Laboratory for Evolutionary Neuroscience
The Laboratory for Evolutionary Neuroscience is dedicated to research on brain evolution in primates and other mammals. We investigate phylogenetic diversity in neural structure, including its behavioral correlates and genetic substrates.
A primary goal of the laboratory’s research is to characterize variation in neocortical architecture among mammals. We use quantitative neuroanatomical methods to explore species differences in inhibitory interneuron distributions, neuronal morphology, glial cell proportions, innervation by neuromodulatory fibers, and synaptic organization. These studies allow us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of brain structure across mammals and to identify possible neural specializations underlying behavioral adaptations.
Within the scope of the laboratory’s research, we examine human brain organization in comparison to other primates. Our aim is to elucidate the biological basis of uniquely modern human cognitive abilities, such as “theory of mind” and language. In addition, we are exploring the link between genotypic changes and the evolution of distinctive brain anatomy in the human lineage.