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Journal Article

Homology, neocortex, and the evolution of developmental mechanisms.


Briscoe,  Steven D.
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Briscoe, S. D., & Ragsdale, C. W. (2018). Homology, neocortex, and the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Science (New York, N.Y.), 362(6411), 190-193. doi:10.1126/science.aau3711.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-F5BB-6
The six-layered neocortex of the mammalian pallium has no clear homolog in birds or non-avian reptiles. Recent research indicates that although these extant amniotes possess a variety of divergent and nonhomologous pallial structures, they share a conserved set of neuronal cell types and circuitries. These findings suggest a principle of brain evolution: that natural selection preferentially preserves the integrity of information-processing pathways, whereas other levels of biological organization, such as the three-dimensional architectures of neuronal assemblies, are less constrained. We review the similarities of pallial neuronal cell types in amniotes, delineate candidate gene regulatory networks for their cellular identities, and propose a model of developmental evolution for the divergence of amniote pallial structures.