Anthropology | Brain Evolution
B600 | 26736 | Schoenemann
This seminar will review research relevant to understanding the
evolution of the brain. Current knowledge regarding brain
structure/function, including neurons and neurotransmitter systems
will be reviewed. Species differences in brain anatomy,
cytoarchitecture, neurons and neurotransmitters will be assessed,
along with the possible behavioral correlates of these differences.
In addition, the fossil record of brain evolution will be reviewed,
starting with clues about the earliest neural systems and continuing
up through human brain evolution. The different methods and
approaches to reconstructing brain evolution will be assessed.
Current controversies and theories about the causes and consequences
of hominid brain evolution will be reviewed, e.g., the possible role
of language, sociality, dietary shifts, and other behavioral
adaptations. We will also consider the archaeological evidence left
by Pleistocene humans that may be relevant to understanding brain
evolution. Participants will have the opportunity to take an active
role in influencing the direction of the seminar towards areas of
their particular interest. The goal of the seminar will be to
integrate research from many fields of inquiry.