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Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

Dunbar, Robin IM (2007) Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates. BMC Biology, 5 . Article Number: 21. ISSN 1741-7007

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Abstract

The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis) is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20) add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between the two sexes in the social mechanisms and brain units involved. Female sociality (which is more affiliative) is related most closely to neocortex volume, but male sociality (which is more competitive and combative) is more closely related to subcortical units (notably those associated with emotional responses). Thus different brain units have responded to different selection pressures.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:3 pages (page number not for citation purposes). Published 10 May 2007.
Uncontrolled Keywords:ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION; HUMANS; HYPOTHESIS; SYSTEM; SIZE; GENE
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Science > Department of Biological Sciences
DOI:10.1186/1741-7007-5-21
Publisher's Statement:© 2007 Dunbar; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Related URLs:
Refereed:Yes
Status:Published
ID Code:699
Deposited On:04 Jun 2008 16:08
Last Modified:19 May 2011 21:22

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