From fossils to mind

de Sousa, A.A ORCID: 0000-0003-2379-3894 et al (2023) 'From fossils to mind.' Communications Biology, 6. e636. ISSN 2399-3642

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Fossil endocasts record features of brains from the past: size, shape, vasculature, and gyrification. These data, alongside experimental and comparative evidence, are needed to resolve questions about brain energetics, cognitive specializations, and developmental plasticity. Through the application of interdisciplinary techniques to the fossil record, paleoneurology has been leading major innovations. Neuroimaging is shedding light on fossil brain organization and behaviors. Inferences about the development and physiology of the brains of extinct species can be experimentally investigated through brain organoids and transgenic models based on ancient DNA. Phylogenetic comparative methods integrate data across species and associate genotypes to phenotypes, and brains to behaviors. Meanwhile, fossil and archeological discoveries continuously contribute new knowledge. Through cooperation, the scientific community can accelerate knowledge acquisition. Sharing digitized museum collections improves the availability of rare fossils and artifacts. Comparative neuroanatomical data are available through online databases, along with tools for their measurement and analysis. In the context of these advances, the paleoneurological record provides ample opportunity for future research. The biomedical and ecological sciences can benefit from paleoneurology's profound approach to understanding the mind as well as its novel research pipelines that correlate neuroanatomy to genes and behavior.

Item Type: Article
UN SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Goal 14: Life Below Water
Goal 15: Life on Land
Keywords: archaeology, biological anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, genetics of the nervous system, palaeontology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: School of Sciences
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries (CCCI)
Centre for Environmental Humanities
History and Heritage Research Centre
Intercultural Communication and Creative Practice Research Group
Research Centre for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Creativity
Psychology Research Centre for Health and Cognition
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Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 19:05
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2023 19:05
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