WorldWideScience

Sample records for brain size evolution

  1. Brain-size evolution and sociality in Carnivora

    OpenAIRE

    Finarelli, John A.; Flynn, John J.

    2009-01-01

    Increased encephalization, or larger brain volume relative to body mass, is a repeated theme in vertebrate evolution. Here we present an extensive sampling of relative brain sizes in fossil and extant taxa in the mammalian order Carnivora (cats, dogs, bears, weasels, and their relatives). By using Akaike Information Criterion model selection and endocranial volume and body mass data for 289 species (including 125 fossil taxa), we document clade-specific evolutionary transformations in encepha...

  2. Evolution of the human brain: changing brain size and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Min S; Nguyen, Andrew D; Aryan, Henry E; U, Hoi Sang; Levy, Michael L; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2007-03-01

    Although the study of the human brain is a rapidly developing and expanding science, we must take pause to examine the historical and evolutionary events that helped shape the brain of Homo sapiens. From an examination of the human lineage to a discussion of evolutionary principles, we describe the basic principles and theories behind the evolution of the human brain. Specifically, we examine several theories concerning changes in overall brain size during hominid evolution and relate them to the fossil record. This overview is intended to provide a broad understanding of some of the controversial issues that are currently being debated in the multidisciplinary field of brain evolution research.

  3. Brain-size evolution and sociality in Carnivora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finarelli, John A; Flynn, John J

    2009-06-09

    Increased encephalization, or larger brain volume relative to body mass, is a repeated theme in vertebrate evolution. Here we present an extensive sampling of relative brain sizes in fossil and extant taxa in the mammalian order Carnivora (cats, dogs, bears, weasels, and their relatives). By using Akaike Information Criterion model selection and endocranial volume and body mass data for 289 species (including 125 fossil taxa), we document clade-specific evolutionary transformations in encephalization allometries. These evolutionary transformations include multiple independent encephalization increases and decreases in addition to a remarkably static basal Carnivora allometry that characterizes much of the suborder Feliformia and some taxa in the suborder Caniformia across much of their evolutionary history, emphasizing that complex processes shaped the modern distribution of encephalization across Carnivora. This analysis also permits critical evaluation of the social brain hypothesis (SBH), which predicts a close association between sociality and increased encephalization. Previous analyses based on living species alone appeared to support the SBH with respect to Carnivora, but those results are entirely dependent on data from modern Canidae (dogs). Incorporation of fossil data further reveals that no association exists between sociality and encephalization across Carnivora and that support for sociality as a causal agent of encephalization increase disappears for this clade.

  4. Evolution of ASPM is associated with both increases and decreases in brain size in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2012-03-01

    A fundamental trend during primate evolution has been the expansion of brain size. However, this trend was reversed in the Callitrichidae (marmosets and tamarins), which have secondarily evolved smaller brains associated with a reduction in body size. The recent pursuit of the genetic basis of brain size evolution has largely focused on episodes of brain expansion, but new insights may be gained by investigating episodes of brain size reduction. Previous results suggest two genes (ASPM and CDK5RAP2) associated with microcephaly, a human neurodevelopmental disorder, may have an evolutionary function in primate brain expansion. Here we use new sequences encoding key functional domains from 12 species of callitrichids to show that positive selection has acted on ASPM across callitrichid evolution and the rate of ASPM evolution is significantly negatively correlated with callitrichid brain size, whereas the evolution of CDK5RAP2 shows no correlation with brain size. Our findings strongly suggest that ASPM has a previously unsuspected role in the evolution of small brains in primates. ASPM is therefore intimately linked to both evolutionary increases and decreases in brain size in anthropoids and is a key target for natural selection acting on brain size. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Genetic architecture supports mosaic brain evolution and independent brain-body size regulation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hager, Reinmar; Lu, Lu; Rosen, Glenn D; Williams, Robert W

    2012-01-01

    ... to selection and evolve independent of other parts or overall brain size. However, comparisons among mammals with matched brain weights often reveal greater differences in brain part size, arguing against strong developmental constraints...

  6. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalay Kouprina

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Primary microcephaly (MCPH is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  7. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouprina, Natalay; Pavlicek, Adam; Mochida, Ganeshwaran H; Solomon, Gregory; Gersch, William; Yoon, Young-Ho; Collura, Randall; Ruvolo, Maryellen; Barrett, J Carl; Woods, C Geoffrey; Walsh, Christopher A; Jurka, Jerzy; Larionov, Vladimir

    2004-05-01

    Primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes) consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  8. The Evolution of Human Intelligence and the Coefficient of Additive Genetic Variance in Human Brain Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Geoffrey F.; Penke, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Most theories of human mental evolution assume that selection favored higher intelligence and larger brains, which should have reduced genetic variance in both. However, adult human intelligence remains highly heritable, and is genetically correlated with brain size. This conflict might be resolved by estimating the coefficient of additive genetic…

  9. Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Gilbert, Sandra L; Evans, Patrick D; Vallender, Eric J; Anderson, Jeffrey R; Hudson, Richard R; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Lahn, Bruce T

    2005-09-09

    The gene ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) is a specific regulator of brain size, and its evolution in the lineage leading to Homo sapiens was driven by strong positive selection. Here, we show that one genetic variant of ASPM in humans arose merely about 5800 years ago and has since swept to high frequency under strong positive selection. These findings, especially the remarkably young age of the positively selected variant, suggest that the human brain is still undergoing rapid adaptive evolution.

  10. Brain size and thermoregulation during the evolution of the genus Homo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naya, Daniel E; Naya, Hugo; Lessa, Enrique P

    2016-01-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of an energetically costly brain in the genus Homo. Some of these hypotheses are based on the correlation between climatic factors and brain size recorded for this genus during the last millions of years. In this study, we propose a complementary climatic hypothesis that is based on the mechanistic connection between temperature, thermoregulation, and size of internal organs in endothermic species. We hypothesized that global cooling during the last 3.2 my may have imposed an increased energy expenditure for thermoregulation, which in the case of hominids could represent a driver for the evolution of an expanded brain, or at least, it could imply the relaxation of a negative selection pressure acting upon this costly organ. To test this idea, here we (1) assess variation in the energetic costs of thermoregulation and brain maintenance for the last 3.2 my, and (2) evaluate the relationship between Earth temperature and brain maintenance cost for the same period, taking into account the effects of body mass and fossil age. We found that: (1) the energetic cost associated with brain enlargement represents an important fraction (between 47.5% and 82.5%) of the increase in energy needed for thermoregulation; (2) fossil age is a better predictor of brain maintenance cost than Earth temperature, suggesting that (at least) another factor correlated with time was more relevant than ambient temperature in brain size evolution; and (3) there is a significant negative correlation between the energetic cost of brain and Earth temperature, even after accounting for the effect of body mass and fossil age. Thus, our results expand the current energetic framework for the study of brain size evolution in our lineage by suggesting that a fall in Earth temperature during the last millions of years may have facilitated brain enlargement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Regional selection of the brain size regulating gene CASC5 provides new insight into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Hu, Enzhi; Wang, Zhenbo; Liu, Jiewei; Li, Jin; Li, Ming; Chen, Hua; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi; Su, Bing

    2017-02-01

    Human evolution is marked by a continued enlargement of the brain. Previous studies on human brain evolution focused on identifying sequence divergences of brain size regulating genes between humans and nonhuman primates. However, the evolutionary pattern of the brain size regulating genes during recent human evolution is largely unknown. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of the brain size regulating gene CASC5 and found that in recent human evolution, CASC5 has accumulated many modern human specific amino acid changes, including two fixed changes and six polymorphic changes. Among human populations, 4 of the 6 amino acid polymorphic sites have high frequencies of derived alleles in East Asians, but are rare in Europeans and Africans. We proved that this between-population allelic divergence was caused by regional Darwinian positive selection in East Asians. Further analysis of brain image data of Han Chinese showed significant associations of the amino acid polymorphic sites with gray matter volume. Hence, CASC5 may contribute to the morphological and structural changes of the human brain during recent evolution. The observed between-population divergence of CASC5 variants was driven by natural selection that tends to favor a larger gray matter volume in East Asians.

  12. Genetic basis of brain size evolution in cetaceans: insights from adaptive evolution of seven primary microcephaly (MCPH) genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shixia; Sun, Xiaohui; Niu, Xu; Zhang, Zepeng; Tian, Ran; Ren, Wenhua; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2017-08-29

    Cetacean brain size expansion is an enigmatic event in mammalian evolution, yet its genetic basis remains poorly explored. Here, all exons of the seven primary microcephaly (MCPH) genes that play key roles in size regulation during brain development were investigated in representative cetacean lineages. Sequences of MCPH2-7 genes were intact in cetaceans but frameshift mutations and stop codons was identified in MCPH1. Extensive positive selection was identified in four of six intact MCPH genes: WDR62, CDK5RAP2, CEP152, and ASPM. Specially, positive selection at CDK5RAP2 and ASPM were examined along lineages of odontocetes with increased encephalization quotients (EQ) and mysticetes with reduced EQ but at WDR62 only found along odontocete lineages. Interestingly, a positive association between evolutionary rate (ω) and EQ was identified for CDK5RAP2 and ASPM. Furthermore, we tested the binding affinities between Calmodulin (CaM) and ASPM IQ motif in cetaceans because only CaM combined with IQ, can ASPM perform the function in determining brain size. Preliminary function assay showed binding affinities between CaM and IQ motif of the odontocetes with increased EQ was stronger than for the mysticetes with decreased EQ. In addition, evolution rate of ASPM and CDK5RAP2 were significantly related to mean group size (as one measure of social complexity). Our study investigated the genetic basis of cetacean brain size evolution. Significant positive selection was examined along lineages with both increased and decreased EQ at CDK5RAP2 and ASPM, which is well matched with cetacean complex brain size evolution. Evolutionary rate of CDK5RAP2 and ASPM were significantly related to EQ, suggesting that these two genes may have contributed to EQ expansion in cetaceans. This suggestion was further indicated by our preliminary function test that ASPM might be mainly linked to evolutionary increases in EQ. Most strikingly, our results suggested that cetaceans evolved large brains

  13. Plausible mechanisms for brain structural and size changes in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazek, Vladimir; Brùzek, Jaroslav; Casanova, Manuel F

    2011-09-01

    Encephalization has many contexts and implications. On one hand, it is concerned with the transformation of eating habits, social relationships and communication, cognitive skills and the mind. Along with the increase in brain size on the other hand, encephalization is connected with the creation of more complex brain structures, namely in the cerebral cortex. It is imperative to inquire into the mechanisms which are linked with brain growth and to find out which of these mechanisms allow it and determine it. There exist a number of theories for understanding human brain evolution which originate from neurological sciences. These theories are the concept of radial units, minicolumns, mirror neurons, and neurocognitive networks. Over the course of evolution, it is evident that a whole range of changes have taken place in regards to heredity. These changes include new mutations of genes in the microcephalin complex, gene duplications, gene co-expression, and genomic imprinting. This complex study of the growth and reorganization of the brain and the functioning of hereditary factors and their external influences creates an opportunity to consider the implications of cultural evolution and cognitive faculties.

  14. Development and evolution of brain allometry in wasps (Vespidae): size, ecology and sociality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Bulova, Susan

    2017-08-01

    We review research on brain development and brain evolution in the wasp family Vespidae. Basic vespid neuroanatomy and some aspects of functional neural circuitry are well-characterized, and genomic tools for exploring brain plasticity are being developed. Although relatively modest in terms of species richness, the Vespidae include species spanning much of the known range of animal social complexity, from solitary nesters to highly eusocial species with some of the largest known colonies and multiple reproductives. Eusocial species differ in behavior and ecology including variation in queen/worker caste differentiation and in diurnal/nocturnal activity. Species differences in overall brain size are strongly associated with brain allometry; relative sizes of visual processing tissues increase at faster rates than antennal processing tissues. The lower relative size of the central-processing mushroom bodies (MB) in eusocial species compared to solitary relatives suggests sociality may relax demands on individual cognitive abilities. However, queens have greater relative MB volumes than their workers, and MB development is positively associated with social dominance status in some species. Fruitful areas for future investigations of adaptive brain investment in the clade include sampling of key overlooked taxa with diverse social structures, and the analysis of neural correlations with ecological divergence in foraging resources and diel activity patterns. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Evolution of the human ASPM gene, a major determinant of brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianzhi

    2003-12-01

    The size of human brain tripled over a period of approximately 2 million years (MY) that ended 0.2-0.4 MY ago. This evolutionary expansion is believed to be important to the emergence of human language and other high-order cognitive functions, yet its genetic basis remains unknown. An evolutionary analysis of genes controlling brain development may shed light on it. ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) is one of such genes, as nonsense mutations lead to primary microcephaly, a human disease characterized by a 70% reduction in brain size. Here I provide evidence suggesting that human ASPM went through an episode of accelerated sequence evolution by positive Darwinian selection after the split of humans and chimpanzees but before the separation of modern non-Africans from Africans. Because positive selection acts on a gene only when the gene function is altered and the organismal fitness is increased, my results suggest that adaptive functional modifications occurred in human ASPM and that it may be a major genetic component underlying the evolution of the human brain.

  16. Brain size evolution in pipefishes and seahorses: the role of feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, M; Lim, A C O; Ooi, B L; Yip, M Y; Chong, V C; Ahnesjö, I; Kolm, N

    2017-01-01

    Brain size varies greatly at all taxonomic levels. Feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection have been proposed as key components in generating contemporary diversity in brain size across vertebrates. Analyses of brain size evolution have, however, been limited to lineages where males predominantly compete for mating and females choose mates. Here, we present the first original data set of brain sizes in pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) a group in which intense female mating competition occurs in many species. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and overall body size, brain size was positively correlated with relative snout length. Moreover, we found that females, on average, had 4.3% heavier brains than males and that polyandrous species demonstrated more pronounced (11.7%) female-biased brain size dimorphism. Our results suggest that adaptations for feeding on mobile prey items and sexual selection in females are important factors in brain size evolution of pipefishes and seahorses. Most importantly, our study supports the idea that sexual selection plays a major role in brain size evolution, regardless of on which sex sexual selection acts stronger. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Light enough to travel or wise enough to stay? Brain size evolution and migratory behavior in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincze, Orsolya

    2016-09-01

    Brain size relative to body size is smaller in migratory than in nonmigratory birds. Two mutually nonexclusive hypotheses had been proposed to explain this association. On the one hand, the "energetic trade-off hypothesis" claims that migratory species were selected to have smaller brains because of the interplay between neural tissue volume and migratory flight. On the other hand, the "behavioral flexibility hypothesis" argues that resident species are selected to have higher cognitive capacities, and therefore larger brains, to enable survival in harsh winters, or to deal with environmental seasonality. Here, I test the validity and setting of these two hypotheses using 1466 globally distributed bird species. First, I show that the negative association between migration distance and relative brain size is very robust across species and phylogeny. Second, I provide strong support for the energetic trade-off hypothesis, by showing the validity of the trade-off among long-distance migratory species alone. Third, using resident and short-distance migratory species, I demonstrate that environmental harshness is associated with enlarged relative brain size, therefore arguably better cognition. My study provides the strongest comparative support to date for both the energetic trade-off and the behavioral flexibility hypotheses, and highlights that both mechanisms contribute to brain size evolution, but on different ends of the migratory spectrum. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Positive selection in ASPM is correlated with cerebral cortex evolution across primates but not with whole-brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Farhan; Meier, Rudolf

    2008-11-01

    The rapid increase of brain size is a key event in human evolution. Abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated (ASPM) is discussed as a major candidate gene for explaining the exceptionally large brain in humans but ASPM's role remains controversial. Here we use codon-specific models and a comparative approach to test this candidate gene that was initially identified in Homo-chimp comparisons. We demonstrate that accelerated evolution of ASPM (omega = 4.7) at 16 amino acid sites occurred in 9 primate lineages with major changes in relative cerebral cortex size. However, ASPM's evolution is not correlated with major changes in relative whole-brain or cerebellum sizes. Our results suggest that a single candidate gene such as ASPM can influence a specific component of the brain across large clades through changes in a few amino acid sites. We furthermore illustrate the power of using continuous phenotypic variability across primates to rigorously test candidate genes that have been implicated in the evolution of key human traits.

