The second hour, Deep Thinkers, explores the cognitive and emotional lives of dolphins and whales. Like us, cetaceans have special brain cells, spindle cells, that are associated with communication, emotion, and heightened social sensitivity. These cells were once thought to be unique to us, but research is now showing that whales and dolphins may have up to three times more spindle cells than humans.
In some respects the brains of whales and dolphins are more complex than ours. Whales and dolphins work co-operatively, show empathy and are self-aware. “Deep Thinkers” finds out how clever — and how much like us — whales and dolphins might be.
Watch Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7pm.