Architect genes of the brain: A look at brain evolution through genoarchitecture

Jose Luis Ferran

Abstract


The brain of modern humans is the result of the evolution of a building plan (Bauplan) that began its design 500 hundred millions years ago. The process began in basal chordates (sea animals that were living immersed in the sand) and gave rise to the first building plan of the central nervous system; this was progressively modified and shared by all vertebrates. Behind the story are gene networks, key actors in the process to give identity to the different brain regions. This evolutionary scenario provides the basis for studies that seek to understand what is «conserved» and what is «new» between different vertebrates, as well as the underlying mechanisms involved in this process. This article explores the role of genoarchitectonic studies in this human scientific endeavor.

 


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