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Modular structure facilitates mosaic evolution of the brain in chimpanzees and humans

Gomez-Robles, A; Hopkins, WD; Sherwood, CC; (2014) Modular structure facilitates mosaic evolution of the brain in chimpanzees and humans. Nature Communications , 5 , Article 4469. 10.1038/ncomms5469. Green open access

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Abstract

Different brain components can evolve in a coordinated manner or they can show divergent evolutionary trajectories according to a mosaic pattern of variation. Understanding the relationship between these brain evolutionary patterns, which are not mutually exclusive, can be informed by the examination of intraspecific variation. Our study evaluates patterns of brain anatomical covariation in chimpanzees and humans to infer their influence on brain evolution in the hominin clade. We show that chimpanzee and human brains have a modular structure that may have facilitated mosaic evolution from their last common ancestor. Spatially adjacent regions covary with one another to the strongest degree and separated regions are more independent from each other, which might be related to a predominance of local association connectivity. Despite the undoubted importance of developmental and functional factors in determining brain morphology, we find that these constraints are subordinate to the primary effect of local spatial interactions.

Type: Article
Title: Modular structure facilitates mosaic evolution of the brain in chimpanzees and humans
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5469
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5469
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Brain, Evolution
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071383
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