whether you’re planning on painting them blue or not…

Generally smaller brain = lower intelligence.

So do midgets (dwarves? little people?) generally have lower IQ’s than others?

Assuming that the basic cellular structures of the brain remained the same, you’d pretty much have to assume less processing power of some kind. If you reduce the scale by a factor of (roughly) 6, then you get (again, roughly) 1/216th the volume of gray matter. That’s a lotta neurons. Even if that canard about us using only 10% of our brains was true, your 1 foot human would have a lot less material to work with.

It’s difficult to tell exactly how the intelligence would be affected except by estimating against other mammals of approximately that stature. So figure roughly cat-like intelligence – able to navigate quite well in the world, figure out basic mechanical stuff like doorknobs, but not big on the memory, abstract thinking, and language. There’d probably be sacrifices in perception as well.

On the other hand, reflexes would be lightning fast, as the nerve impulses would have smaller distances to travel.

I forget who the author is, but for an somewhat related take on this read Flux

I think these people, whilst they have shorter limbs (and torsos?) have the same size heads as the rest of us, and therefore the same brain power.

Julie