Evolutionary neuroscience

Evolutionary neuroscience is the scientific study of the evolution of nervous systems. Evolutionary neuroscientists investigate the evolution and natural history of nervous system structure, functions and emergent properties. The field draws on concepts and findings from both neuroscience and evolutionary biology. Historically, most empirical work has been in the area of comparative neuroanatomy, and modern studies often make use of phylogenetic comparative methods. Selective breeding and experimental evolution approaches are also being used more frequently.[1]

Conceptually and theoretically, the field is related to fields as diverse as cognitive genomics, neurogenetics, developmental neuroscience, neuroethology, comparative psychology, evo-devo, behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral ecology, biological anthropology and sociobiology.

Evolutionary neuroscientists examine changes in genes, anatomy, physiology, and behavior to study the evolution of changes in the brain.[2] They study a multitude of processes including the evolution of vocal, visual, auditory, taste, and learning systems as well as language evolution and development.[2][3] In addition, evolutionary neuroscientists study the evolution of specific areas or structures in the brain such as the amygdala , forebrain and cerebellum as well as the motor or visual cortex.[2]

  1. ^ Rhodes, J. S., and T. J. Kawecki. 2009. Behavior and neurobiology. Pp. 263–300 in Theodore Garland, Jr. and Michael R. Rose, eds. Experimental Evolution: Concepts, Methods, and Applications of Selection Experiments. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  2. ^ a b c Kaas, Jon H. (2009-07-28). Evolutionary Neuroscience. Academic Press. ISBN 9780123751683.
  3. ^ Platek, Steven M.; Shackelford, Todd K. (2009-02-26). Foundations in Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521884211.

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