Class7_Brain+Evolution

Class7_Brain+Evolution - Outline Evolution of Nervous...

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1 Evolution of Nervous System Outline • Evolution: why should I care? • Mechanisms of evolution – Homology – Plasticity in brain structure • Evolution of brain size – Encephalization – Human brain size – Hippocampus Brain Evolution: Why Should I Care? • If you’re interested in understanding how mechanisms of the brain and behavior work, eventually you need to do an experiment • Studies of brain evolution show that brain structure and function are similar across species Homology in the Brain • Human brains are obviously different from other species (e.g. rat) • However, there are striking similarities Similar Brain Activity Patterns • In humans with post- traumatic stress disorder the amygdala shows exaggerated responses during stress • In mice, fear conditioning increases amygdala responses to stress
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2 Genetic Homology • 99% of genes in the mouse genome have a homologue in humans • Even though the genomes of many species are known, the function of many genes is unknown Outline • Evolution: why should I care? • Mechanisms of evolution – Homology – Plasticity in brain structure • Evolution of brain size – Encephalization – Human brain size – Hippocampus Describing Traits • Homologous: traits that are similar in different species due to a common ancestor • Analogous: traits that share similar function but arose due to convergent evolution Homology These species shared a common ancestor in recent history Convergence • Both bats and birds have wings, yet the structures of the wings are fundamentally different between the two. • Traits arose independently (convergence) – Traits arose because they result in an increase in survival or reproduction.
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3 Reading Cladograms • C & D are each other’s closest relatives. They descended from species 1, which
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Class7_Brain+Evolution - Outline Evolution of Nervous...

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