Leah Krubitzer

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Leah Krubitzer is an American neuroscientist, Professor of Psychology at University of California, Davis,[1] and head of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Neurobiology.[2] Her research interests center on how complex brains in mammals (e.g., humans) evolve from simpler forms. To do this, she focuses on anatomical connections and electrophysiological characteristics of neurons in the neocortex (i.e., the part of the brain associated with perception, cognition, learning, and memory). Using comparative studies, she determines which features of the neocortex are shared by all mammals and how new features of the neocortex have evolved. This allows her to reconstruct evolutionary phylogenies of the neocortex together with their relationship to functional changes. Thus, her work aims to explain the diversity in mammalian behavioral and perceptual abilities by investigating how a few evolutionarily old developmental mechanisms constrain evolutionary change while also providing the variation needed for the evolution of the diversity of brains found in mammals.[1]

She was a reviewer for the 2009 NIH Director's Pioneer Award.[3]

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