  19. Functional divergence of the brain-size regulating gene MCPH1 during primate evolution and the origin of humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the key genes that regulate human brain size, MCPH1 has evolved under strong Darwinian positive selection during the evolution of primates. During this evolution, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences among primates may have caused functional changes that contribute to brain enlargement. Results To test this hypothesis, we used co-immunoprecipitation and reporter gene assays to examine the activating and repressing effects of MCPH1 on a set of its down-stream genes and then compared the functional outcomes of a series of mutant MCPH1 proteins that carry mutations at the human- and great-ape-specific sites. The results demonstrate that the regulatory effects of human MCPH1 and rhesus macaque MCPH1 are different in three of eight down-stream genes tested (p73, cyclinE1 and p14ARF), suggesting a functional divergence of MCPH1 between human and non-human primates. Further analyses of the mutant MCPH1 proteins indicated that most of the human-specific mutations could change the regulatory effects on the down-stream genes. A similar result was also observed for one of the four great-ape-specific mutations. Conclusions Collectively, we propose that during primate evolution in general and human evolution in particular, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences under Darwinian positive selection led to functional modifications, providing a possible molecular mechanism of how MCPH1 contributed to brain enlargement during primate evolution and human origin. PMID:23697381

  20. On the relationships of postcanine tooth size with dietary quality and brain volume in primates: implications for hominin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Arenas, Juan Manuel; Pérez-Claros, Juan Antonio; Aledo, Juan Carlos; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.

  1. On the Relationships of Postcanine Tooth Size with Dietary Quality and Brain Volume in Primates: Implications for Hominin Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Jiménez-Arenas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.

  2. On the Relationships of Postcanine Tooth Size with Dietary Quality and Brain Volume in Primates: Implications for Hominin Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Arenas, Juan Manuel; Pérez-Claros, Juan Antonio; Aledo, Juan Carlos; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates. PMID:24592388

  3. The correlated evolution of antipredator defences and brain size in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stankowich, Theodore; Romero, Ashly N

    2017-01-11

    Mammals that possess elaborate antipredator defences such as body armour, spines and quills are usually well protected, intermediate in size, primarily insectivorous and live in simple open environments. The benefits of such defences seem clear and may relax selection on maintaining cognitive abilities that aid in vigilance and predator recognition, and their bearers may accrue extensive production and maintenance costs. Here, in this comparative phylogenetic analysis of measurements of encephalization quotient and morphological defence scores of 647 mammal species representing nearly every order, we found that as lineages evolve stronger defences, they suffer a correlated reduction in encephalization. The only exceptions were those that live in trees-a complex three-dimensional world probably requiring greater cognitive abilities. At the proximate level, because brain tissue is extremely energetically expensive to build, mammals may be trading off spending more on elaborate defences and saving by building less powerful brains. At the ultimate level, having greater defences may also reduce the need for advanced cognitive abilities for constant assessment of environmental predation risk, especially in simple open environments. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Metabolic constraint imposes tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons in human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2012-01-01

    Despite a general trend for larger mammals to have larger brains, humans are the primates with the largest brain and number of neurons, but not the largest body mass. Why are great apes, the largest primates, not also those endowed with the largest brains? Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foo...

  5. Comment on "Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens" and "Microcephalin, a gene regulating brain size, continues to evolve adaptively in humans".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currat, Mathias; Excoffier, Laurent; Maddison, Wayne; Otto, Sarah P; Ray, Nicolas; Whitlock, Michael C; Yeaman, Sam

    2006-07-14

    Mekel-Bobrov et al. and Evans et al. (Reports, 9 Sept. 2005, p. 1720 and p. 1717, respectively) examined sequence data from modern humans within two gene regions associated with brain development, ASPM and microcephalin, and concluded that selection of these genes must be ongoing. We show that models of human history that include both population growth and spatial structure can generate the observed patterns without selection.

  6. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Manger, Paul R.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2014-01-01

    Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining) changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution. PMID:25157220

  7. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution.

  8. Dolphin social intelligence: complex alliance relationships in bottlenose dolphins and a consideration of selective environments for extreme brain size evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Richard C

    2007-04-29

    Bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, live in a large, unbounded society with a fission-fusion grouping pattern. Potential cognitive demands include the need to develop social strategies involving the recognition of a large number of individuals and their relationships with others. Patterns of alliance affiliation among males may be more complex than are currently known for any non-human, with individuals participating in 2-3 levels of shifting alliances. Males mediate alliance relationships with gentle contact behaviours such as petting, but synchrony also plays an important role in affiliative interactions. In general, selection for social intelligence in the context of shifting alliances will depend on the extent to which there are strategic options and risk. Extreme brain size evolution may have occurred more than once in the toothed whales, reaching peaks in the dolphin family and the sperm whale. All three 'peaks' of large brain size evolution in mammals (odontocetes, humans and elephants) shared a common selective environment: extreme mutual dependence based on external threats from predators or conspecific groups. In this context, social competition, and consequently selection for greater cognitive abilities and large brain size, was intense.

  9. Binocularity and brain evolution in primates

    OpenAIRE

    Barton, R. A.

    2004-01-01

    Primates are distinguished by frontally directed, highly convergent orbits, which are associated with stereoscopic vision. Although stereoscopic vision requires specialized neural mechanisms, its implications for brain evolution are unknown. Using phylogenetic comparative analysis, I show that evolutionary increases among primate taxa in the degree of orbital convergence correlate with expansion of visual brain structures and, as a consequence, with the overall size of the brain. This pattern...

  10. Sexual selection on brain size in shorebirds (Charadriiformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Peña, G E; Sol, D; Iwaniuk, A N; Székely, T

    2013-04-01

    Natural selection is considered a major force shaping brain size evolution in vertebrates, whereas the influence of sexual selection remains controversial. On one hand, sexual selection could promote brain enlargement by enhancing cognitive skills needed to compete for mates. On the other hand, sexual selection could favour brain size reduction due to trade-offs between investing in brain tissue and in sexually selected traits. These opposed predictions are mirrored in contradictory relationships between sexual selection proxies and brain size relative to body size. Here, we report a phylogenetic comparative analysis that highlights potential flaws in interpreting relative brain size-mating system associations as effects of sexual selection on brain size in shorebirds (Charadriiformes), a taxonomic group with an outstanding diversity in breeding systems. Considering many ecological effects, relative brain size was not significantly correlated with testis size. In polyandrous species, however, relative brain sizes of males and females were smaller than in monogamous species, and females had smaller brain size than males. Although these findings are consistent with sexual selection reducing brain size, they could also be due to females deserting parental care, which is a common feature of polyandrous species. Furthermore, our analyses suggested that body size evolved faster than brain size, and thus the evolution of body size may be confounding the effect of the mating system on relative brain size. The brain size-mating system association in shorebirds is thus not only due to sexual selection on brain size but rather, to body size evolution and other multiple simultaneous effects. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Genome size evolution: sizing mammalian genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redi, C A; Capanna, E

    2012-01-01

    The study of genome size (GS) and its variation is so fascinating to the scientific community because it constitutes the link between the present-day analytical and molecular studies of the genome and the old trunk of the holistic and synthetic view of the genome. The GS of several taxa vary over a broad range and do not correlate with the complexity of the organisms (the C-value paradox). However, the biology of transposable elements has let us reach a satisfactory view of the molecular mechanisms that give rise to GS variation and novelties, providing a less perplexing view of the significance of the GS (C-enigma). The knowledge of the composition and structure of a genome is a pre-requisite for trying to understand the evolution of the main genome signature: its size. The radiation of mammals provides an approximately 180-million-year test case for theories of how GS evolves. It has been found from data-mining GS databases that GS is a useful cyto-taxonomical instrument at the level of orders/superorders, providing genomic signatures characterizing Monotremata, Marsupialia, Afrotheria, Xenarthra, Laurasiatheria, and Euarchontoglires. A hypothetical ancestral mammalian-like GS of 2.9-3.7 pg has been suggested. This value appears compatible with the average values calculated for the high systematic levels of the extant Monotremata (∼2.97 pg) and Marsupialia (∼4.07 pg), suggesting invasion of mobile DNA elements concurrently with the separation of the older clades of Afrotheria (∼5.5 pg) and Xenarthra (∼4.5 pg) with larger GS, leaving the Euarchontoglires (∼3.4 pg) and Laurasiatheria (∼2.8 pg) genomes with fewer transposable elements. However, the paucity of GS data (546 mammalian species sized from 5,488 living species) for species, genera, and families calls for caution. Considering that mammalian species may be vanished even before they are known, GS data are sorely needed to phenotype the effects brought about by their variation and to validate any

  12. Positive genetic correlation between brain size and sexual traits in male guppies artificially selected for brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, A; Corral-Lopez, A; Zajitschek, S; Immler, S; Maklakov, A A; Kolm, N

    2015-04-01

    Brain size is an energetically costly trait to develop and maintain. Investments into other costly aspects of an organism's biology may therefore place important constraints on brain size evolution. Sexual traits are often costly and could therefore be traded off against neural investment. However, brain size may itself be under sexual selection through mate choice on cognitive ability. Here, we use guppy (Poecilia reticulata) lines selected for large and small brain size relative to body size to investigate the relationship between brain size, a large suite of male primary and secondary sexual traits, and body condition index. We found no evidence for trade-offs between brain size and sexual traits. Instead, larger-brained males had higher expression of several primary and precopulatory sexual traits--they had longer genitalia, were more colourful and developed longer tails than smaller-brained males. Larger-brained males were also in better body condition when housed in single-sex groups. There was no difference in post-copulatory sexual traits between males from the large- and small-brained lines. Our data do not support the hypothesis that investment into sexual traits is an important limiting factor to brain size evolution, but instead suggest that brain size and several sexual traits are positively genetically correlated. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  13. The Molecular Basis of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enard, Wolfgang

    2016-10-24

    Humans are a remarkable species, especially because of the remarkable properties of their brain. Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. To better understand the molecular basis of these changes is of great biological and biomedical interest. However, all the about 16 million fixed genetic changes that occurred during human evolution are fully correlated with all molecular, cellular, anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during this time. Hence, as humans and chimpanzees cannot be crossed or genetically manipulated, no direct evidence for linking particular genetic and molecular changes to human brain evolution can be obtained. Here, I sketch a framework how indirect evidence can be obtained and review findings related to the molecular basis of human cognition, vocal learning and brain size. In particular, I discuss how a comprehensive comparative approach, leveraging cellular systems and genomic technologies, could inform the evolution of our brain in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Morphological rates of angiosperm seed size evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Hallie J

    2013-05-01

    The evolution of seed size among angiosperms reflects their ecological diversification in a complex fitness landscape of life-history strategies. The lineages that have evolved seeds beyond the upper and lower boundaries that defined nonflowering seed plants since the Paleozoic are more dispersed across the angiosperm phylogeny than would be expected under a neutral model of phenotypic evolution. Morphological rates of seed size evolution estimated for 40 clades based on 17,375 species ranged from 0.001 (Garryales) to 0.207 (Malvales). Comparative phylogenetic analysis indicated that morphological rates are not associated with the clade's seed size but are negatively correlated with the clade's position in the overall distribution of angiosperm seed sizes; clades with seed sizes closer to the angiosperm mean had significantly higher morphological rates than clades with extremely small or extremely large seeds. Likewise, per-clade taxonomic diversification rates are not associated with the seed size of the clade but with where the clade falls within the angiosperm seed size distribution. These results suggest that evolutionary rates (morphological and taxonomic) are elevated in densely occupied regions of the seed morphospace relative to lineages whose ecophenotypic innovations have moved them toward the edges. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  15. Evolution of brain-body allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Severine Denise; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2016-07-01

    Brain size is strongly associated with body size in all vertebrates. This relationship has been hypothesized to be an important constraint on adaptive brain size evolution. The essential assumption behind this idea is that static (i.e., within species) brain-body allometry has low ability to evolve. However, recent studies have reported mixed support for this view. Here, we examine brain-body static allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We found considerable variation in the static allometric intercept, which explained the majority of variation in absolute and relative brain size. In contrast, the slope of the brain-body static allometry had relatively low variation, which explained less variation in absolute and relative brain size compared to the intercept and body size. Further examination of the tempo and mode of evolution of static allometric parameters confirmed these observations. Moreover, the estimated evolutionary parameters indicate that the limited observed variation in the static allometric slope could be a result of strong stabilizing selection. Overall, our findings suggest that the brain-body static allometric slope may represent an evolutionary constraint in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Artificial selection on relative brain size reveals a positive genetic correlation between brain size and proactive personality in the guppy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Lievens, Eva J P; Dahlbom, Josefin; Bundsen, Andreas; Semenova, Svetlana; Sundvik, Maria; Maklakov, Alexei A; Winberg, Svante; Panula, Pertti; Kolm, Niclas

    2014-04-01

    Animal personalities range from individuals that are shy, cautious, and easily stressed (a "reactive" personality type) to individuals that are bold, innovative, and quick to learn novel tasks, but also prone to routine formation (a "proactive" personality type). Although personality differences should have important consequences for fitness, their underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated how genetic variation in brain size affects personality. We put selection lines of large- and small-brained guppies (Poecilia reticulata), with known differences in cognitive ability, through three standard personality assays. First, we found that large-brained animals were faster to habituate to, and more exploratory in, open field tests. Large-brained females were also bolder. Second, large-brained animals excreted less cortisol in a stressful situation (confinement). Third, large-brained animals were slower to feed from a novel food source, which we interpret as being caused by reduced behavioral flexibility rather than lack of innovation in the large-brained lines. Overall, the results point toward a more proactive personality type in large-brained animals. Thus, this study provides the first experimental evidence linking brain size and personality, an interaction that may affect important fitness-related aspects of ecology such as dispersal and niche exploration. © 2013 The Authors. Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

    The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more caloric intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearance and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are

  18. Modern human brain growth and development. Contribution to brain evolution in hominids

    OpenAIRE

    Ventrice, F

    2011-01-01

    Human phylogenetic history is directly related to brain evolution. But many biologic processes related to the appearance of this complex organ are unknown, mainly due to the fact that it is an organ composed of soft tissue, which is not sensitive to the fossilization processes. Hence, to infer human brain evolution it is essential to study the indirect evidences it leaves in the cranial bones, such as the endocranial size (cranial capacity) and shape. In this sense, the hominid fossil record ...

