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Evolutionary neuroscience

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Definition

noun

A branch of neuroscience that deals with the scientific study of the evolution of the nervous system


Supplement

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system and is concerned with the structure, development, function, chemistry, pharmacology, and pathology of the nervous system. Modern tools and technologies (e.g. molecular biology, electrophysiology, computational methods, etc.) led to the advancement of research on nervous system. As a result, neuroscience is now comprised of various branches.

The evolutionary neuroscience is a branch of neuroscience that is concerned with the evolution of the nervous system. It attempts to understand the history of the structure and function of the different nervous systems of animals. Thus, it encompasses comparative neuroanatomy by applying phylogenetic comparative methods.

Some of the topics covered by evolutionary neuroscience are theories and brain scaling, the evolutionary history of the brains of vertebrates (e.g. mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, etc.), fossil research and paleoneurology, the evolution of neural processes, and the origin of neocortex (i.e. the part of the brain of mammals associate with higher-order brain functions such as language, cognition, sensory perception, etc.). The field also attempts to understand the evolution of specialization of the human brain.


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