Thanks for looking.

Firstly, I am nowhere near biologist, just a student, so my apologies if this isn't a "good" question.


So I was searching about intelligence, brains and computers, and noted 2 videos, one where a person tries growing human neurons to be connected to a computer, and a mouse brain connected to a supposed robot car.

It made me curious, if there's any major difference between neurons between species.


Is there a difference between a human's brain cells compared to other species?

For the sake of the question, it will be limited to a mouse or a dolphin's, but if you can bring more info from another kingdom, it would be really welcomed.

I'll be really grateful if you coupled it with some illustrations!


This question is NOT about brain-size, but rather, a single unit of whatever that makes a brain, brain.


3 Answers 3


Not really.

There really is little difference in neurons in mammal and indeed not much change across vertebrates. You have to go back all the way to jellyfish before you find major differences in neurons.




As you mentioned yourself, there are differences in brain size, form and structure. This difference also affects the size and shape of cells, i.e. you won't find meter-long neurons in mice, but rather in bigger animals. However, the types of cells are overall the same among the mentioned species. It was found that the ratio of glia cells to neurons greatly varies between species and follows a function of overall body mass, i.e. blue whales have an increase glia cell ratio.



The basic structure of a neuron is conserved across animal species. This is what is taught at universities and can be found in most textbooks. This does not mean that there are no differences, it just means that we do not have any clear/good evidence of any major differences.

There have been some recent studies suggesting that there may be subtle differences between a typical human neuron and that of another mammal e.g. longer dendrites, differences in the electrical properties of the neuron, differences in cell-signalling within the neuron, more compartmentalisation within the dendrites etc. Here is an example of one such study: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)31106-1


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