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Laterality and the evolution of the prefronto-cerebellar system in anthropoids.

Smaers, JB; Steele, J; Case, CR; Amunts, K; (2013) Laterality and the evolution of the prefronto-cerebellar system in anthropoids. Ann N Y Acad Sci , 1288 59 - 69. 10.1111/nyas.12047. Green open access


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There is extensive evidence for an early vertebrate origin of lateralized motor behavior and of related asymmetries in underlying brain systems. We investigate human lateralized motor functioning in a broad comparative context of evolutionary neural reorganization. We quantify evolutionary trends in the fronto-cerebellar system (involved in motor learning) across 46 million years of divergent primate evolution by comparing rates of evolution of prefrontal cortex, frontal motor cortex, and posterior cerebellar hemispheres along individual branches of the primate tree of life. We provide a detailed evolutionary model of the neuroanatomical changes leading to modern human lateralized motor functioning, demonstrating an increased role for the fronto-cerebellar system in the apes dating to their evolutionary divergence from the monkeys (∼30 million years ago (Mya)), and a subsequent shift toward an increased role for prefrontal cortex over frontal motor cortex in the fronto-cerebellar system in the Homo-Pan ancestral lineage (∼10 Mya) and in the human ancestral lineage (∼6 Mya). We discuss these results in the context of cortico-cerebellar functions and their likely role in the evolution of human tool use and speech.

Type: Article
Title: Laterality and the evolution of the prefronto-cerebellar system in anthropoids.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12047
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.12047
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of The New York Academy of Sciences. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Animals, Biological Evolution, Cerebellum, Haplorhini, Humans, Phylogeny, Prefrontal Cortex, Species Specificity
UCL classification: UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1393689
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