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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 173
Title: Discovering Human Brain Specializations
Lead Author: Preuss, Todd M
Abstract: The last decade has witnessed the emergence of a new science of human brain evolution. This science has the potential to fundamentally alter our understanding of human nature by providing a detailed account of how the human brain differs from those of other species in its connectivity, microanatomy, and functional capacities; by elucidating the genetic underpinnings of those differences; and by determining how human-specific phenotypes emerge during individual development. The new science became possible with the advent of experimental methods that do not require invasive or terminal procedures, such as non-invasive neuroimaging and comparative genomics. Advancing this science will require new training programs that cross traditional disciplinary lines to include primatology, human evolution, neuroscience, cognitive science, and comparative molecular biology. Moreover, because comparing humans to our closest relativeschimpanzees and other great apesis essential for understanding human brain evolution, and because great ape populations are rapidly dwindling, a high-priority program should be established to acquire and archive the materials required to advance the science. This would entail, at minimum, imaging as many apes as possible with current technologies, scanning existing and future collections of histological sections, and making those images available through the internet.
PDF: Preuss_Todd_173.pdf

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