  19. Comparative primate neuroimaging: insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-01-01

    Comparative neuroimaging can identify unique features of the human brain and teach us about human brain evolution. Comparisons with chimpanzees, our closest living primate relative, are critical in this endeavor. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to compare brain size development, brain structure proportions and brain aging. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to compare resting brain glucose metabolism. Functional MRI (fMRI) has been used to compare auditory and visual system pathways, as well as resting-state networks of connectivity. Finally, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has been used to compare structural connectivity. Collectively, these methods have revealed human brain specializations with respect to development, cortical organization, connectivity, and aging. These findings inform our knowledge of the evolutionary changes responsible for the special features of the modern human mind.

  20. MCPH1: a window into brain development and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeannette eNardelli

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The development of the mammalian cerebral cortex involves a series of mechanisms: from patterning, progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation, to neuronal migration. Many factors influence the development of the cerebral cortex to its normal size and neuronal composition. Of these, the mechanisms that influence the proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitor cells are of particular interest, as they may have the greatest consequence on brain size, not only during development but also in evolution. In this context, causative genes of human autosomal recessive primary microcephaly, such as ASPM and MCPH1, are attractive candidates, as many of them show positive selection during primate evolution. MCPH1 causes microcephaly in mice and humans and is involved in a diverse array of molecular functions beyond brain development, including DNA repair and chromosome condensation. Positive selection of MCPH1 in the primate lineage has led to much insight and discussion of its role in brain size evolution. In this review, we will present an overview of MCPH1 from these multiple angles, and whilst its specific role in brain size regulation during development and evolution remain elusive, the pieces of the puzzle will be discussed with the aim of putting together the full picture of this fascinating gene.

  1. Evidence of a Conserved Molecular Response to Selection for Increased Brain Size in Primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boddy, Amy M; Harrison, Peter W; Montgomery, Stephen H; Caravas, Jason A; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Phillips, Kimberley A; Mundy, Nicholas I; Wildman, Derek E

    2017-03-01

    The adaptive significance of human brain evolution has been frequently studied through comparisons with other primates. However, the evolution of increased brain size is not restricted to the human lineage but is a general characteristic of primate evolution. Whether or not these independent episodes of increased brain size share a common genetic basis is unclear. We sequenced and de novo assembled the transcriptome from the neocortical tissue of the most highly encephalized nonhuman primate, the tufted capuchin monkey (Cebus apella). Using this novel data set, we conducted a genome-wide analysis of orthologous brain-expressed protein coding genes to identify evidence of conserved gene-phenotype associations and species-specific adaptations during three independent episodes of brain size increase. We identify a greater number of genes associated with either total brain mass or relative brain size across these six species than show species-specific accelerated rates of evolution in individual large-brained lineages. We test the robustness of these associations in an expanded data set of 13 species, through permutation tests and by analyzing how genome-wide patterns of substitution co-vary with brain size. Many of the genes targeted by selection during brain expansion have glutamatergic functions or roles in cell cycle dynamics. We also identify accelerated evolution in a number of individual capuchin genes whose human orthologs are associated with human neuropsychiatric disorders. These findings demonstrate the value of phenotypically informed genome analyses, and suggest at least some aspects of human brain evolution have occurred through conserved gene-phenotype associations. Understanding these commonalities is essential for distinguishing human-specific selection events from general trends in brain evolution. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. Brain evolution and human neuropsychology: the inferential brain hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-05-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. (JINS, 2012, 18, 394-401).

  3. Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. PMID:22459075

  4. Evidence of a Conserved Molecular Response to Selection for Increased Brain Size in Primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Peter W.; Caravas, Jason A.; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Phillips, Kimberley A.; Mundy, Nicholas I.

    2017-01-01

    The adaptive significance of human brain evolution has been frequently studied through comparisons with other primates. However, the evolution of increased brain size is not restricted to the human lineage but is a general characteristic of primate evolution. Whether or not these independent episodes of increased brain size share a common genetic basis is unclear. We sequenced and de novo assembled the transcriptome from the neocortical tissue of the most highly encephalized nonhuman primate, the tufted capuchin monkey (Cebus apella). Using this novel data set, we conducted a genome-wide analysis of orthologous brain-expressed protein coding genes to identify evidence of conserved gene–phenotype associations and species-specific adaptations during three independent episodes of brain size increase. We identify a greater number of genes associated with either total brain mass or relative brain size across these six species than show species-specific accelerated rates of evolution in individual large-brained lineages. We test the robustness of these associations in an expanded data set of 13 species, through permutation tests and by analyzing how genome-wide patterns of substitution co-vary with brain size. Many of the genes targeted by selection during brain expansion have glutamatergic functions or roles in cell cycle dynamics. We also identify accelerated evolution in a number of individual capuchin genes whose human orthologs are associated with human neuropsychiatric disorders. These findings demonstrate the value of phenotypically informed genome analyses, and suggest at least some aspects of human brain evolution have occurred through conserved gene–phenotype associations. Understanding these commonalities is essential for distinguishing human-specific selection events from general trends in brain evolution. PMID:28391320

  5. Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zala, Sarah M; Corral-Lopez, Alberto; Penn, Dustin J; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-07-01

    There is remarkable diversity in brain size among vertebrates, but surprisingly little is known about how ecological species interactions impact the evolution of brain size. Using guppies, artificially selected for large and small brains, we determined how brain size affects survival under predation threat in a naturalistic environment. We cohoused mixed groups of small- and large-brained individuals in six semi-natural streams with their natural predator, the pike cichlid, and monitored survival in weekly censuses over 5 months. We found that large-brained females had 13.5% higher survival compared to small-brained females, whereas the brain size had no discernible effect on male survival. We suggest that large-brained females have a cognitive advantage that allows them to better evade predation, whereas large-brained males are more colourful, which may counteract any potential benefits of brain size. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that trophic interactions can affect the evolution of brain size. © 2015 The Authors Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Relative brain size and morphology of some South African bats ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Measures of relative brain size and brain macromorphology are described for four species of Microchiroptera, two from the Vespertilionidae and two from the Rhinolophidae, and two species from the Pteropodidae (Megachiroptera). Four brain parameters (brain length, hemisphere length, brain width and brain height) were ...

  7. Ecological correlates of relative brain size in some South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ecological correlates of relative brain size in some South African rodents. R.T.F. Bernard * and J. Nurton. Department of Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140 Republic of South Africa. Received 2 July 1992; accepted 3 October 1992. Relative brain size (size of the brain once body size effects have ...

  8. Ecological correlates of relative brain size in some South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1992-07-02

    Jul 2, 1992 ... s. Afr. J. Zool. 1993, 28(2). Ecological correlates of relative brain size in some South African rodents ... Relative brain size (size of the brain once body size effects have been removed) has been calculated for 16 species of rodent from ..... implications for the theory of vertebrate growth. Am. Nal. 5: 593-615.

  9. The effect of body size evolution and ecology on encephalization in cave bears and extant relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veitschegger, Kristof

    2017-06-05

    The evolution of larger brain volumes relative to body size in Mammalia is the subject of an extensive amount of research. Early on palaeontologists were interested in the brain of cave bears, Ursus spelaeus, and described its morphology and size. However, until now, it was not possible to compare the absolute or relative brain size in a phylogenetic context due to the lack of an established phylogeny, comparative material, and phylogenetic comparative methods. In recent years, many tools for comparing traits within phylogenies were developed and the phylogenetic position of cave bears was resolved based on nuclear as well as mtDNA. Cave bears exhibit significantly lower encephalization compared to their contemporary relatives and intraspecific brain mass variation remained rather small. Encephalization was correlated with the combined dormancy-diet score. Body size evolution was a main driver in the degree of encephalization in cave bears as it increased in a much higher pace than brain size. In Ursus spelaeus, brain and body size increase over time albeit differently paced. This rate pattern is different in the highest encephalized bear species within the dataset, Ursus malayanus. The brain size in this species increased while body size heavily decreased compared to its ancestral stage. Early on in the evolution of cave bears encephalization decreased making it one of the least encephalized bear species compared to extant and extinct members of Ursidae. The results give reason to suspect that as herbivorous animals, cave bears might have exhibited a physiological buffer strategy to survive the strong seasonality of their environment. Thus, brain size was probably affected by the negative trade-off with adipose tissue as well as diet. The decrease of relative brain size in the herbivorous Ursus spelaeus is the result of a considerable increase in body size possibly in combination with environmental conditions forcing them to rest during winters.

  10. Role of brain maturation and reproductive history in the evolution of the primate brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sacher, G.A.

    1980-01-01

    All primates conform to a 12% ratio of brain weight to body weight throughout fetal life. This pattern evolved at the beginning of primate evolution, initially as an adaptation to the low energy density of the insect food resource in a strictly arboreal habitat. However, when a wider range of food resources became available, the higher primates retained the 12% trajectory and made it the basis for rapid evolution toward large brain size, which would not have been possible within the restrictions imposed by the 6% brain growth trajectory. The 12% trajectory originally evolved to reduce maternal investment in an energy-poor environment, but became a preadaptation to brain expansion once the energy limitation was overcome by the development of herbivory and frugivory by the higher primates.

  11. On the Evolution of the Mammalian Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-01-01

    Hobson and Friston have hypothesized that the brain must actively dissipate heat in order to process information (Hobson et al., 2014). This physiologic trait is functionally homologous with the first instantation of life formed by lipids suspended in water forming micelles- allowing the reduction in entropy (heat dissipation). This circumvents the Second Law of Thermodynamics permitting the transfer of information between living entities, enabling them to perpetually glean information from the environment, that is felt by many to correspond to evolution per se. The next evolutionary milestone was the advent of cholesterol, embedded in the cell membranes of primordial eukaryotes, facilitating metabolism, oxygenation and locomotion, the triadic basis for vertebrate evolution. Lipids were key to homeostatic regulation of calcium, forming calcium channels. Cell membrane cholesterol also fostered metazoan evolution by forming lipid rafts for receptor-mediated cell-cell signaling, the origin of the endocrine system. The eukaryotic cell membrane exapted to all complex physiologic traits, including the lung and brain, which are molecularly homologous through the function of neuregulin, mediating both lung development and myelinization of neurons. That cooption later exapted as endothermy during the water-land transition (Torday, 2015a), perhaps being the functional homolog for brain heat dissipation and conscious/mindful information processing. The skin and brain similarly share molecular homologies through the "skin-brain" hypothesis, giving insight to the cellular-molecular "arc" of consciousness from its unicellular origins to integrated physiology. This perspective on the evolution of the central nervous system clarifies self-organization, reconciling thermodynamic and informational definitions of the underlying biophysical mechanisms, thereby elucidating relations between the predictive capabilities of the brain and self-organizational processes.

  12. Brain size and visual environment predict species differences in paper wasp sensory processing brain regions (hymenoptera: vespidae, polistinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Clifford, Marie R; DeLeon, Sara; Papa, Christopher; Zahedi, Nazaneen; Bulova, Susan J

    2013-01-01

    The mosaic brain evolution hypothesis predicts that the relative volumes of functionally distinct brain regions will vary independently and correlate with species' ecology. Paper wasp species (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Polistinae) differ in light exposure: they construct open versus enclosed nests and one genus (Apoica) is nocturnal. We asked whether light environments were related to species differences in the size of antennal and optic processing brain tissues. Paper wasp brains have anatomically distinct peripheral and central regions that process antennal and optic sensory inputs. We measured the volumes of 4 sensory processing brain regions in paper wasp species from 13 Neotropical genera including open and enclosed nesters, and diurnal and nocturnal species. Species differed in sensory region volumes, but there was no evidence for trade-offs among sensory modalities. All sensory region volumes correlated with brain size. However, peripheral optic processing investment increased with brain size at a higher rate than peripheral antennal processing investment. Our data suggest that mosaic and concerted (size-constrained) brain evolution are not exclusive alternatives. When brain regions increase with brain size at different rates, these distinct allometries can allow for differential investment among sensory modalities. As predicted by mosaic evolution, species ecology was associated with some aspects of brain region investment. Nest architecture variation was not associated with brain investment differences, but the nocturnal genus Apoica had the largest antennal:optic volume ratio in its peripheral sensory lobes. Investment in central processing tissues was not related to nocturnality, a pattern also noted in mammals. The plasticity of neural connections in central regions may accommodate evolutionary shifts in input from the periphery with relatively minor changes in volume. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Female brain size and parental care in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gittleman, J L

    1994-01-01

    Comparative studies indicate that species differences in mammalian brain size relate to body size, ecology, and life-history traits. Previous analyses failed to show intrasexual or behavioral patterns of brain size in mammals. Across the terrestrial Carnivora, I find to the contrary. Differences in female, but not male, brain size associate with a fundamental ecological and evolutionary characteristic of female behavior. Other factors equal, females that provide the sole parental care have larger brains than those of biparental or communal species. For females, more parental investment accompanies larger brains. Future comparative studies of mammalian brain size must recognize that some patterns arise independently in the two sexes. PMID:8202515

  14. Brain size and ecology in small mammals and primates.

    OpenAIRE

    Harvey, P H; Clutton-Brock, T.H; Mace, G. M.

    1980-01-01

    Comparisons of brain-body size relationships within small mammal and primate families reveal intergeneric differences related to diet and foraging strategy. These same associations between relative brain size and ecology are also evident among interfamily comparisons.

  15. On the evolution of the mammalian brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Steven Torday

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Hobson and Friston have hypothesized that the brain must actively dissipate heat in order to process information (Virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming. Front Psychol. 2014 Oct 9;5:1133.. This physiologic trait is functionally homologous with the first instantation of life formed by lipids suspended in water forming micelles- allowing the reduction in entropy (heat dissipation, circumventing the Second Law of Thermodynamics permitting the transfer of information between living entities, enabling them to perpetually glean information from the environment (= evolution. The next evolutionary milestone was the advent of cholesterol, embedded in the cell membranes of primordial eukaryotes, facilitating metabolism, oxygenation and locomotion, the triadic basis for vertebrate evolution. Lipids were key to homeostatic regulation of calcium, forming calcium channels. Cell membrane cholesterol also fostered metazoan evolution by forming lipid rafts for receptor-mediated cell-cell signaling, the origin of the endocrine system. The eukaryotic cell membrane exapted to all complex physiologic traits, including the lung and brain, which are molecularly homologous through the function of neuregulin, mediating both lung development and myelinization of neurons. That cooption later exapted as endothermy during the water-land transition (Torday JS. A Central Theory of Biology. Med Hypotheses. 2015 Jul;85(1:49-57, perhaps being the functional homolog for brain heat dissipation and consciousness/mind. The skin and brain similarly share molecular homologies through the ‘skin-brain’ hypothesis, giving insight to the cellular-molecular ‘arc’ of consciousness from its unicellular origins to integrated physiology. This perspective on the evolution of the central nervous system clarifies self-organization, reconciling thermodynamic and informational definitions of the underlying biophysical mechanisms, thereby elucidating relations between the

  16. Phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the brain-development gene microcephalin (MCPH1 in cetaceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Montgomery Stephen H

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Representatives of Cetacea have the greatest absolute brain size among animals, and the largest relative brain size aside from humans. Despite this, genes implicated in the evolution of large brain size in primates have yet to be surveyed in cetaceans. Results We sequenced ~1240 basepairs of the brain development gene microcephalin (MCPH1 in 38 cetacean species. Alignments of these data and a published complete sequence from Tursiops truncatus with primate MCPH1 were utilized in phylogenetic analyses and to estimate ω (rate of nonsynonymous substitution/rate of synonymous substitution using site and branch models of molecular evolution. We also tested the hypothesis that selection on MCPH1 was correlated with brain size in cetaceans using a continuous regression analysis that accounted for phylogenetic history. Our analyses revealed widespread signals of adaptive evolution in the MCPH1 of Cetacea and in other subclades of Mammalia, however, there was not a significant positive association between ω and brain size within Cetacea. Conclusion In conjunction with a recent study of Primates, we find no evidence to support an association between MCPH1 evolution and the evolution of brain size in highly encephalized mammalian species. Our finding of significant positive selection in MCPH1 may be linked to other functions of the gene.

