Enter Your Search:
Results 1-2 (2)
Go to page number:
Select a Filter Below
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (1)
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (1)
Semendeferi, Katerina (2)
Allman, John M. (1)
Bienvenu, Thibault (1)
Erwin, Joseph M. (1)
Goubert, Virginie (1)
Hakeem, Atiya Y. (1)
Hof, Patrick R. (1)
Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka (1)
Manaye, Kebreten F. (1)
Muotri, Alysson R. (1)
Park, Soyoung (1)
Stefanacci, Lisa (1)
Tetreault, Nicole A. (1)
Year of Publication
Did you mean:
Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones
Muotri, Alysson R.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research.
pyramidal neurons; plasticity; neuropsin; brain evolution; development; amygdala; endocast; human evolution
The von Economo neurons in fronto-insular and anterior cingulate cortex
Allman, John M.
Tetreault, Nicole A.
Hakeem, Atiya Y.
Manaye, Kebreten F.
Erwin, Joseph M.
Hof, Patrick R.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
The von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar neurons located in fronto-insular cortex (FI) and anterior limbic area (LA) in great apes and humans but not in other primates. Our stereological counts of VENs in FI and LA show them to be more numerous in humans than in apes. In humans, small numbers of VENs appear the 36th week post conception, with numbers increasing during the first eight months after birth. There are significantly more VENs in the right hemisphere in postnatal brains; this may be related to asymmetries in the autonomic nervous system. VENs are also present in elephants and whales and may be a specialization related to very large brain size. The large size and simple dendritic structure of these projection neurons suggest that they rapidly send basic information from FI and LA to other parts of the brain, while slower neighboring pyramids send more detailed information. Selective destruction of VENs in early stages of fronto-temporal dementia implies that they are involved in empathy, social awareness, and self-control, consistent with evidence from functional imaging.
fronto-temporal dementia; autism; schizophrenia; empathy; disgust; self-awareness; hemispheric specialization
Results 1-2 (2)
Go to page number:
Remove citation from clipboard
Add citation to clipboard
This will clear all selections from your clipboard. Do you wish proceed?
Clipboard is full! Please remove an item and try again.
PubMed Central Canada is a service of the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(CIHR) working in partnership with the National Research Council's
Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information
in cooperation with the
National Center for Biotechnology Information
U.S. National Library of Medicine
(NCBI/NLM). It includes content provided to the
PubMed Central International archive
by participating publishers.