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Evolution of Nervous Systems - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780128040423, 9780128040966

Evolution of Nervous Systems

2nd Edition

Editor in Chief: Jon Kaas
eBook ISBN: 9780128040966
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128040423
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 23rd November 2016
Page Count: 2007
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Evolution of Nervous Systems, Second Edition is a unique, major reference which offers the gold standard for those interested both in evolution and nervous systems. All biology only makes sense when seen in the light of evolution, and this is especially true for the nervous system. All animals have nervous systems that mediate their behaviors, many of them species specific, yet these nervous systems all evolved from the simple nervous system of a common ancestor. To understand these nervous systems, we need to know how they vary and how this variation emerged in evolution.

In the first edition of this important reference work, over 100 distinguished neuroscientists assembled the current state-of-the-art knowledge on how nervous systems have evolved throughout the animal kingdom. This second edition remains rich in detail and broad in scope, outlining the changes in brain and nervous system organization that occurred from the first invertebrates and vertebrates, to present day fishes, reptiles, birds, mammals, and especially primates, including humans.

The book also includes wholly new content, fully updating the chapters in the previous edition and offering brand new content on current developments in the field. Each of the volumes has been carefully restructured to offer expanded coverage of non-mammalian taxa, mammals, primates, and the human nervous system.

The basic principles of brain evolution are discussed, as are mechanisms of change. The reader can select from chapters on highly specific topics or those that provide an overview of current thinking and approaches, making this an indispensable work for students and researchers alike.

Key Features

  • Presents a broad range of topics, ranging from genetic control of development in invertebrates, to human cognition, offering a one-stop resource for the evolution of nervous systems throughout the animal kingdom
  • Incorporates the expertise of over 100 outstanding investigators who provide their conclusions in the context of the latest experimental results
  • Presents areas of disagreement and consensus views that provide a holistic view of the subjects under discussion


Academic and professional libraries, large public libraries, and large laboratories specializing in neuroscience and evolutionary biology research

Table of Contents

Chapters included in four main topic areas:

  • Early Nervous Systems: Their Evolution in Invertebrates, Fish, Reptiles and Birds
  • The Nervous System of Early Mammals and their Evolution
  • The Nervous Systems of Non-Human Primates
  • The Evolution of the Human Brain: Apes and other Ancestors

Individual titles include:

Invertebrate origins of vertebrate nervous systems
The nervous systems of jawless vertebrates
The Brains of Cartilaginous Fishes
The Brains of Teleost Fishes
Lungfish Nervous Systems
The Brains of Amphibians
The emergence of mammals
A new mammalian brain ontology based on developmental gene expression
Mammalian evolution: the phylogenetics story
The early mammalian brain
Evolution of the mammalian olfactory system
The phylogeny of primates
What can the fossil record tell us about evolutionary changes to the primate brain
Cellular composition, cortical morphology and developmental mechanisms that give rise to a larger neocortex with diverse cell types
Cell composition in primates
Scaling up the simian primate cortex: a conserved pattern of expansion across brain sizes
Evolution and development of cortical cell types in primates
Evolutionary-developmental aspects of cortical connectivity
Human Brain Evolution: A History of Ideas and Methods
Human evolutionary history
Evolution of human life history
Energetics, life history, and human brain evolution
The fossil evidence of human brain evolution
Differences in brain organization between Neandertals and modern humans
Evolution of the human genome and its relationship to brain evolution
Molecular Evolution and Phenotypic Change
Evolution of brain systems for social cognition
Evolution of the Human Brain: Design without a Designer
The evolution of visual-motor areas of the frontal cortex of humans--comparisons of monkeys and humans.
Evolution of Language


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2016
23rd November 2016
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Editor in Chief

Jon Kaas

Jon H. Kaas is currently Distinguished Centennial Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. He received his PhD training in comparative studies of forebrain organization in mammals in the laboratory of I. T. Diamond at Duke University, and postdoctoral training studying cortical organization in the comparative neurophysiology laboratory of C. N. Woolsey at the University of Wisconsin. His research has focused on determining the organizations of sensory and motor systems in mammals, especially in primates, with an effort to understand the evolution of the forebrain from early mammals to present-day humans. He has published over 250 research papers and 150 reviews. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the La Jolla Group for Explaining the Origin of Humans.

Affiliations and Expertise

Centennial Professor, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA


"These volumes are highly recommended for academic and professional libraries and large public libraries, as well as research laboratories specializing in neuroscience, comparative neuroanatomy, and evolutionary neurobiology." --Quarterly Review of Biology

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