  17. Positive selection at the ASPM gene coincides with brain size enlargements in cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shixia; Chen, Yuan; Cheng, Yuefeng; Yang, Dan; Zhou, Xuming; Xu, Junxiao; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2012-11-07

    The enlargement of cetacean brain size represents an enigmatic event in mammalian evolution, yet its genetic basis remains poorly explored. One candidate gene associated with brain size evolution is the abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated (ASPM), as mutations in this gene cause severe reductions in the cortical size of humans. Here, we investigated the ASPM gene in representative cetacean lineages and previously published sequences from other mammals to test whether the expansion of the cetacean brain matched adaptive ASPM evolution patterns. Our analyses yielded significant evidence of positive selection on the ASPM gene during cetacean evolution, especially for the Odontoceti and Delphinoidea lineages. These molecular patterns were associated with two major events of relative brain size enlargement in odontocetes and delphinoids. It is of particular interest to find that positive selection was restricted to cetaceans and primates, two distant lineages both characterized by a massive expansion of brain size. This result is suggestive of convergent molecular evolution, although no site-specific convergence at the amino acid level was found.

  18. Brain evolution and development: adaptation, allometry and constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I; Barton, Robert A

    2016-09-14

    Phenotypic traits are products of two processes: evolution and development. But how do these processes combine to produce integrated phenotypes? Comparative studies identify consistent patterns of covariation, or allometries, between brain and body size, and between brain components, indicating the presence of significant constraints limiting independent evolution of separate parts. These constraints are poorly understood, but in principle could be either developmental or functional. The developmental constraints hypothesis suggests that individual components (brain and body size, or individual brain components) tend to evolve together because natural selection operates on relatively simple developmental mechanisms that affect the growth of all parts in a concerted manner. The functional constraints hypothesis suggests that correlated change reflects the action of selection on distributed functional systems connecting the different sub-components, predicting more complex patterns of mosaic change at the level of the functional systems and more complex genetic and developmental mechanisms. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive but make different predictions. We review recent genetic and neurodevelopmental evidence, concluding that functional rather than developmental constraints are the main cause of the observed patterns. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Female brain size and parental care in carnivores.

    OpenAIRE

    Gittleman, J. L.

    1994-01-01

    Comparative studies indicate that species differences in mammalian brain size relate to body size, ecology, and life-history traits. Previous analyses failed to show intrasexual or behavioral patterns of brain size in mammals. Across the terrestrial Carnivora, I find to the contrary. Differences in female, but not male, brain size associate with a fundamental ecological and evolutionary characteristic of female behavior. Other factors equal, females that provide the sole parental care have la...

  20. Congenital heart disease affects cerebral size but not brain growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortinau, Cynthia; Inder, Terrie; Lambeth, Jennifer; Wallendorf, Michael; Finucane, Kirsten; Beca, John

    2012-10-01

    Infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) have delayed brain maturation and alterations in brain volume. Brain metrics is a simple measurement technique that can be used to evaluate brain growth. This study used brain metrics to test the hypothesis that alterations in brain size persist at 3 months of age and that infants with CHD have slower rates of brain growth than control infants. Fifty-seven infants with CHD underwent serial brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). To evaluate brain growth across the first 3 months of life, brain metrics were undertaken using 19 tissue and fluid spaces shown on MRIs performed before surgery and again at 3 months of age. Before surgery, infants with CHD have smaller frontal, parietal, cerebellar, and brain stem measures (p < 0.001). At 3 months of age, alterations persisted in all measures except the cerebellum. There was no difference between control and CHD infants in brain growth. However, the cerebellum trended toward greater growth in infants with CHD. Somatic growth was the primary factor that related to brain growth. Presence of focal white matter lesions before and after surgery did not relate to alterations in brain size or growth. Although infants with CHD have persistent alterations in brain size at 3 months of age, rates of brain growth are similar to that of healthy term infants. Somatic growth was the primary predictor of brain growth, emphasizing the importance of optimal weight gain in this population.

  1. Coevolution of cultural intelligence, extended life history, sociality, and brain size in primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Sally E.; Navarrete, Ana F.; Laland, Kevin N.

    2017-01-01

    Explanations for primate brain expansion and the evolution of human cognition and culture remain contentious despite extensive research. While multiple comparative analyses have investigated variation in brain size across primate species, very few have addressed why primates vary in how much they use social learning. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that the enhanced reliance on socially transmitted behavior observed in some primates has coevolved with enlarged brains, complex sociality, and extended lifespans. Using recently developed phylogenetic comparative methods we show that, across primate species, a measure of social learning proclivity increases with absolute and relative brain volume, longevity (specifically reproductive lifespan), and social group size, correcting for research effort. We also confirm relationships of absolute and relative brain volume with longevity (both juvenile period and reproductive lifespan) and social group size, although longevity is generally the stronger predictor. Relationships between social learning, brain volume, and longevity remain when controlling for maternal investment and are therefore not simply explained as a by-product of the generally slower life history expected for larger brained species. Our findings suggest that both brain expansion and high reliance on culturally transmitted behavior coevolved with sociality and extended lifespan in primates. This coevolution is consistent with the hypothesis that the evolution of large brains, sociality, and long lifespans has promoted reliance on culture, with reliance on culture in turn driving further increases in brain volume, cognitive abilities, and lifespans in some primate lineages. PMID:28739950

  2. Longevity is associated with relative brain size in birds

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Minias, Piotr; Podlaszczuk, Patrycja

    2017-01-01

    ... should reduce mortality and increase lifespan. While the occurrence of brain size–lifespan correlation has been well documented in mammals, much less evidence exists for a robust link between brain size and longevity in birds...

  3. Orbital Dynamics, Environmental Heterogeneity, and the Evolution of the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Many explanations have been proposed for the evolution of our anomalously large brains, including social, ecological, and epiphenomenal hypotheses. Recently, an additional hypothesis has emerged, suggesting that advanced cognition and, by inference, increases in brain size, have been driven over evolutionary time by the need to deal with…

  4. The evolution of the brain in Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lyras, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    Canid brain evolution followed three independent, yet convergent paths. Each of the three canid subfamilies (Hesperocyoninae, Borophaginae and Caninae) started with a simple brain, which gradually became more complicated as the cerebral cortex became larger and more fissured, the cerebellar

  5. Environmental influences on the evolution of body size in Ammonoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, S.; Khong, C.; Pelagio, M.; Seixas, G.; Payne, J.

    2012-12-01

    A major debate in evolutionary biology and paleobiology focuses on the relative importance of ecological interactions between species versus changes in the physical environment in governing large-scale evolutionary patterns. Body size is among the most important traits of any organism, and so identifying the factors that influence size evolution can shed light on both the causes and consequences of many major evolutionary trends. However, the extent to which body size evolution over time can be explained by changes in the physical versus ecological context remains unknown. In this study, we examined body size evolution in ammonoids, an extinct group of marine cephalopods. We collected a representative body size for each genus from illustrated specimens in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. We then examined relative statistical support for six models of size evolution: random walk, directional trend, stasis, and environmental control by oxygen availability, temperature, and global sea level. No model is unambiguously supported over all others. Unbiased random walk was the best supported model (34%) and environmental control by atmospheric pO2 was the second best supported model (22%). Stasis received the least support (evolution of ammonoid size over the entire history of this clade. We speculate that controls on ammonoid size evolution varied through geological time, both due to long-term shifts in the ecological structure of marine communities and short-term perturbations associated with major extinction events.

  6. Classification of Life by the Mechanism of Genome Size Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dirson Jian; Zhang, Shengli

    We find that the global relationships among species should be of circular phylogeny, which is quite different from common sense based on phylogenetic trees. A domain can be defined by a distinct phylogenetic circle, which is a global and stable characteristic of the living system. The mechanism in genome size evolution has been clarified; hence the main component questions on C-value enigma can be explained. We find the intrinsic relationship between genome size evolution and protein length evolution; that is the genome size and non-coding DNA ratio can be calculated based on protein length distributions.

  7. Relative brain size in the mammalian carnivores of the Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Relative brain sizes (encephalization quotients; EO) of the 30. Cape mammalian carnivores were calculated by regressing cranial volume against body mass. Within this taxon relative brain size appears to show no association with sociality, loco· motion, activity regimen or habitat, but is positively correlated with body mass.

  8. Brain size predicts problem-solving ability in mammalian carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson-Amram, Sarah; Dantzer, Ben; Stricker, Gregory; Swanson, Eli M; Holekamp, Kay E

    2016-03-01

    Despite considerable interest in the forces shaping the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities, it remains controversial whether larger-brained animals are, indeed, better problem-solvers. Recently, several comparative studies have revealed correlations between brain size and traits thought to require advanced cognitive abilities, such as innovation, behavioral flexibility, invasion success, and self-control. However, the general assumption that animals with larger brains have superior cognitive abilities has been heavily criticized, primarily because of the lack of experimental support for it. Here, we designed an experiment to inquire whether specific neuroanatomical or socioecological measures predict success at solving a novel technical problem among species in the mammalian order Carnivora. We presented puzzle boxes, baited with food and scaled to accommodate body size, to members of 39 carnivore species from nine families housed in multiple North American zoos. We found that species with larger brains relative to their body mass were more successful at opening the boxes. In a subset of species, we also used virtual brain endocasts to measure volumes of four gross brain regions and show that some of these regions improve model prediction of success at opening the boxes when included with total brain size and body mass. Socioecological variables, including measures of social complexity and manual dexterity, failed to predict success at opening the boxes. Our results, thus, fail to support the social brain hypothesis but provide important empirical support for the relationship between relative brain size and the ability to solve this novel technical problem.

  9. Gorilla and Orangutan Brains Conform to the Primate Cellular Scaling Rules: Implications for Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Kaas, Jon H.

    2011-01-01

    Gorillas and orangutans are primates at least as large as humans, but their brains amount to about one third of the size of the human brain. This discrepancy has been used as evidence that the human brain is about 3 times larger than it should be for a primate species of its body size. In contrast to the view that the human brain is special in its size, we have suggested that it is the great apes that might have evolved bodies that are unusually large, on the basis of our recent finding that the cellular composition of the human brain matches that expected for a primate brain of its size, making the human brain a linearly scaled-up primate brain in its number of cells. To investigate whether the brain of great apes also conforms to the primate cellular scaling rules identified previously, we determine the numbers of neuronal and other cells that compose the orangutan and gorilla cerebella, use these numbers to calculate the size of the brain and of the cerebral cortex expected for these species, and show that these match the sizes described in the literature. Our results suggest that the brains of great apes also scale linearly in their numbers of neurons like other primate brains, including humans. The conformity of great apes and humans to the linear cellular scaling rules that apply to other primates that diverged earlier in primate evolution indicates that prehistoric Homo species as well as other hominins must have had brains that conformed to the same scaling rules, irrespective of their body size. We then used those scaling rules and published estimated brain volumes for various hominin species to predict the numbers of neurons that composed their brains. We predict that Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis had brains with approximately 80 billion neurons, within the range of variation found in modern Homo sapiens. We propose that while the cellular scaling rules that apply to the primate brain have remained stable in hominin evolution (since they

  10. Evolution of genome size in Brassicaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, J Spencer; Pepper, Alan E; Hall, Anne E; Chen, Z Jeffrey; Hodnett, George; Drabek, Janice; Lopez, Rebecca; Price, H James

    2005-01-01

    Brassicaceae, with nearly 340 genera and more than 3350 species, anchors the low range of angiosperm genome sizes. The relatively narrow range of DNA content (0.16 pg Lepidium virginicum and Brassica rapa. Branches in the phylogenetic tree that represent probable evolutionary increases in genome size terminate in Arabidopsis halleri, A. lyrata, Arabis hirsuta, Capsella rubella, Caulanthus heterophyllus, Crucihimalaya, Lepidium sativum, Sisymbrium and Thlaspi arvense. Branches within one clade containing Brassica were identified that represent two ancient ploidy events (2x to 4x and 4x to 6x) that were predicted from published comparative mapping studies.

  11. The evolution of the brain, the human nature of cortical circuits and intellectual creativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier eDeFelipe

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The tremendous expansion and the differentiation of the neocortex constitute two major events in the evolution of the mammalian brain. The increase in size and complexity of our brains opened the way to a spectacular development of cognitive and mental skills. This expansion during evolution facilitated the addition of archetypical microcircuits, which increased the complexity of the human brain and contributed to its uniqueness. However, fundamental differences even exist between distinct mammalian species. Here, we shall discuss the issue of our humanity from a neurobiological and historical perspective.

  12. Brain size affects the behavioural response to predators in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Bijl, Wouter; Thyselius, Malin; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-08-07

    Large brains are thought to result from selection for cognitive benefits, but how enhanced cognition leads to increased fitness remains poorly understood. One explanation is that increased cognitive ability results in improved monitoring and assessment of predator threats. Here, we use male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), artificially selected for large and small brain size, to provide an experimental evaluation of this hypothesis. We examined their behavioural response as singletons, pairs or shoals of four towards a model predator. Large-brained females, but not males, spent less time performing predator inspections, an inherently risky behaviour. Video analysis revealed that large-brained females were further away from the model predator when in pairs but that they habituated quickly towards the model when in shoals of four. Males stayed further away from the predator model than females but again we found no brain size effect in males. We conclude that differences in brain size affect the female predator response. Large-brained females might be able to assess risk better or need less sensory information to reach an accurate conclusion. Our results provide experimental support for the general idea that predation pressure is likely to be important for the evolution of brain size in prey species. © 2015 The Authors.

  13. Evolution of the floc size distribution of cohesive sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mietta, F.

    2010-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the flocculation process of cohesive sediment (mud) and in particular on the time evolution of the floc size distribution. Mud is mainly observed in estuarine environment and its settling velocity is strongly affected by its floc size distribution. Small flocs (1-50

  14. Evolution of Genome Size in Duckweeds (Lemnaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenqin Wang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available To extensively estimate the DNA content and to provide a basic reference for duckweed genome sequence research, the nuclear DNA content for 115 different accessions of 23 duckweed species was measured by flow cytometry (FCM stained with propidium iodide as DNA stain. The 1C-value of DNA content in duckweed family varied nearly thirteen-fold, ranging from 150 megabases (Mbp in Spirodela polyrhiza to 1,881 Mbp in Wolffia arrhiza. There is a continuous increase of DNA content in Spirodela, Landoltia, Lemna, Wolffiella, and Wolffia that parallels a morphological reduction in size. There is a significant intraspecific variation in the genus Lemna. However, no such variation was found in other studied species with multiple accessions of genera Spirodela, Landoltia, Wolffiella, and Wolffia.

