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The Human Brain, the Evolved Brain

What is the purpose of evolution?

Evolution has no goal. Rather, it solves problems and biases the expansion of diversity:

“Neuroscience needs evolution” Paul Cisek & Benjamin Y. Hayden (2022)

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” T Dobzhansky (1973) (doi:10.2307/4444260)

How has changes to the size of the brain influenced its evolution?

“Evolution of the human brain: when bigger is better” Michel Hofman (2014)

How have the way neurons process information (their biophysical properties) changed with evolution?

“Allometric rules for mammalian cortical layer 5 neuron biophysics” Beaulieu-Laroche et al. (2021) define size-dependent differences in conductance across species that human neurons interestingly do not follow

“Dendritic action potentials and computation in human layer 2/3 cortical neurons” Gidon et al. (2020) discover a human-specific computation, the XOR opertation

"A tradeoff in the neural code across regions and species" Pryluk et al. (2019) explore robustness vs. efficiency of neurons in different species

Are we becoming more in control of our environments?

“Evolution of behavioural control from chordates to primates” Paul Cisek (2021)

What is the use of an evolutionary perspective in understanding the functional architecture of the brain?

“Refocusing neuroscience: moving away from mental categories and towards complex behaviours” Pessoa, Medina, Desfilis (2021)


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