Brain evolution is a complex weave of species similarities and differences, bound by diverse rules and principles. This book is a detailed examination of these principles, using data from a wide array of vertebrates but minimizing technical details and terminology. It is written for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and more senior scientists who already know something about “the brain,” but want a deeper understanding of how diverse brains evolved. The book's central theme is that evolutionary changes in absolute brain size tend to correlate with many other aspects of brain structure and function, including the proportional size of individual brain regions, their complexity, and their neuronal connections. To explain these correlations, the book delves into rules of brain development and asks how changes in brain structure impact function and behavior. Two chapters focus specifically on how mammal brains diverged from other brains and how Homo sapiens evolved a very large and “special” brain.
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