  15. Developmental modes and developmental mechanisms can channel brain evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine J Charvet

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Anseriform birds (ducks and geese as well as parrots and songbirds have evolved a disproportionately enlarged telencephalon compared with many other birds. However, parrots and songbirds differ from anseriform birds in their mode of development. Whereas ducks and geese are precocial (e.g., hatchlings feed on their own, parrots and songbirds are altricial (e.g., hatchlings are fed by their parents. We here consider how developmental modes may limit and facilitate specific changes in the mechanisms of brain development. We suggest that altriciality facilitates the evolution of telencephalic expansion by delaying telencephalic neurogenesis. We further hypothesize that delays in telencephalic neurogenesis generate delays in telencephalic maturation, which in turn foster neural adaptations that facilitate learning. Specifically, we propose that delaying telencephalic neurogenesis was a prerequisite for the evolution of neural circuits that allow parrots and songbirds to produce learned vocalizations. Overall, we argue that developmental modes have influenced how some lineages of birds increased the size of their telencephalon and that this, in turn, has influenced subsequent changes in brain circuits and behavior.

  16. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition and behaviour in birds and mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain eWillemet

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behaviour of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. Brain and cognition are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behaviour are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioural differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behaviour appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists’ preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition and behaviour in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind.

  17. Brain structure evolution in a basal vertebrate clade: evidence from phylogenetic comparative analysis of cichlid fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolm Niclas

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The vertebrate brain is composed of several interconnected, functionally distinct structures and much debate has surrounded the basic question of how these structures evolve. On the one hand, according to the 'mosaic evolution hypothesis', because of the elevated metabolic cost of brain tissue, selection is expected to target specific structures mediating the cognitive abilities which are being favored. On the other hand, the 'concerted evolution hypothesis' argues that developmental constraints limit such mosaic evolution and instead the size of the entire brain varies in response to selection on any of its constituent parts. To date, analyses of these hypotheses of brain evolution have been limited to mammals and birds; excluding Actinopterygii, the basal and most diverse class of vertebrates. Using a combination of recently developed phylogenetic multivariate allometry analyses and comparative methods that can identify distinct rates of evolution, even in highly correlated traits, we studied brain structure evolution in a highly variable clade of ray-finned fishes; the Tanganyikan cichlids. Results Total brain size explained 86% of the variance in brain structure volume in cichlids, a lower proportion than what has previously been reported for mammals. Brain structures showed variation in pair-wise allometry suggesting some degree of independence in evolutionary changes in size. This result is supported by variation among structures on the strength of their loadings on the principal size axis of the allometric analysis. The rate of evolution analyses generally supported the results of the multivariate allometry analyses, showing variation among several structures in their evolutionary patterns. The olfactory bulbs and hypothalamus were found to evolve faster than other structures while the dorsal medulla presented the slowest evolutionary rate. Conclusion Our results favor a mosaic model of brain evolution, as certain

  18. Size Evolution and Stochastic Models: Explaining Ostracod Size through Probabilistic Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawczyk, M.; Decker, S.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.

    2014-12-01

    The biovolume of animals has functioned as an important benchmark for measuring evolution throughout geologic time. In our project, we examined the observed average body size of ostracods over time in order to understand the mechanism of size evolution in these marine organisms. The body size of ostracods has varied since the beginning of the Ordovician, where the first true ostracods appeared. We created a stochastic branching model to create possible evolutionary trees of ostracod size. Using stratigraphic ranges for ostracods compiled from over 750 genera in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, we calculated overall speciation and extinction rates for our model. At each timestep in our model, new lineages can evolve or existing lineages can become extinct. Newly evolved lineages are assigned sizes based on their parent genera. We parameterized our model to generate neutral and directional changes in ostracod size to compare with the observed data. New sizes were chosen via a normal distribution, and the neutral model selected new sizes differentials centered on zero, allowing for an equal chance of larger or smaller ostracods at each speciation. Conversely, the directional model centered the distribution on a negative value, giving a larger chance of smaller ostracods. Our data strongly suggests that the overall direction of ostracod evolution has been following a model that directionally pushes mean ostracod size down, shying away from a neutral model. Our model was able to match the magnitude of size decrease. Our models had a constant linear decrease while the actual data had a much more rapid initial rate followed by a constant size. The nuance of the observed trends ultimately suggests a more complex method of size evolution. In conclusion, probabilistic methods can provide valuable insight into possible evolutionary mechanisms determining size evolution in ostracods.

  19. Modes of Brachiopod Body Size Evolution throughout the Phanerozoic Eon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Z.; Payne, J.

    2012-12-01

    Body size correlates with numerous physiological and behavioral traits and is therefore one of the most important influences on the survival prospects of individuals and species. Patterns of body size evolution across taxa can therefore complement taxonomic diversity and geochemical proxy data in quantifying controls on long-term trends in the history of life. In contrast to widely available and synoptic taxonomic diversity data for fossil animal families and genera, however, no comprehensive size dataset exists, even for a single fossil animal phylum. For this study, we compiled a comprehensive, genus-level dataset of body sizes spanning the entire Phanerozoic for the phylum Brachiopoda. We use this dataset to examine statistical support for several possible modes of size evolution, in addition to environmental covariates: CO2, O2, and sea level. Brachiopod body size in the Phanerozoic followed two evolutionary modes: directional trend in the Early Paleozoic (Cambrian - Mississippian), and unbiased random walk from the Mississippian to the modern. We find no convincing correlation between trends in any single environmental parameter and brachiopod body size over time. The Paleozoic size increase follows Cope's Rule, and has been documented in many other marine invertebrates, while the Mesozoic size plateau has not been. This interval of size stability correlates with increased competition for resources from bivalves beginning during the Mesozoic Marine Revolution, and may be causally linked. The Late Mesozoic decline in size is an artifact of the improved sampling of smaller genera, many of which are less abundant than their Paleozoic ancestors. The Cenozoic brachiopod dataset is similarly incomplete. Biodiversity is decoupled from size dynamics even within the Paleozoic when brachiopods are on average becoming larger and more abundant, suggesting the presence of different controls. Our findings reveal that the dynamics of body size evolution changed over time in

  20. Task-Based Cohesive Evolution of Dynamic Brain Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, Elizabeth

    2014-03-01

    Applications of graph theory to neuroscience have resulted in significant progress towards a mechanistic understanding of the brain. Functional network representation of the brain has linked efficient network structure to psychometric intelligence and altered configurations with disease. Dynamic graphs provide us with tools to further study integral properties of the brain; specifically, the mathematical convention of hyperedges has allowed us to study the brain's cross-linked structure. Hyperedges capture the changes in network structure by identifying groups of brain regions with correlation patterns that change cohesively through time. We performed a hyperedge analysis on functional MRI data from 86 subjects and explored the cohesive evolution properties of their functional brain networks as they performed a series of tasks. Our results establish the hypergraph as a useful measure in understanding functional brain dynamics over tasks and reveal characteristic differences in the co-evolution structure of task-specific networks.

  1. Genetic variability, individuality and the evolution of the mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipp, H P

    1995-12-01

    The neo-Darwinian theory of evolution has difficulty in explaining the rapid evolution of mammalian brain and behavior. I shall argue that the plasticity mechanisms of the brain (i.e., system homeostasis, developmental reorganization, structural adult plasticity, and cognition and learning) have evolved primarily as genetic buffer systems which protect subtle mutations influencing brain structures from natural selection. These buffer systems permit accumulation of genetic variation in the higher system levels of the brain (simply defined as structures with late differentiation), while low-level systems are kept constant by natural selection. The organization of this intrinsic genetic buffering system provides several features facilitating neo-Darwinian evolution: In conclusion, the evolutionary appearance of cognition and intelligence is an ordinary biological mechanism compensating evolutionary drags such as long lifespans and fewer offspring. The concept has heuristic value for identifying gene-brain-behavior relationships and for explaining behavioral consequences of artifical gene deletions.

  2. Social intelligence, innovation, and enhanced brain size in primates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reader, S.M.; Laland, K.N.

    2002-01-01

    Despite considerable current interest in the evolution of intelligence, the intuitively appealing notion that brain volume and ‘‘intelligence’’ are linked remains untested. Here, we use ecologically relevant measures of cognitive ability, the reported incidence of behavioral innovation, social

  3. Genome size diversity in orchids: consequences and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitch, I. J.; Kahandawala, I.; Suda, J.; Hanson, L.; Ingrouille, M. J.; Chase, M. W.; Fay, M. F.

    2009-01-01

    Background The amount of DNA comprising the genome of an organism (its genome size) varies a remarkable 40 000-fold across eukaryotes, yet most groups are characterized by much narrower ranges (e.g. 14-fold in gymnosperms, 3- to 4-fold in mammals). Angiosperms stand out as one of the most variable groups with genome sizes varying nearly 2000-fold. Nevertheless within angiosperms the majority of families are characterized by genomes which are small and vary little. Species with large genomes are mostly restricted to a few monocots families including Orchidaceae. Scope A survey of the literature revealed that genome size data for Orchidaceae are comparatively rare representing just 327 species. Nevertheless they reveal that Orchidaceae are currently the most variable angiosperm family with genome sizes ranging 168-fold (1C = 0·33–55·4 pg). Analysing the data provided insights into the distribution, evolution and possible consequences to the plant of this genome size diversity. Conclusions Superimposing the data onto the increasingly robust phylogenetic tree of Orchidaceae revealed how different subfamilies were characterized by distinct genome size profiles. Epidendroideae possessed the greatest range of genome sizes, although the majority of species had small genomes. In contrast, the largest genomes were found in subfamilies Cypripedioideae and Vanilloideae. Genome size evolution within this subfamily was analysed as this is the only one with reasonable representation of data. This approach highlighted striking differences in genome size and karyotype evolution between the closely related Cypripedium, Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium. As to the consequences of genome size diversity, various studies revealed that this has both practical (e.g. application of genetic fingerprinting techniques) and biological consequences (e.g. affecting where and when an orchid may grow) and emphasizes the importance of obtaining further genome size data given the considerable

  4. Genome size diversity in orchids: consequences and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitch, I J; Kahandawala, I; Suda, J; Hanson, L; Ingrouille, M J; Chase, M W; Fay, M F

    2009-08-01

    The amount of DNA comprising the genome of an organism (its genome size) varies a remarkable 40 000-fold across eukaryotes, yet most groups are characterized by much narrower ranges (e.g. 14-fold in gymnosperms, 3- to 4-fold in mammals). Angiosperms stand out as one of the most variable groups with genome sizes varying nearly 2000-fold. Nevertheless within angiosperms the majority of families are characterized by genomes which are small and vary little. Species with large genomes are mostly restricted to a few monocots families including Orchidaceae. A survey of the literature revealed that genome size data for Orchidaceae are comparatively rare representing just 327 species. Nevertheless they reveal that Orchidaceae are currently the most variable angiosperm family with genome sizes ranging 168-fold (1C = 0.33-55.4 pg). Analysing the data provided insights into the distribution, evolution and possible consequences to the plant of this genome size diversity. Superimposing the data onto the increasingly robust phylogenetic tree of Orchidaceae revealed how different subfamilies were characterized by distinct genome size profiles. Epidendroideae possessed the greatest range of genome sizes, although the majority of species had small genomes. In contrast, the largest genomes were found in subfamilies Cypripedioideae and Vanilloideae. Genome size evolution within this subfamily was analysed as this is the only one with reasonable representation of data. This approach highlighted striking differences in genome size and karyotype evolution between the closely related Cypripedium, Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium. As to the consequences of genome size diversity, various studies revealed that this has both practical (e.g. application of genetic fingerprinting techniques) and biological consequences (e.g. affecting where and when an orchid may grow) and emphasizes the importance of obtaining further genome size data given the considerable phylogenetic gaps which have been

  5. Evolution of the human brain: design without a designer.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Kaas, John

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the brain is among the most distinctive morphological features of mammals. During the past decades, considerable progress has been made in explaining brain evolution in terms of physical and adaptive principles. The objective of this chapter is to present current

  6. Mind, Brain and Education: A Decade of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Marc

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the evolution of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE), the field, alongside that of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES). The reflections stem mostly from my observations while serving as vice president, president-elect, and president of IMBES during the past 10 years. The article highlights the evolution…

  7. Estrogen regulation of microcephaly genes and evolution of brain sexual dimorphism in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Lin, Qiang; Su, Bing

    2015-06-30

    Sexual dimorphism in brain size is common among primates, including humans, apes and some Old World monkeys. In these species, the brain size of males is generally larger than that of females. Curiously, this dimorphism has persisted over the course of primate evolution and human origin, but there is no explanation for the underlying genetic controls that have maintained this disparity in brain size. In the present study, we tested the effect of the female hormone (estradiol) on seven genes known to be related to brain size in both humans and nonhuman primates, and we identified half estrogen responsive elements (half EREs) in the promoter regions of four genes (MCPH1, ASPM, CDK5RAP2 and WDR62). Likewise, at sequence level, it appears that these half EREs are generally conserved across primates. Later testing via a reporter gene assay and cell-based endogenous expression measurement revealed that estradiol could significantly suppress the expression of the four affected genes involved in brain size. More intriguingly, when the half EREs were deleted from the promoters, the suppression effect disappeared, suggesting that the half EREs mediate the regulation of estradiol on the brain size genes. We next replicated these experiments using promoter sequences from chimpanzees and rhesus macaques, and observed a similar suppressive effect of estradiol on gene expression, suggesting that this mechanism is conserved among primate species that exhibit brain size dimorphism. Brain size dimorphism among certain primates, including humans, is likely regulated by estrogen through its sex-dependent suppression of brain size genes during development.

  8. ARTIFICIAL SELECTION ON RELATIVE BRAIN SIZE REVEALS A POSITIVE GENETIC CORRELATION BETWEEN BRAIN SIZE AND PROACTIVE PERSONALITY IN THE GUPPY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Lievens, Eva JP; Dahlbom, Josefin; Bundsen, Andreas; Semenova, Svetlana; Sundvik, Maria; Maklakov, Alexei A; Winberg, Svante; Panula, Pertti; Kolm, Niclas; Morrow, E

    2014-01-01

    Animal personalities range from individuals that are shy, cautious, and easily stressed (a “reactive” personality type) to individuals that are bold, innovative, and quick to learn novel tasks, but also prone to routine formation (a “proactive” personality type). Although personality differences should have important consequences for fitness, their underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated how genetic variation in brain size affects personality. We put selection lines of large- and small-brained guppies (Poecilia reticulata), with known differences in cognitive ability, through three standard personality assays. First, we found that large-brained animals were faster to habituate to, and more exploratory in, open field tests. Large-brained females were also bolder. Second, large-brained animals excreted less cortisol in a stressful situation (confinement). Third, large-brained animals were slower to feed from a novel food source, which we interpret as being caused by reduced behavioral flexibility rather than lack of innovation in the large-brained lines. Overall, the results point toward a more proactive personality type in large-brained animals. Thus, this study provides the first experimental evidence linking brain size and personality, an interaction that may affect important fitness-related aspects of ecology such as dispersal and niche exploration. PMID:24359469

  9. Brain evolution triggers increased diversification of electric fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bruce A; Hasan, Saad M; Hollmann, Michael; Miller, Derek B; Harmon, Luke J; Arnegard, Matthew E

    2011-04-29

    Communication can contribute to the evolution of biodiversity by promoting speciation and reinforcing reproductive isolation between existing species. The evolution of species-specific signals depends on the ability of individuals to detect signal variation, which in turn relies on the capability of the brain to process signal information. Here, we show that evolutionary change in a region of the brain devoted to the analysis of communication signals in mormyrid electric fishes improved detection of subtle signal variation and resulted in enhanced rates of signal evolution and species diversification. These results show that neural innovations can drive the diversification of signals and promote speciation.

