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Remarkable, But Not Special: What Human Brains Are Made of

By: , Posted on: March 23, 2017

Humans are formidable creatures, capable of transforming their food to refined “molecular” gastronomy, building skyscrapers, modifying their own bodies, and inquiring about themselves. Once the brain became recognized as the seat of mental functions, in the 19th century, it became clear that all those abilities must come from the brain. Yet the human brain appears nowhere as formidable as its feats: at best, it ranks 14th in size, after 2 species of elephants and 11 cetaceans, whose brains can weigh as much as 9 kg, six times larger than the human brain. Continue reading the chapter by clicking the link below and filling out a brief form:

Chapter Download – Remarkable, But Not Special: What Human Brains Are Made of

Biology only makes sense when seen in the light of evolution, and this is especially true for the nervous system. All animals have nervous systems that mediate their behaviors, many of them species specific, yet these nervous systems all evolved from the simple nervous system of a common ancestor. To understand these nervous systems, we need to know how they vary and how this variation emerged in evolution.

Completely revised and updated to reflect state-of-the-art knowledge of how nervous systems evolved throughout the animal kingdom, Evolution of Nervous Systems, Second Edition remains rich in detail and broad in scope. It outlines the changes in brain and nervous system organization that occurred from the first invertebrates and vertebrates to present day fishes, reptiles, birds, mammals, and especially primates, including humans.

evolution of nervous systems

Evolution of Nervous Systems, Second Edition, includes wholly new content, fully updating the chapters in the previous edition and offering brand new content on current developments in the field. Each of the volumes has been carefully restructured to offer expanded coverage of non-mammalian taxa, mammals, primates and the human nervous system. The basic principles of brain evolution are discussed, as well as mechanisms of change, which involved gene expression and altered the courses of embryonic development. The reader can select from chapters on highly specific topics as well as those providing an overview of current thinking and approaches, making this an indispensable work for students and researchers alike.

To access more chapters, visit ScienceDirect today!

Jon Kaas, Distinguished Centennial Professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Pub Date: December 2016

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