Evolution of Large Brain and Body Size in Mammals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

5 Citations (Scopus)


Mammalian brain size varies from less than 1 g to over 9 kg, but what is the significance of this variation in terms of behavioral complexity and cognition? What are the advantages of a large brain, and what are the costs? Comparing brains of ecologically and phylogenetically disperse species provides one way to derive and test hypotheses about how brains evolve. Here I discuss the assumptions made when total brain size is compared across species and highlight potential difficulties that limit such comparisons. Chief among these is evidence that total brain size masks a hidden diversity of mammalian brain structure and cellular composition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolution of Nervous Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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