Primate brains follow predictable development pattern.

In a breakthrough for understanding brain evolution, neuroscientists have shown that differences between primate brains – from the tiny marmoset to human – can be largely explained as consequences of the same genetic program.

In research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Professor Marcello Rosa and his team at Monash University’s School of Biomedical Sciences and colleagues at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, used computer modeling to demonstrate that the substantial enlargement of some areas of the human brain, vital to advanced cognition, reflected a consistent pattern that is seen across primate species of all sizes.

This finding suggests how the neural circuits responsible for traits that we consider uniquely human – such as the ability to plan, make complex decisions and speak – could have emerged simply as a natural consequence of the evolution of larger brains.

This is the first computational comparative study conducted across several primate species.

Read the full article at MONASH University here.

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