Neonatal maturity as the key to understanding brain size evolution in homeothermic vertebrates

Weisbecker, Vera and Goswami, Anjali (2011) Neonatal maturity as the key to understanding brain size evolution in homeothermic vertebrates. BioEssays, 33 3: 155-158. doi:10.1002/bies.201000128


Author Weisbecker, Vera
Goswami, Anjali
Title Neonatal maturity as the key to understanding brain size evolution in homeothermic vertebrates
Journal name BioEssays   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0265-9247
1521-1878
Publication date 2011-03
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/bies.201000128
Volume 33
Issue 3
Start page 155
End page 158
Total pages 4
Place of publication West Sussex, U.K.
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract What parameters determine brain size? This question is of particular interest for humans because our large brains confer outstanding cognitive abilities. The answer has long been sought in comparative analyses of brain size relative to body size (herein termed ‘brain size’) in our fellow homeothermic vertebrates – namely other mammals and birds. Unfortunately, brain size is an idiosyncratic trait corresponding to a seemingly miscellaneous collection of traits ranging from gestation length to deception behaviour. Some order can be established by attributing brain size correlates to categories of constraint (‘what traits permit or limit increased brain sizes?’) and selection (‘what traits select for increased brain sizes?. Even so, the vast number of potential correlates has lead to a plethora of (frequently mutually exclusive) hypotheses regarding avian and mammalian brain size evolution. This confusion has recently prompted calls for better integration of brain size correlates. In this article we argue that the latest advances in the field of brain size constraints, combined with modern techniques for tracing brain development, put an integrated framework of brain size evolution within our reach.
Keyword Altricial
Brain size
Encephalisation
Maternal Investment
Precocial
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
ERA White List Items
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 23 Mar 2012, 15:52:48 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences