Talk:Evolution of the brain

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Please see[edit]

There is a related discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Neuroscience#Brain size and Human brain size. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:07, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Genetic Factor contributing to modern evolution[edit]

Bruce Lahn, the senior author at the Howard Hughes Medical Center at the University of Chicago and colleagues have suggested that there are specific genes that control the size of the human brain. These genes continue to play a role in brain evolution, implying that the brain is continuing to evolve. The study began with the researchers assessing 214 genes that are involved in brain development. These genes were obtained from humans, macaques, rats and mice. Lahn and the other researchers noted points in the DNA sequences that caused protein alterations. These DNA changes were then scaled to the evolutionary time that it took for those changes to occur. The data showed the genes in the human brain evolved much faster than those of the other species. Once this genomic evidence was acquired, Lahn and his team decided to find the specific gene or genes that allowed for or even controlled this rapid evolution. Two genes were found to control the size of the human brain as it develops. These genes are Microcephalin and Abnormal Spindle-like Microcephaly (ASPM). The researchers at the University of Chicago were able to determine that under the pressures of selection, both of these genes showed significant DNA sequence changes. Lahn's earlier studies displayed that Microcephalin experienced rapid evolution along the primate lineage which eventually led to the emergence of Homo sapiens. After the emergence of humans, Microcephalin seems to have shown a slower evolution rate. On the contrary, ASPM showed its most rapid evolution in on the later years of human evolution once the divergence between chimpanzees and humans had already occurred. Dorus S., Vallender E.J., Evans P.D., Anderson J.R., Gilbert S.L., Mahowald M., Wyckoff G.J., Malcolm C.M., Lahn B.T. 2004. Accelerated evolution of nervous system gene in the origin of homosapiens. Cell. 119(7):1027-40.

Each of the gene sequences went through specific changes that lead to the evolution of humans from ancestral relatives. In order to determine these alterations, Lahn and his colleagues used DNA sequences from multiple primates then compared and contrasted the sequences with those of humans. Following this step, the researchers statistically analyzed the key differences between the primate and human DNA to come to the conclusion, that the differences were due to natural selection. The changes in DNA sequences of these genes accumulated to bring about a competitive advantage and higher fitness that humans possess in relation to other primates This comparative advantage is coupled with a larger brain size which ultimately allows the human mind to have a higher cognitive awareness. Evans P.D., Gilbert S.L, Mekel-Bobroz N., Vallender E.J., Anderson J.R. Vaez-Azizi L.M., Tishkoff S.A., Hudson R.R. and Lahn B.T. 2005. Microcephalin, a Gene Reulating Brain Size, Continues to Evolve Adaptively in Humans. Science 309(5741):1717-20. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Solanki.15 (talkcontribs) 20:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Missing sources in part 1[edit]

There are two sources mentioned in part 1: ´´Hoffman et al. 2004´´ and ´´Hofman 2001´´, but they are not quoted in a section literature or similar. Quite difficult to find the sources without being the author of this wikipedia article. DinoDinoDinoDinoDino (talk) 11:12, 10 December 2014 (UTC)


A couple of days ago MisterSheik (talk · contribs) made an edit that changed "fruit eating" to "frugivorous", with no edit summary. I undid the edit, with edit summary "no reason to use an obscure technical term here". The editor reverted back, with edit summary "it's not technical :) use a dictionary if you don't know it". It seems to me that if I, with a Ph.D. in biology, struggle to remember the meaning of the word, it is probably not suitable for Wikipedia's broad audience, and really only serves to show off how erudite we Wikipedians are. But my personal policy is never to multi-revert, so I will leave it up to other editors to decide how to proceed. Looie496 (talk) 03:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

There are more brains than HUMAN BRAINS, more even than VERTEBRATE BRAINS[edit]

This page is a mess. Amateurish, with no grasp whatsoever of brain development even in chordates. No coverage at all of early development in bilaterians generally,including insects which is what I came for. Needs a total rewrite by a specialist. A complete Wikicockup. (talk) 22:27, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia relies on volunteer efforts. Unfortunately not very many academic specialists are prepared to volunteer their work; as a result many articles about specialized academic topics are poor in quality. Improvements are always welcome. Looie496 (talk) 18:46, 24 July 2015 (UTC)