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Evolution of the Primate Brain - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444538604, 9780444538673

Evolution of the Primate Brain, Volume 195

1st Edition

From Neuron to Behavior

Serial Volume Editors: Michel A. Hofman Dean Falk
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444538604
eBook ISBN: 9780444538673
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 25th January 2012
Page Count: 496
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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


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


No. of pages:
© Elsevier Science 2012
25th January 2012
Elsevier Science
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

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