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Evolutionary Neurobiology

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4 papers 0 to 25 followers
By Abraham Nunes Psychiatry resident interested in computational neuroscience, forensic psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry.
Travis Monk, Michael G Paulin
The core design of spiking neurones is remarkably similar throughout the animal kingdom. Their basic function as fast-signalling thresholding cells might have been established very early in their evolutionary history. Identifying the selection pressures that drove animals to evolve spiking neurones could help us interpret their design and function today. We review fossil, ecological and molecular evidence to investigate when and why animals evolved spiking neurones. Fossils suggest that animals evolved nervous systems soon after the advent of animal-on-animal predation, 550 million years ago (MYa)...
2014: Brain, Behavior and Evolution
Emily Du, Steve W C Chang
Altruistic punishment, which occurs when an individual incurs a cost to punish in response to unfairness or a norm violation, may play a role in perpetuating cooperation. The neural correlates underlying costly punishment have only recently begun to be explored. Here we review the current state of research on the neural basis of altruism from the perspectives of costly punishment, emphasizing the importance of characterizing elementary neural processes underlying a decision to punish. In particular, we emphasize three cognitive processes that contribute to the decision to altruistically punish in most scenarios: inequity aversion, cost-benefit calculation, and social reference frame to distinguish self from others...
2015: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Laurie R Santos, Alexandra G Rosati
Humans exhibit a suite of biases when making economic decisions. We review recent research on the origins of human decision making by examining whether similar choice biases are seen in nonhuman primates, our closest phylogenetic relatives. We propose that comparative studies can provide insight into four major questions about the nature of human choice biases that cannot be addressed by studies of our species alone. First, research with other primates can address the evolution of human choice biases and identify shared versus human-unique tendencies in decision making...
January 3, 2015: Annual Review of Psychology
Mehmet Somel, Xiling Liu, Philipp Khaitovich
What evolutionary events led to the emergence of human cognition? Although the genetic differences separating modern humans from both non-human primates (for example, chimpanzees) and archaic hominins (Neanderthals and Denisovans) are known, linking human-specific mutations to the cognitive phenotype remains a challenge. One strategy is to focus on human-specific changes at the level of intermediate phenotypes, such as gene expression and metabolism, in conjunction with evolutionary changes in gene regulation involving transcription factors, microRNA and proximal regulatory elements...
February 2013: Nature Reviews. Neuroscience
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