Evolution of the neocortex: Perspective from developmental biology
Nature Reviews Neuroscience
The enlargement and species-specific elaboration of the cerebral neocortex during evolution holds the secret of humans’ mental abilities; however, the genetic origin and cellular mechanisms generating the distinct evolutionary advancements are not well understood. This article describes how novelties that make us human may have been introduced during evolution, based on findings in the embryonic cerebral cortex in different mammalian species. The data on the differences in gene expression, new molecular pathways and novel cellular interactions that have led to these evolutionary advances may also provide insight into the pathogenesis and therapies for human-specific neuropsychiatric disorders.
DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY, NEOCORTICAL NEUROGENESIS, GENE EXPRESSION, MOLECULAR PATHWAYS, CELLULAR INTERACTIONS, EVO-DEVO APPROACH, CEREBRAL CORTEX, NEURONAL MIGRATION, CONVOLUTIONS, RADIAL GLIAL CELLS, SUBPIAL GRANULAR LAYER, INTERNEURONS, FETAL HUMAN BRAIN GENE NETWORKS