  10. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barton Robert A

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain size is a key adaptive trait. It is often assumed that increasing brain size was a general evolutionary trend in primates, yet recent fossil discoveries have documented brain size decreases in some lineages, raising the question of how general a trend there was for brains to increase in mass over evolutionary time. We present the first systematic phylogenetic analysis designed to answer this question. Results We performed ancestral state reconstructions of three traits (absolute brain mass, absolute body mass, relative brain mass using 37 extant and 23 extinct primate species and three approaches to ancestral state reconstruction: parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo. Both absolute and relative brain mass generally increased over evolutionary time, but body mass did not. Nevertheless both absolute and relative brain mass decreased along several branches. Applying these results to the contentious case of Homo floresiensis, we find a number of scenarios under which the proposed evolution of Homo floresiensis' small brain appears to be consistent with patterns observed along other lineages, dependent on body mass and phylogenetic position. Conclusions Our results confirm that brain expansion began early in primate evolution and show that increases occurred in all major clades. Only in terms of an increase in absolute mass does the human lineage appear particularly striking, with both the rate of proportional change in mass and relative brain size having episodes of greater expansion elsewhere on the primate phylogeny. However, decreases in brain mass also occurred along branches in all major clades, and we conclude that, while selection has acted to enlarge primate brains, in some lineages this trend has been reversed. Further analyses of the phylogenetic position of Homo floresiensis and better body mass estimates are required to confirm the plausibility of the evolution of its small brain

  11. Ruminant brain ribonucleases: expression and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, W; Confalone, E; Breukelman, H J; Sasso, M P; Jekel, P A; Hodge, E; Furia, A; Beintema, J J

    2001-05-05

    Molecular evolutionary analyses of mammalian ribonucleases have shown that gene duplication events giving rise to three paralogous genes occurred in ruminant ancestors. One of these genes encodes a ribonuclease identified in bovine brain. A peculiar feature of this enzyme and orthologous sequences in other ruminants are C-terminal extensions consisting of 17-27 amino acid residues. Evidence was obtained by Western blot analysis for the presence of brain-type ribonucleases in brain tissue not only of ox, but also of sheep, roe deer and chevrotain (Tragulus javanicus), a member of the earliest diverged taxon of the ruminants. The C-terminal extension of brain-type ribonuclease from giraffe deviates much in sequence from orthologues in other ruminants, due to a change of reading frame. However, the gene encodes a functional enzyme, which could be expressed in heterologous systems. The messenger RNA of bovine brain ribonuclease is not only expressed at a high level in brain tissue but also in lactating mammary gland. The enzyme was isolated and identified from this latter tissue, but was not present in bovine milk, although pancreatic ribonucleases A and B could be isolated from both sources. This suggests different ways of secretion of the two enzyme types, possibly related to structural differences. The sequence of the brain-type RNase from chevrotain suggests that the C-terminal extensions of ruminant brain-type ribonucleases originate from deletions in the ancestral DNA (including a region with stop codons), followed by insertion of a 5-8-fold repeated hexanucleotide sequence, coding for a proline-rich polypeptide.

  12. Austenite and ferrite grain size evolution in plain carbon steel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Militzer, M.; Giumelli, A.; Hawbolt, E.B.; Meadowcroft, T.R. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    1995-01-01

    Grain size evolution in a 0.17%C, 0.74%Mn plain carbon steel is investigated using a Gleeble 1500 thermomechanical simulator. Austenite grain growth measurements in the temperature range from 900 to 1150{degrees}C have been used to validate the Abbruzzese and Luecke model, which is recommended for simulating grain growth during reheating. For run-out table conditions, the ferrite grain size decreases from 1l{mu}m to 4{mu}m when the cooling rate from the austenite is increased from 1 to 80{degrees}C/s.

  13. The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    DRI, which is expected to include images from the MEDEA /National Security and Climate Change Research Program and the Center for Southeastern...This project is a new start in FY13, with funds awarded in April 2013. To date we have: (1) Determined the seasonal evolution of floe size...from the MEDEA /National Security Climate Change Research Program and SAR imagery from the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing

  14. The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    occur in the appearance and morphology of the Arctic sea ice cover over and annual cycle. These photos were taken over the pack ice near SHEBA in May...causing flexural failure and breaking of the ice cover. In the interior of the Arctic ice pack (e.g. Beaufort Sea ) where waves are not prevalent...1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. “The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution

  15. Mongoloid-Caucasoid Differences in Brain Size from Military Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushton, J. Philippe; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Calculation of cranial capacities for the means from 4 Mongoloid and 20 Caucasoid samples (raw data from 57,378 individuals in 1978) found larger brain size for Mongoloids, a finding discussed in evolutionary terms. The conclusion is disputed by L. Willerman but supported by J. P. Rushton. (SLD)

  16. When larger brains do not have more neurons: increased numbers of cells are compensated by decreased average cell size across mouse individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Messeder, Débora J.; Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Pantoja, Nilma A.

    2015-01-01

    There is a strong trend toward increased brain size in mammalian evolution, with larger brains composed of more and larger neurons than smaller brains across species within each mammalian order. Does the evolution of increased numbers of brain neurons, and thus larger brain size, occur simply through the selection of individuals with more and larger neurons, and thus larger brains, within a population? That is, do individuals with larger brains also have more, and larger, neurons than individuals with smaller brains, such that allometric relationships across species are simply an extension of intraspecific scaling? Here we show that this is not the case across adult male mice of a similar age. Rather, increased numbers of neurons across individuals are accompanied by increased numbers of other cells and smaller average cell size of both types, in a trade-off that explains how increased brain mass does not necessarily ensue. Fundamental regulatory mechanisms thus must exist that tie numbers of neurons to numbers of other cells and to average cell size within individual brains. Finally, our results indicate that changes in brain size in evolution are not an extension of individual variation in numbers of neurons, but rather occur through step changes that must simultaneously increase numbers of neurons and cause cell size to increase, rather than decrease. PMID:26082686

  17. Human-specific hypomethylation of CENPJ, a key brain size regulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Lin, Qiang; Su, Bing

    2014-03-01

    Both the enlarged brain and concurrent highly developed cognitive skills are often seen as distinctive characteristics that set humans apart from other primates. Despite this obvious differentiation, the genetic mechanisms that underlie such human-specific traits are not clearly understood. In particular, whether epigenetic regulations may play a key role in human brain evolution remain elusive. In this study, we used bisulfite sequencing to compare the methylation patterns of four known genes that regulate brain size (ASPM, CDK5RAP2, CENPJ, and MCPH1) in the prefrontal cortex among several primate species spanning the major lineages of primates (i.e., humans, great apes, lesser apes, and Old World monkeys). The results showed a human-specific hypomethylation in the 5' UTR of CENPJ in the brain, where methylation levels among humans are only about one-third of those found among nonhuman primates. Similar methylation patterns were also detected in liver, kidney, and heart tissues, although the between-species differences were much less pronounced than those in the brain. Further in vitro methylation assays indicated that the methylation status of the CENPJ promoter could influence its expression. We also detected a large difference in CENPJ expression in the human and nonhuman primate brains of both adult individuals and throughout the major stages of fetal brain development. The hypomethylation and comparatively high expression of CENPJ in the central nervous system of humans suggest that a human-specific--and likely heritable--epigenetic modification likely occurred during human evolution, potentially leading to a much larger neural progenitor pool during human brain development, which may have eventually contributed to the dramatically enlarged brain and highly developed cognitive abilities associated with humans.

  18. Energetic and nutritional constraints on infant brain development: implications for brain expansion during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    The human brain confronts two major challenges during its development: (i) meeting a very high energy requirement, and (ii) reliably accessing an adequate dietary source of specific brain selective nutrients needed for its structure and function. Implicitly, these energetic and nutritional constraints to normal brain development today would also have been constraints on human brain evolution. The energetic constraint was solved in large measure by the evolution in hominins of a unique and significant layer of body fat on the fetus starting during the third trimester of gestation. By providing fatty acids for ketone production that are needed as brain fuel, this fat layer supports the brain's high energy needs well into childhood. This fat layer also contains an important reserve of the brain selective omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), not available in other primates. Foremost amongst the brain selective minerals are iodine and iron, with zinc, copper and selenium also being important. A shore-based diet, i.e., fish, molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, bird's eggs and aquatic plants, provides the richest known dietary sources of brain selective nutrients. Regular access to these foods by the early hominin lineage that evolved into humans would therefore have helped free the nutritional constraint on primate brain development and function. Inadequate dietary supply of brain selective nutrients still has a deleterious impact on human brain development on a global scale today, demonstrating the brain's ongoing vulnerability. The core of the shore-based paradigm of human brain evolution proposes that sustained access by certain groups of early Homo to freshwater and marine food resources would have helped surmount both the nutritional as well as the energetic constraints on mammalian brain development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Dean

    2016-06-20

    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become

  20. Functional craniology and brain evolution: from paleontology to biomedicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano eBruner

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Anatomical systems are organized through a network of structural and functional relationships among their elements. This network of relationships is the result of evolution, it represents the actual target of selection, and it generates the set of rules orienting and constraining the morphogenetic processes. Understanding the relationship among cranial and cerebral components is necessary to investigate the factors that have influenced and characterized our neuroanatomy, and possible drawbacks associated with the evolution of large brains. The study of the spatial relationships between skull and brain in the human genus has direct relevance in cranial surgery. Geometrical modelling can provide functional perspectives in evolution and brain physiology, like in simulations to investigate metabolic heat production and dissipation in the endocranial form. Analysis of the evolutionary constraints between facial and neural blocks can provide new information on visual impairment. The study of brain form variation in fossil humans can supply a different perspective for interpreting the processes behind neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Following these examples, it is apparent that paleontology and biomedicine can exchange relevant information and contribute at the same time to the development of robust evolutionary hypotheses on brain evolution, while offering more comprehensive biological perspectives with regard to the interpretation of pathological processes.

  1. A conceptual framework for clutch size evolution in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2014-01-01

    Causes of evolved differences in clutch size among songbird species remain debated. I propose a new conceptual framework that integrates aspects of traditional life history theory, while including novel elements, to explain evolution of clutch size among songbirds. I review evidence that selection by nest predation on length of time that offspring develop in the nest creates a gradient in offspring characteristics at nest-leaving (fledging), including flight mobility, spatial dispersion, and self-feeding rate. I postulate that this gradient has consequences for offspring mortality rates and parental energy expenditure per offspring. These consequences then determine how reproductive effort is partitioned among offspring, while reproductive effort evolves from age-specific mortality effects. Using data from a long-term site in Arizona, as well as from the literature, I provide support for hypothesized relationships. Nestling development period consistently explains fledgling mortality, energy expenditure per offspring, and clutch size while accounting for reproductive effort (i.e., total energy expenditure) to thereby support the framework. Tests in this paper are not definitive, but they document previously unrecognized relationships and address diverse traits (developmental strategies, parental care strategies, energy requirements per offspring, evolution of reproductive effort, clutch size) that justify further investigations of hypotheses proposed here.

  2. Ruminant brain ribonucleases : expression and evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, W; Confalone, E; Breukelman, HJ; Sasso, MP; Jekel, PA; Hodge, E; Furia, A; Beintema, JJ

    2001-01-01

    Molecular evolutionary analyses of mammalian ribonucleases have shown that gene duplication events giving rise to three paralogous genes occurred in ruminant ancestors. One of these genes encodes a ribonuclease identified in bovine brain. A peculiar feature of this enzyme and orthologous sequences

  3. [Survival of the fattest: the key to human brain evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

    The circumstances of human brain evolution are of central importance to accounting for human origins, yet are still poorly understood. Human evolution is usually portrayed as having occurred in a hot, dry climate in East Africa where the earliest human ancestors became bipedal and evolved tool-making skills and language while struggling to survive in a wooded or savannah environment. At least three points need to be recognised when constructing concepts of human brain evolution : (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid, iodine and iron. (2) At term, the human fetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates. (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is human brain become so much larger, and how was its present-day nutritional vulnerability circumvented during 5-6 million years of hominid evolution ? The abundant presence of fish bones and shellfish remains in many African hominid fossil sites dating to 2 million years ago implies human ancestors commonly inhabited the shores, but this point is usually overlooked in conceptualizing how the human brain evolved. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain. Whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea, the consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools. The presence of key brain nutrients and a rich energy supply in shore-based foods would have provided the essential metabolic and nutritional support needed to gradually expand the hominid brain. Abundant availability of these foods also provided the time needed to develop and refine proto-human attributes that subsequently formed the basis of language, culture, tool making and hunting. The presence of body fat in human babies appears to be the product of a long period of

  4. Atmospheric oxygen level and the evolution of insect body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Jon F; Kaiser, Alexander; VandenBrooks, John M

    2010-07-07

    Insects are small relative to vertebrates, possibly owing to limitations or costs associated with their blind-ended tracheal respiratory system. The giant insects of the late Palaeozoic occurred when atmospheric PO(2) (aPO(2)) was hyperoxic, supporting a role for oxygen in the evolution of insect body size. The paucity of the insect fossil record and the complex interactions between atmospheric oxygen level, organisms and their communities makes it impossible to definitively accept or reject the historical oxygen-size link, and multiple alternative hypotheses exist. However, a variety of recent empirical findings support a link between oxygen and insect size, including: (i) most insects develop smaller body sizes in hypoxia, and some develop and evolve larger sizes in hyperoxia; (ii) insects developmentally and evolutionarily reduce their proportional investment in the tracheal system when living in higher aPO(2), suggesting that there are significant costs associated with tracheal system structure and function; and (iii) larger insects invest more of their body in the tracheal system, potentially leading to greater effects of aPO(2) on larger insects. Together, these provide a wealth of plausible mechanisms by which tracheal oxygen delivery may be centrally involved in setting the relatively small size of insects and for hyperoxia-enabled Palaeozoic gigantism.

  5. Evolution of genome size and complexity in Pinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M Morse

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genome evolution in the gymnosperm lineage of seed plants has given rise to many of the most complex and largest plant genomes, however the elements involved are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Gymny is a previously undescribed retrotransposon family in Pinus that is related to Athila elements in Arabidopsis. Gymny elements are dispersed throughout the modern Pinus genome and occupy a physical space at least the size of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. In contrast to previously described retroelements in Pinus, the Gymny family was amplified or introduced after the divergence of pine and spruce (Picea. If retrotransposon expansions are responsible for genome size differences within the Pinaceae, as they are in angiosperms, then they have yet to be identified. In contrast, molecular divergence of Gymny retrotransposons together with other families of retrotransposons can account for the large genome complexity of pines along with protein-coding genic DNA, as revealed by massively parallel DNA sequence analysis of Cot fractionated genomic DNA. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Most of the enormous genome complexity of pines can be explained by divergence of retrotransposons, however the elements responsible for genome size variation are yet to be identified. Genomic resources for Pinus including those reported here should assist in further defining whether and how the roles of retrotransposons differ in the evolution of angiosperm and gymnosperm genomes.

