Do taller people have larger somatosensory cortices than short people? What about larger motor cortices? And if so, could this imply that they have less space devoted to other functions, like functions devoted to the prefrontal cortex?
migrated from cogsci.stackexchange.com Jan 23 '12 at 2:54
I would say no.
You question somehow implies that somatosensory cortex is equally distributed among the different sensory areas of the body, whereas in the reality this is the known "cortical homunculus" concept of how this distribution looks:
If you look at this representation you'll see that chest and legs take only about one third to one fourth of the cortex, thus the changes between short and tall people don't seem to have noticeable contribution to the overall cortex size.
If we just walk away from cortex size and discuss the amount of nerve cells in these areas I would say that these numbers should correlate with the number of peripherial receptor cells that provide input for them, and since there is no known changes in receptor density among different body sizes, even the amount of nerve cells seems to be more or less same.