Linked regularities in the development and evolution of mammalian brains

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Science  16 Jun 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5217, pp. 1578-1584
DOI: 10.1126/science.7777856


Analysis of data collected on 131 species of primates, bats, and insectivores showed that the sizes of brain components, from medulla to forebrain, are highly predictable from absolute brain size by a nonlinear function. The order of neurogenesis was found to be highly conserved across a wide range of mammals and to correlate with the relative enlargement of structures as brain size increases, with disproportionately large growth occurring in late-generated structures. Because the order of neurogenesis is conserved, the most likely brain alteration resulting from selection for any behavioral ability may be a coordinated enlargement of the entire nonolfactory brain.