Evolution of the Primate Brain

Evolution of the Primate Brain

From Neuron to Behavior

1st Edition - January 25, 2012

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  • Editors: Michel A. Hofman, Dean Falk
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444538604
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444538673

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This volume of Progress in Brain Research provides a synthetic source of information about state-of-the-art research that has important implications for the evolution of the brain and cognition in primates, including humans. This topic requires input from a variety of fields that are developing at an unprecedented pace: genetics, developmental neurobiology, comparative and functional neuroanatomy (at gross and microanatomical levels), quantitative neurobiology related to scaling factors that constrain brain organization and evolution, primate palaeontology (including paleoneurology), paleo-anthropology, comparative psychology, and behavioural evolutionary biology. Written by internationally-renowned scientists, this timely volume will be of wide interest to students, scholars, science journalists, and a variety of experts who are interested in keeping track of the discoveries that are rapidly emerging about the evolution of the brain and cognition.

Key Features

  • Written by internationally renowned scientists, this timely volume will be of wide interest to students, scholars, science journalists, and a variety of experts who are interested in keeping track of the discoveries that are rapidly emerging about the evolution of the brain and cognition


Neuroscientists, psychologists, neurologists

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors
    From tetrapods to primates
    Nonmammalian brains and the problem of homology
    Neocortical development: The basics
    Cortical patterning
    Toward a unifying hypothesis of amniote brain evolution
    The ecological context and the elaboration of cortical networks
    Expansion of the neocortex in mammal evolution
    New tracts in the mammalian neocortex
    Primates arrive
    Increase in brain size
    Humans and language
    Genetic correlates of the evolving primate brain
    Canonical gene evolution studies in primate perception
    Gene gain and loss
    Detecting adaptive genetic change
    Implications of genetic change
    Phenotypic change in the primate brain
    Implications of phenotypic change for genetic evolution
    Surveys of genetic evolution
    Candidate gene studies
    Nontraditional substrates of evolution
    The future of primate brain evolution genetics
    Cerebral cortical development in rodents and primates
    Rodent and primate cortices demonstrate much heterogeneity in their radial and tangential dimensions and folding patterns
    General developmental pattern of the mammalian cerebral cortex
    Distinctions in the preplate stage between primate and rodent
    Cortical germinal zones in rodents and primates
    Intermediate progenitors amplify the output of the cortical germinal zone
    Multiple progenitor subtypes in the cortical germinal zone in mouse and human
    What is the cell lineage in rodents and primates?
    Compartmentalization of the germinal zone is not primate specific
    Is the generation of inhibitory neurons different in rodent and primate?
    Thalamocortical development and the subplate in rodents and primates
    Functional specification of the neocortex
    Lateralization in cortical representation
    Embracing covariation in brain evolution
    The social brain hypothesis
    Coordinated changes in time and size
    Variation in size and time
    Some intrinsic difficulties on the use of residuals and ratios in allometric studies
    Variation in social structure within a species
    Constancy in size and time within a species: An unusual example from human pygmies
    Constancy in brain architecture fosters variation in brain function
    Predictable relationships in brain architecture and brain size
    Causal scenarios, which depend on covariation, give development a central role
    The evolution of neocortex in primates
    Cortical organization in prosimian galagos: Comparisons with other primates
    Visual cortex
    Auditory cortex
    Somatosensory cortex
    Motor cortex
    Posterior parietal sensorimotor cortex
    Prefrontal cortex
    The evolution of structural and cellular differences in cortical areas in primates
    Lateralization of the human brain
    The gestural theory of language origins
    Handedness and language lateralization
    Language and praxis
    Comparative perspectives
    The insular cortex
    Neuroanatomical studies
    Functional studies
    Gross morphology of the human insula
    Cytoarchitecture of the human insula
    The comparative anatomy of the insula
    Special neurons in the insular cortex
    The architecture of the human insular cortex: synopsis and perspective
    The missing link
    Introduction: The cerebellum and cognition
    Comparative cerebellar anatomy in primates
    Human prefrontal cortex
    Minicolumn size and human cortex
    Encephalization and organization
    The ontogenetic column
    Minicolumns in primate evolution
    Are minicolumns in the primate order smaller than expected for their size?
    Minicolumn size and cortical organization
    Increased minicolumn size in hominids
    A time for downsizing?
    Small minicolumns in modern humans
    Concluding remarks
    Human brain evolution writ large and small
    Human brain evolution writ large
    Scaling regularities and the human brain writ small: Cellular distributions and morphology
    The neuroanatomy of cognitive specializations: Comparing cortical area size and neurotransmission between humans and apes
    The emergence of neuronal specializations for social cognition: VENs
    Energetics and microstructural changes in human neocortical evolution
    Hominin paleoneurology
    Brain size
    Neocortical reorganization of sulcal patterns
    Neocortical reorganization of endocast (brain) shape
    Comparative neuroanatomical studies: Implications for hominin paleoneurology
    Concluding remarks
    Evolution of hominin cranial ontogeny
    Fossil hominin evo-devo: Concepts and terminology
    Measuring cranial morphology in time and space
    Human and chimpanzee cranial ontogeny
    Reconstructing fossil hominin cranial ontogenies
    Evolutionary modifications of cranial ontogeny in the earliest hominins
    Cranial ontogeny in the australopiths: A theme with ontogenetic variations
    Cranial ontogeny in Homo erectus
    The Neanderthals and us
    Evolved or diseased, or both?—Homo floresiensis
    Hominin cranial ontogeny and birth
    Outlook: Evolutionary developmental paleogenomics
    Hominins and the emergence of the modern human brain
    Pathology's contributions to brain evolution research
    Fossil hominin brain size
    Fossil hominin brain morphology
    Archeological implications for fossil brain function
    Fossil brain genetics
    Fossil brain ontogeny
    Bringing together evidence for fossil hominin brain structure and function
    Neuronal scaling rules for primate brains
    The previous view: “All brains scale the same”
    Different neuronal scaling rules for the brains of different mammalian orders
    Shared scaling rules for the brain across mammalian orders: Coordinate scaling of numbers of cortical and cerebellar neurons
    Shared scaling rules for the brain across mammalian orders: Nonneuronal cells
    The primate advantage: More neurons in the same volume
    Self-organization and interareal networks in the primate cortex
    Self-organization in ontogeny, phylogeny, and the role of postnatal experience
    Self-organization and the OSVZ-SGL model
    Neuron number specifies cortical networks
    Neuron number specifies cortical hierarchy
    How does the cortex generate precise numbers of neurons?
    Gain-of-function experiment exploring self-organization
    Neural wiring optimization
    Neuron arbor optimization
    Component placement optimization
    Related optimization results
    Mapping neural optimization
    Design principles of the human brain
    Evolution and geometry of the cerebral cortex
    Fractal geometry of the primate brain
    Design principles of neural organization
    Biological limits to information processing
    Limits to human brain evolution
    Concluding remarks
    Primate encephalization
    Problems with the concept of encephalization
    Brain size versus control mechanisms
    Lifestyles associated with encephalization (Table 1)
    Cognitive correlates of encephalization (Table 2)
    Trade-offs (Table 3)
    Are some encephalization measures better than others?
    Evolution of the brain and intelligence in primates
    Definition and putative causes of animal intelligence
    Supposed differences in intelligence among primate taxa
    Neural correlates of intelligence in primates
    Comparison of primate brains with those of other mammals
    Comparison with other intelligent vertebrates
    General conclusions
    Evolution of human emotion
    A brief history of the emotional brain: The rise and fall of the limbic system theory
    Contributions of the amygdala to avoidance conditioning: An early approach to linking emotional behavior to the limbic system
    Contribution of the amygdala to fear: Studies of aversive Pavlovian conditioning
    Pavlovian fear and avoidance conditioning circuits
    Comparative observations
    Amygdala contributions to other emotions
    Emotional evolution in perspective
    Evolution of brain and language
    Evolutionary changes in the brain relevant to language
    Volume in series

Product details

  • No. of pages: 496
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2012
  • Published: January 25, 2012
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444538604
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444538673

About the Serial Volume Editors

Michel A. Hofman

Michel A. Hofman is at Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Netherlands

Affiliations and Expertise

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dean Falk

Affiliations and Expertise

School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, USA

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