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Increase in the ratio of brain mass to body mass during the evolution of a species or other taxonomic group. Higher degrees of encephalization are generally correlated with higher degrees of intelligence.

en·ceph′a·lize v.
References in periodicals archive ?
The ability to exploit large savannah animals, perhaps by driving them back onto rough terrain or by making short excursions away from secure areas, would be a major advantage permitting both encephalisation and population growth (Aiello & Wheeler 1994).
Irrespective of the driving force for encephalisation, two critical requirements had to be met: (i) the brain's chemical requirement for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), particularly arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3), both of which can only be obtained from animal tissue; (22,23) and (ii) the increased metabolic requirements of a larger brain.
establishing, maintaining and negotiating face to face as well as 'virtual' relationships among increasingly numerous and fragmented members of a community) drove hominin encephalisation.