  6. Spectral properties of the temporal evolution of brain network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Zhang, Zhen-Zhen; Ma, Jun; Yang, Yong; Lin, Pan; Wu, Ying

    2015-12-01

    The temporal evolution properties of the brain network are crucial for complex brain processes. In this paper, we investigate the differences in the dynamic brain network during resting and visual stimulation states in a task-positive subnetwork, task-negative subnetwork, and whole-brain network. The dynamic brain network is first constructed from human functional magnetic resonance imaging data based on the sliding window method, and then the eigenvalues corresponding to the network are calculated. We use eigenvalue analysis to analyze the global properties of eigenvalues and the random matrix theory (RMT) method to measure the local properties. For global properties, the shifting of the eigenvalue distribution and the decrease in the largest eigenvalue are linked to visual stimulation in all networks. For local properties, the short-range correlation in eigenvalues as measured by the nearest neighbor spacing distribution is not always sensitive to visual stimulation. However, the long-range correlation in eigenvalues as evaluated by spectral rigidity and number variance not only predicts the universal behavior of the dynamic brain network but also suggests non-consistent changes in different networks. These results demonstrate that the dynamic brain network is more random for the task-positive subnetwork and whole-brain network under visual stimulation but is more regular for the task-negative subnetwork. Our findings provide deeper insight into the importance of spectral properties in the functional brain network, especially the incomparable role of RMT in revealing the intrinsic properties of complex systems.

  7. Evolution of genome size and complexity in the rhabdoviridae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Walker

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available RNA viruses exhibit substantial structural, ecological and genomic diversity. However, genome size in RNA viruses is likely limited by a high mutation rate, resulting in the evolution of various mechanisms to increase complexity while minimising genome expansion. Here we conduct a large-scale analysis of the genome sequences of 99 animal rhabdoviruses, including 45 genomes which we determined de novo, to identify patterns of genome expansion and the evolution of genome complexity. All but seven of the rhabdoviruses clustered into 17 well-supported monophyletic groups, of which eight corresponded to established genera, seven were assigned as new genera, and two were taxonomically ambiguous. We show that the acquisition and loss of new genes appears to have been a central theme of rhabdovirus evolution, and has been associated with the appearance of alternative, overlapping and consecutive ORFs within the major structural protein genes, and the insertion and loss of additional ORFs in each gene junction in a clade-specific manner. Changes in the lengths of gene junctions accounted for as much as 48.5% of the variation in genome size from the smallest to the largest genome, and the frequency with which new ORFs were observed increased in the 3' to 5' direction along the genome. We also identify several new families of accessory genes encoded in these regions, and show that non-canonical expression strategies involving TURBS-like termination-reinitiation, ribosomal frame-shifts and leaky ribosomal scanning appear to be common. We conclude that rhabdoviruses have an unusual capacity for genomic plasticity that may be linked to their discontinuous transcription strategy from the negative-sense single-stranded RNA genome, and propose a model that accounts for the regular occurrence of genome expansion and contraction throughout the evolution of the Rhabdoviridae.

  8. Integrating Brain, Behaviour and Phylogeny to understand the Evolution of Sensory Systems in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas Richard Wylie

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The comparative anatomy of sensory systems has played a major role in developing theories and principles central to evolutionary neuroscience. This includes the central tenet of many comparative studies, the principle of proper mass, which states that the size of a neural structure reflects its processing capacity. The size of structures within the sensory system is not, however, the only salient variable in sensory evolution. Further, the evolution of the brain and behaviour are intimately tied to phylogenetic history, requiring studies to integrate neuroanatomy with behaviour and phylogeny to gain a more holistic view of brain evolution. Birds have proven to be a useful group for these studies because of widespread interest in their phylogenetic relationships and a wealth of information on the functional organization of most of their sensory pathways. In this review, we examine the principle of proper mass in relation differences in the sensory capabilities among birds. We discuss how neuroanatomy, behaviour and phylogeny can be integrated to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds providing evidence from visual, auditory and somatosensory systems. We also consider the concept of a trade-off, whereby one sensory system (or subpathway within a sensory system, may be expanded in size, at the expense of others, which are reduced in size.

  9. Evolution of the human brain : when bigger is better

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies of the brain in mammals suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical and energy constraints that have governed the evolution and functional organization of the

  10. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 29; Issue 3. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the history of technology. Alfred Gierer. Perspectives Volume 29 Issue 3 September 2004 pp 235-244. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  11. A Hypothesis for the Composition of the Tardigrade Brain and its Implications for Panarthropod Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Frank W; Bartels, Paul J; Goldstein, Bob

    2017-09-01

    Incredibly disparate brain types are found in Metazoa, which raises the question of how this disparity evolved. Ecdysozoa includes representatives that exhibit ring-like brains-the Cycloneuralia-and representatives that exhibit ganglionic brains-the Panarthropoda (Euarthropoda, Onychophora, and Tardigrada). The evolutionary steps leading to these distinct brain types are unclear. Phylogenomic analyses suggest that the enigmatic Tardigrada is a closely related outgroup of a Euarthropoda + Onychophora clade; as such, the brains of tardigrades may provide insight into the evolution of ecdysozoan brains. Recently, evolutionarily salient questions have arisen regarding the composition of the tardigrade brain. To address these questions, we investigated brain anatomy in four tardigrade species-Hypsibius dujardini, Milnesium n. sp., Echiniscus n. sp., and Batillipes n. sp.-that together span Tardigrada. Our results suggest that general brain morphology is conserved across Tardigrada. Based on our results we present a hypothesis that proposes direct parallels between the tardigrade brain and the segmental trunk ganglia of the tardigrade ventral nervous system. In this hypothesis, brain neuropil nearly circumscribes the tardigrade foregut. We suggest that the tardigrade brain retains aspects of an ancestral cycloneuralian brain, while exhibiting ganglionic structure characteristic of euarthropods and onychophorans. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Comparative primate neurobiology and the evolution of brain language systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-10-01

    Human brain specializations supporting language can be identified by comparing human with non-human primate brains. Comparisons with chimpanzees are critical in this endeavor. Human brains are much larger than non-human primate brains, but human language capabilities cannot be entirely explained by brain size. Human brain specializations that potentially support our capacity for language include firstly, wider cortical minicolumns in both Broca's and Wernicke's areas compared with great apes; secondly, leftward asymmetries in Broca's area volume and Wernicke's area minicolumn width that are not found in great apes; and thirdly, arcuate fasciculus projections beyond Wernicke's area to a region of expanded association cortex in the middle and inferior temporal cortex involved in processing word meaning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Evolution of Saturn's mid-sized icy moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neveu, M.; Rhoden, A. R.

    2017-09-01

    We aim to reproduce the orbits (semi-major axes and eccentricities), and interiors (core radii, oceans) of the mid-sized moons of Saturn (Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, and Rhea) as constrained by data from the Cassini spacecraft. We numerically model the coupled geophysical and orbital evolution of all moons, assuming they formed late from Saturn's rings. Our results closely reproduce observations, but only if Enceladus is initially warmer than what heating from impacts during its formation would provide. Notably, our models reconcile the moons' dynamical youth and geological diversity. We discuss next steps in improving the fidelity of our models.

  14. Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanai, R; Bahrami, B; Roylance, R; Rees, G

    2012-04-07

    The increasing ubiquity of web-based social networking services is a striking feature of modern human society. The degree to which individuals participate in these networks varies substantially for reasons that are unclear. Here, we show a biological basis for such variability by demonstrating that quantitative variation in the number of friends an individual declares on a web-based social networking service reliably predicted grey matter density in the right superior temporal sulcus, left middle temporal gyrus and entorhinal cortex. Such regions have been previously implicated in social perception and associative memory, respectively. We further show that variability in the size of such online friendship networks was significantly correlated with the size of more intimate real-world social groups. However, the brain regions we identified were specifically associated with online social network size, whereas the grey matter density of the amygdala was correlated both with online and real-world social network sizes. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the size of an individual's online social network is closely linked to focal brain structure implicated in social cognition.

  15. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branka eHrvoj-Mihic

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species.The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research.

  16. Nonapeptides and the Evolution of Social Group Sizes in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James L. Goodson

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Species-typical patterns of grouping have profound impacts on many aspects of physiology and behavior. However, prior to our recent studies in estrildid finches, neural mechanisms that titrate species-typical group size preferences, independent of other aspects of social organization (e.g., mating system and parental care, have been wholly unexplored, likely because species-typical group size is typically confounded with other aspects of behavior and biology. An additional complication is that components of social organization are evolutionarily labile and prone to repeated divergence and convergence. Hence, we cannot assume that convergence in social structure has been produced by convergent modifications to the same neural characters, and thus any comparative approach to grouping must include not only species that differ in their species-typical group sizes, but also species that exhibit convergent evolution in this aspect of social organization. Using five estrildid finch species that differ selectively in grouping (all biparental and monogamous we have demonstrated that neural motivational systems evolve in predictable ways in relation to species-typical group sizes, including convergence in two highly gregarious species and convergence in two relatively asocial, territorial species. These systems include nonapeptide (vasotocin and mesotocin circuits that encode the valence of social stimuli (positive-negative, titrate group-size preferences, and modulate anxiety-like behaviors. Nonapeptide systems exhibit functional and anatomical properties that are biased towards gregarious species, and experimental reductions of nonapeptide signaling by receptor antagonism and antisense oligonucleotides significantly decrease preferred group sizes in the gregarious zebra finch. Combined, these findings suggest that selection on species-typical group size may reliably target the same neural motivation systems when a given social structure evolves

  17. Brain size and encephalization in early to Mid-Pleistocene Homo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rightmire, G Philip

    2004-06-01

    Important changes in the brain have occurred during the course of human evolution. Both absolute and relative size increases can be documented for species of Homo, culminating in the appearance of modern humans. One species that is particularly well-represented by fossil crania is Homo erectus. The mean capacity for 30 individuals is 973 cm(3). Within this group there is substantial variation, but brain size increases slightly in specimens from later time periods. Other Middle Pleistocene crania differ from those of Homo erectus. Characters of the facial skeleton, vault, and cranial base suggest that fossils from sites such as Arago Cave in France, the Sima de los Huesos in Spain, Bodo in Ethiopia, Broken Hill in Zambia, and perhaps Dali in China belong to the taxon Homo heidelbergensis. Ten of these mid-Quaternary hominins have brains averaging 1,206 cm(3) in volume, and many fall beyond the limits of size predicted for Homo erectus of equivalent age. When orbit height is used to construct an index of relative brain size, it is apparent that the (significant) increase in volume documented for the Middle Pleistocene individuals is not simply a consequence of larger body mass. Encephalization quotient values confirm this finding. These changes in absolute and relative brain size can be taken as further corroborative evidence for a speciation event, in which Homo erectus produced a daughter lineage. It is probable that Homo heidelbergensis originated in Africa or western Eurasia and then ranged widely across the Old World. Archaeological traces indicate that these populations differed in their technology and behavior from earlier hominins. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A; Polk, John D

    2013-01-07

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. However, to date, researchers have not explored the possibility that the increases in aerobic capacity and physical activity that occurred during human evolution directly influenced the human brain. Here, we hypothesize that proximate mechanisms linking physical activity and neurobiology in living species may help to explain changes in brain size and cognitive function during human evolution. We review evidence that selection acting on endurance increased baseline neurotrophin and growth factor signalling (compounds responsible for both brain growth and for metabolic regulation during exercise) in some mammals, which in turn led to increased overall brain growth and development. This hypothesis suggests that a significant portion of human neurobiology evolved due to selection acting on features unrelated to cognitive performance.

  19. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A.; Polk, John D.

    2013-01-01

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. However, to date, researchers have not explored the possibility that the increases in aerobic capacity and physical activity that occurred during human evolution directly influenced the human brain. Here, we hypothesize that proximate mechanisms linking physical activity and neurobiology in living species may help to explain changes in brain size and cognitive function during human evolution. We review evidence that selection acting on endurance increased baseline neurotrophin and growth factor signalling (compounds responsible for both brain growth and for metabolic regulation during exercise) in some mammals, which in turn led to increased overall brain growth and development. This hypothesis suggests that a significant portion of human neurobiology evolved due to selection acting on features unrelated to cognitive performance. PMID:23173208

  20. Extreme sexual brain size dimorphism in sticklebacks: a consequence of the cognitive challenges of sex and parenting?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Kotrschal

    Full Text Available Selection pressures that act differently on males and females produce numerous differences between the sexes in morphology and behaviour. However, apart from the controversial report that males have slightly heavier brains than females in humans, evidence for substantial sexual dimorphism in brain size is scarce. This apparent sexual uniformity is surprising given that sexually distinct selection pressures are ubiquitous and that brains are one of the most plastic vertebrate organs. Here we demonstrate the highest level of sexual brain size dimorphism ever reported in any vertebrate: male three-spined stickleback of two morphs in an Icelandic lake have 23% heavier brains than females. We suggest that this dramatic sexual size dimorphism is generated by the many cognitively demanding challenges that males are faced in this species, such as an elaborate courtship display, the construction of an ornate nest and a male-only parental care system. However, we consider also alternative explanations for smaller brains in females, such as life-history trade-offs. Our demonstration of unprecedented levels of sexual dimorphism in brain size in the three-spined stickleback implies that behavioural and life-history differences among the sexes can have strong effects also on neural development and proposes new fields of research for understanding brain evolution.

  1. The Evolution of Lateralized Brain Circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C. Corballis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the vast clade of animals known as the bilateria, cerebral and behavioral asymmetries emerge against the backdrop of bilateral symmetry, with a functional trade-off between the two. Asymmetries can lead to more efficient processing and packaging of internal structures, but at the expense of efficient adaptation to a natural world without systematic left-right bias. Asymmetries may arise through the fissioning of ancestral structures that are largely symmetrical, creating new circuits. In humans these may include asymmetrical adaptations to language and manufacture, and as one or other hemisphere gains dominance for functions that were previously represented bilaterally. This is best illustrated in the evolution of such functions as language and tool manufacture in humans, which may derive from the mirror-neuron system in primates, but similar principles probably apply to the many other asymmetries now evident in a wide range of animals. Asymmetries arise in largely independent manner with multi-genetic sources, rather than as a single over-riding principle.

  2. The skull roof tracks the brain during the evolution and development of reptiles including birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabbri, Matteo; Mongiardino Koch, Nicolás; Pritchard, Adam C; Hanson, Michael; Hoffman, Eva; Bever, Gabriel S; Balanoff, Amy M; Morris, Zachary S; Field, Daniel J; Camacho, Jasmin; Rowe, Timothy B; Norell, Mark A; Smith, Roger M; Abzhanov, Arhat; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2017-10-01

    Major transformations in brain size and proportions, such as the enlargement of the brain during the evolution of birds, are accompanied by profound modifications to the skull roof. However, the hypothesis of concerted evolution of shape between brain and skull roof over major phylogenetic transitions, and in particular of an ontogenetic relationship between specific regions of the brain and the skull roof, has never been formally tested. We performed 3D morphometric analyses to examine the deep history of brain and skull-roof morphology in Reptilia, focusing on changes during the well-documented transition from early reptiles through archosauromorphs, including nonavian dinosaurs, to birds. Non-avialan taxa cluster tightly together in morphospace, whereas Archaeopteryx and crown birds occupy a separate region. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the forebrain and frontal bone and the midbrain and parietal bone. Furthermore, the position of the forebrain-midbrain boundary correlates significantly with the position of the frontoparietal suture across the phylogenetic breadth of Reptilia and during the ontogeny of individual taxa. Conservation of position and identity in the skull roof is apparent, and there is no support for previous hypotheses that the avian parietal is a transformed postparietal. The correlation and apparent developmental link between regions of the brain and bony skull elements are likely to be ancestral to Tetrapoda and may be fundamental to all of Osteichthyes, coeval with the origin of the dermatocranium.

