Evolutionary Neuroscience

Evolutionary Neuroscience

2nd Edition - May 28, 2020

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  • Editor: Jon Kaas
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128205846
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128206065

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Evolutionary Neuroscience, Second Edition, is a collection of chapters on brain evolution that combines selected topics from the recent comprehensive reference, Evolution of Nervous Systems (Elsevier, Academic Press, 2017, 9780128040423). The selected chapters cover a broad range of topics, from historical theory, to the most recent deductions from comparative studies of brains. The articles are organized in sections focused on history, concepts and theory, the evolution of brains from early vertebrates to present-day fishes, amphibians, reptiles and birds, the evolution of mammalian brains, and the evolution of primate brains, including human brains. Each chapter is written by a leader or leaders in the field. Specific topics include brain character reconstruction, principles of brain scaling, basic features of vertebrate brains, the evolution of the major sensory systems, other parts of brains, what we can learn from fossils, the origin of neocortex, and the evolution of specializations of human brains. The collection of articles will be interesting to anyone who is curious about how brains evolved from the simpler nervous systems of the first vertebrates into the many different complex forms now found in present-day vertebrates.

Key Features

  • Provides the most comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date single volume collection on brain evolution
  • Presents a full color treatment, with many illustrations
  • Written by leading scholars and experts
  • Features chapters on brain character reconstruction, principles of brain scaling, basic features of vertebrate brains, the evolution of the major sensory systems, and other parts of brains
  • Discusses what we can learn from fossils, the origin of neocortex, and the evolution of specializations of human brains


Comparative neuroanatomists, biologists and neuroscientists, neuroscience graduate students and undergraduate majors

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: History, Concepts, and Theory
    1. History of Ideas on Brain Evolution
    2. Phylogenetic Character Reconstruction
    3. The role of endocasts in the study of brain evolution
    4. Invertebrate origins of vertebrate nervous systems

    Part 2: The Brains of Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles and Birds
    5. The nervous systems of jawless vertebrates
    6. The brains of cartilaginous fishes
    7. The organization of the central nervous system of amphibians
    8. The brains of reptiles and birds
    9. Function and evolution of the reptilian cerebral cortex
    10. The cerebellum of non-mammalian vertebrates

    Part 3: Early Mammals and Subsequent Adaptations
    11. Emergence of mammals
    12. Mammalian Evolution: The phylogenetic story
    13. Organization of neocortex in early mammals
    14. What modern mammals teach us about the cellular composition of early brains and mechanisms of brain evolution
    15. Consistencies and variances in the anatomical organization of aspects of the mammalian brain stem
    16. Comparative anatomy of glial cells in mammals
    17. The monotreme nervous system
    18. Evolution of flight and echolocation in bats
    19. Carnivore brains: Effects of sociality on inter- and intra-specific comparisons of regional brain volumes

    Part 4: Primates
    20. Phylogeny of primates
    21. Expansion of the cortical sheet in primates
    22. Scaling up the simian primate cortex: A conserved pattern of expansion across brain sizes
    23. Evolution of visual cortex in primates
    24. Evolution of subcortical pathways to the extrastriate cortex
    25. Evolved mechanisms of high-level visual perception in primates
    26. Evolution of parietal cortex in primates
    27. Evolution of parietal-frontal networks in primates
    28. Evolution of the prefrontal cortex in early primates and anthropoids

    Part 5: Evolution of Human Brains
    29. Introduction to human brain evolutionary studies
    30. Human evolutionary history
    31. Evolution of human life history
    32. The fossil evidence of human brain evolution
    33. Remarkable, but not special: What human brains are made of
    34. Timing of brain maturation, early experience, and the human social niche
    35. Human association cortex: Expanded, untethered, neoteneous, and plastic
    36. On the evolution of the frontal eye field: comparisons of monkeys, apes and humans
    37. The evolution of auditory cortex in humans
    38. Language evolution
    39. The search for human cognitive specializations

Product details

  • No. of pages: 962
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: May 28, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128205846
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128206065

About the Editor

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

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