Building brains that can evolve: Challenges and prospects for evo-devo neurobiology


Evo-devo biology involves cross-species comparisons of entire developmental trajectories, not just of adult forms. This approach has proven very successful in general morphology, but its application to neurobiological problems is still relatively new. To date, the most successful area of evo-devo neurobiology has been the use of comparative developmental data to clarify adult homologies. The most exciting future prospect is the use of comparative developmental data to understand the formation of species differences in adult structure and function. An interesting «model system» for this kind of research is the quest to understand why the neocortex folds in some species but not others.


brain; evolution; development; homology; cortical folding

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