  3. Evolution of Brain Tumor and Stability of Geometric Invariants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Tawbe

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a method to reconstruct and to calculate geometric invariants on brain tumors. The geometric invariants considered in the paper are the volume, the area, the discrete Gauss curvature, and the discrete mean curvature. The volume of a tumor is an important aspect that helps doctors to make a medical diagnosis. And as doctors seek a stable calculation, we propose to prove the stability of some invariants. Finally, we study the evolution of brain tumor as a function of time in two or three years depending on patients with MR images every three or six months.

  4. Adaptive evolution of ASPM, a major determinant of cerebral cortical size in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Patrick D; Anderson, Jeffrey R; Vallender, Eric J; Gilbert, Sandra L; Malcom, Christine M; Dorus, Steve; Lahn, Bruce T

    2004-03-01

    A prominent trend in the evolution of humans is the progressive enlargement of the cerebral cortex. The ASPM (Abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) gene has the potential to play a role in this evolutionary process, because mutations in this gene cause severe reductions in the cerebral cortical size of affected humans. Here, we show that the evolution of ASPM is significantly accelerated in great apes, especially along the ape lineages leading to humans. Additionally, the lineage from the last human/chimpanzee ancestor to humans shows an excess of non-synonymous over synonymous substitutions, which is a signature of positive Darwinian selection. A comparison of polymorphism and divergence using the McDonald-Kreitman test confirms that ASPM has indeed experienced intense positive selection during recent human evolution. This test also reveals that, on average, ASPM fixed one advantageous amino acid change in every 300,000-400,000 years since the human lineage diverged from chimpanzees some 5-6 million years ago. We therefore conclude that ASPM underwent strong adaptive evolution in the descent of Homo sapiens, which is consistent with its putative role in the evolutionary enlargement of the human brain.

  5. Endocranial morphology of Microchoerus erinaceus (Euprimates, Tarsiiformes) and early evolution of the Euprimates brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramdarshan, Anusha; Orliac, Maeva J

    2016-01-01

    Innovations in brain structure and increase in brain size relative to body mass are key features of Primates evolutionary history. Surprisingly, the endocranial morphology of early Euprimates is still rather poorly known, and our understanding of early euprimate brain evolution (Eocene epoch) relies on a handful of specimens. In this article, we describe the endocranial cast of the tarsiiform Microchoerus erinaceus from the late Early Eocene of Perrière (Quercy fissure filling, France) based on a virtual reconstruction extracted from CT scan data of the endocranial cavity of the complete, undeformed specimen UM-PRR1771. The endocast of M. erinaceus shows the derived features observed in other Euprimates (e.g. sylvian fissure and temporal lobe), with limited neocortical folding, and a telencephalic flexure comparable to that of extant primates. Comparison with the endocasts of other available late Eocene primates shows that they already exhibited a variety of brain morphologies, highlighting the complex history of the external features of the primate brain, as early as the Eocene. M. erinaceus was a fruit and gum eater considered as nocturnal based on its orbit size. However, its brain showed small olfactory bulbs--smaller than in the coeval diurnal taxa Adapis parisiensis--and a neocorticalization similar to folivorous taxa. These observations contrast with patterns observed in primates today where nocturnal taxa have larger olfactory bulbs than diurnal taxa, and call into question a direct correlation between frugivory and neocorticalization increase in primates. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Human brain evolution: harnessing the genomics (r)evolution to link genes, cognition, and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Genevieve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2010-10-21

    The evolution of the human brain has resulted in numerous specialized features including higher cognitive processes such as language. Knowledge of whole-genome sequence and structural variation via high-throughput sequencing technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to view human evolution at high resolution. However, phenotype discovery is a critical component of these endeavors and the use of nontraditional model organisms will also be critical for piecing together a complete picture. Ultimately, the union of developmental studies of the brain with studies of unique phenotypes in a myriad of species will result in a more thorough model of the groundwork the human brain was built upon. Furthermore, these integrative approaches should provide important insights into human diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Fossils and the Evolution of the Arthropod Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D

    2016-10-24

    The discovery of fossilized brains and ventral nerve cords in lower and mid-Cambrian arthropods has led to crucial insights about the evolution of their central nervous system, the segmental identity of head appendages and the early evolution of eyes and their underlying visual systems. Fundamental ground patterns of lower Cambrian arthropod brains and nervous systems correspond to the ground patterns of brains and nervous systems belonging to three of four major extant panarthropod lineages. These findings demonstrate the evolutionary stability of early neural arrangements over an immense time span. Here, we put these fossil discoveries in the context of evidence from cladistics, as well as developmental and comparative neuroanatomy, which together suggest that despite many evolved modifications of neuropil centers within arthropod brains and ganglia, highly conserved arrangements have been retained. Recent phylogenies of the arthropods, based on fossil and molecular evidence, and estimates of divergence dates, suggest that neural ground patterns characterizing onychophorans, chelicerates and mandibulates are likely to have diverged between the terminal Ediacaran and earliest Cambrian, heralding the exuberant diversification of body forms that account for the Cambrian Explosion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBPLATE FOR EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  9. ASPM and the evolution of cerebral cortical size in a community of New World monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanea, Fernando A; Perry, George H; Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Gustavo A; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2012-01-01

    The ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) gene has been proposed as a major determinant of cerebral cortical size among primates, including humans. Yet the specific functions of ASPM and its connection to human intelligence remain controversial. This debate is limited in part by a taxonomic focus on Old World monkeys and apes. Here we expand the comparative context of ASPM sequence analyses with a study of New World monkeys, a radiation of primates in which enlarged brain size has evolved in parallel in spider monkeys (genus Ateles) and capuchins (genus Cebus). The primate community of Costa Rica is perhaps a model system because it allows for independent pairwise comparisons of smaller- and larger-brained species within two taxonomic families. Accordingly, we analyzed the complete sequence of exon 18 of ASPM in Ateles geoffroyi, Alouatta palliata, Cebus capucinus, and Saimiri oerstedii. As the analysis of multiple species in a genus improves phylogenetic reconstruction, we also analyzed eleven published sequences from other New World monkeys. Our exon-wide, lineage-specific analysis of eleven genera and the ratio of rates of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions (d(N)/d(S)) on ASPM revealed no detectable evidence for positive selection in the lineages leading to Ateles or Cebus, as indicated by d(N)/d(S) ratios of <1.0 (0.6502 and 0.4268, respectively). Our results suggest that a multitude of interacting genes have driven the evolution of larger brains among primates, with different genes involved in this process in different encephalized lineages, or at least with evidence for positive selection not readily apparent for the same genes in all lineages. The primate community of Costa Rica may serve as a model system for future studies that aim to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying cognitive capacity and cortical size.

  10. ASPM and the evolution of cerebral cortical size in a community of New World monkeys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando A Villanea

    Full Text Available The ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated gene has been proposed as a major determinant of cerebral cortical size among primates, including humans. Yet the specific functions of ASPM and its connection to human intelligence remain controversial. This debate is limited in part by a taxonomic focus on Old World monkeys and apes. Here we expand the comparative context of ASPM sequence analyses with a study of New World monkeys, a radiation of primates in which enlarged brain size has evolved in parallel in spider monkeys (genus Ateles and capuchins (genus Cebus. The primate community of Costa Rica is perhaps a model system because it allows for independent pairwise comparisons of smaller- and larger-brained species within two taxonomic families. Accordingly, we analyzed the complete sequence of exon 18 of ASPM in Ateles geoffroyi, Alouatta palliata, Cebus capucinus, and Saimiri oerstedii. As the analysis of multiple species in a genus improves phylogenetic reconstruction, we also analyzed eleven published sequences from other New World monkeys. Our exon-wide, lineage-specific analysis of eleven genera and the ratio of rates of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions (d(N/d(S on ASPM revealed no detectable evidence for positive selection in the lineages leading to Ateles or Cebus, as indicated by d(N/d(S ratios of <1.0 (0.6502 and 0.4268, respectively. Our results suggest that a multitude of interacting genes have driven the evolution of larger brains among primates, with different genes involved in this process in different encephalized lineages, or at least with evidence for positive selection not readily apparent for the same genes in all lineages. The primate community of Costa Rica may serve as a model system for future studies that aim to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying cognitive capacity and cortical size.

  11. Evolution of the brain and intelligence in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Gerhard; Dicke, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    Primates are, on average, more intelligent than other mammals, with great apes and finally humans on top. They generally have larger brains and cortices, and because of higher relative cortex volume and neuron packing density (NPD), they have much more cortical neurons than other mammalian taxa with the same brain size. Likewise, information processing capacity is generally higher in primates due to short interneuronal distance and high axonal conduction velocity. Across primate taxa, differences in intelligence correlate best with differences in number of cortical neurons and synapses plus information processing speed. The human brain stands out by having a large cortical volume with relatively high NPD, high conduction velocity, and high cortical parcellation. All aspects of human intelligence are present at least in rudimentary form in nonhuman primates or some mammals or vertebrates except syntactical language. The latter can be regarded as a very potent "intelligence amplifier." Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Relative brain size and morphology of some South African bats

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-04-03

    Apr 3, 1987 ... The length of the brain (from olfactory bulb to the cerebellar uvular); the length of the cerebral hemispheres; the width of the cerebral hemispheres, which in these species is equal to the greatest width of the brain; and the height of the cerebral hemispheres. (greatest height of the brain) (Figure 1) were ...

  13. Is the Social Brain Theory Applicable to Human Individual Differences? Relationship between Sociability Personality Dimension and Brain Size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klára Horváth

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Our study intends to examine whether the social brain theory is applicable to human individual differences. According to the social brain theory primates have larger brains as it could be expected from their body sizes due to the adaptation to a more complex social life. Regarding humans there were few studies about the relationship between theory of mind and frontal and temporal brain lobes. We hypothesized that these brain lobes, as well as the whole cerebrum and neocortex are in connection with the Sociability personality dimension that is associated with individuals' social lives. Our findings support this hypothesis as Sociability correlated positively with the examined brain structures if we control the effects of body size differences and age. These results suggest that the social brain theory can be extended to human interindividual differences and they have some implications to personality psychology too.

  14. Is the social brain theory applicable to human individual differences? Relationship between sociability personality dimension and brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horváth, Klára; Martos, János; Mihalik, Béla; Bódizs, Róbert

    2011-06-17

    Our study intends to examine whether the social brain theory is applicable to human individual differences. According to the social brain theory primates have larger brains as it could be expected from their body sizes due to the adaptation to a more complex social life. Regarding humans there were few studies about the relationship between theory of mind and frontal and temporal brain lobes. We hypothesized that these brain lobes, as well as the whole cerebrum and neocortex are in connection with the Sociability personality dimension that is associated with individuals' social lives. Our findings support this hypothesis as Sociability correlated positively with the examined brain structures if we control the effects of body size differences and age. These results suggest that the social brain theory can be extended to human interindividual differences and they have some implications to personality psychology too.

  15. The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain: A Review of Two Contrastive Views (Pinker & Deacon)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Ken Ramshøj

    2001-01-01

    in a larger symbolic computational chain controlled by regions in the frontal parts of the brain. To Deacon, a symbolic learning algorithm drives language acquisition. The increase in size of the human brain in relation to the body may be due to a “cognitive arms race”. Both Pinker and Deacon agree......This article is a review of two contrastive views on the co-evolution of language and the brain – The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker (1994) and The Symbolic Species by Terrence Deacon (1997). As language is a trait unique to mankind it can not be equated with nonlinguistic communication – human...... or nonhuman. This points to a special human brain architecture. Pinker’s claim is that certain areas on the left side of the brain constitute a language organ and that language acquisition is instinctual. To Deacon, however, those areas are non-language-specific computational centers. Moreover, they are parts...

  16. Mice selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running have larger midbrains: support for the mosaic model of brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, E M; Rezende, E L; Holness, L; Radtke, A; Lee, S K; Obenaus, A; Garland, T

    2013-02-01

    Increased brain size, relative to body mass, is a primary characteristic distinguishing the mammalian lineage. This greater encephalization has come with increased behavioral complexity and, accordingly, it has been suggested that selection on behavioral traits has been a significant factor leading to the evolution of larger whole-brain mass. In addition, brains may evolve in a mosaic fashion, with functional components having some freedom to evolve independently from other components, irrespective of, or in addition to, changes in size of the whole brain. We tested whether long-term selective breeding for high voluntary wheel running in laboratory house mice results in changes in brain size, and whether those changes have occurred in a concerted or mosaic fashion. We measured wet and dry brain mass via dissections and brain volume with ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging of brains that distinguished the caudate-putamen, hippocampus, midbrain, cerebellum and forebrain. Adjusting for body mass as a covariate, mice from the four replicate high-runner (HR) lines had statistically larger non-cerebellar wet and dry brain masses than those from four non-selected control lines, with no differences in cerebellum wet or dry mass or volume. Moreover, the midbrain volume in HR mice was ~13% larger (PHR and control lines. We hypothesize that the enlarged midbrain of HR mice is related to altered neurophysiological function in their dopaminergic system. To our knowledge, this is the first example in which selection for a particular mammalian behavior has been shown to result in a change in size of a specific brain region.

  17. Investigation of MCPH1 G37995C and ASPM A44871G polymorphisms and brain size in a healthy cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson-Stone, C; Gatt, J M; Kuan, S A; Grieve, S M; Gordon, E; Williams, L M; Schofield, P R

    2007-08-15

    Loss-of-function mutations in MCPH1 and ASPM are responsible for some cases of autosomal recessive primary microcephaly. Recent studies have indicated that certain common variants of these genes have been positively selected for during the evolution of modern humans. It is therefore possible that these variants may predispose to an increase in brain size in the normal human population. We genotyped the MCPH1 G37995C and ASPM A44871G polymorphisms in a cohort of 118 healthy people who had undergone structural magnetic resonance imaging analysis. We did not detect significant association of either MCPH1 G37995C or ASPM A44871G genotype with whole brain volume, cerebral cortical volume or proportion of grey matter in this cohort. Nor did we detect an association of combined MCPH1 37995C and ASPM 44871G allele dosage with these brain measurements. These results were also confirmed in an age-restricted subcohort of 94 individuals. This study suggests that phenotypes other than brain size may have been selected for in ASPM and MCPH1 variants during evolution of modern humans.

  18. Head circumference and brain size in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacco, Roberto; Gabriele, Stefano; Persico, Antonio M

    2015-11-30

    Macrocephaly and brain overgrowth have been associated with autism spectrum disorder. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide an overall estimate of effect size and statistical significance for both head circumference and total brain volume in autism. Our literature search strategy identified 261 and 391 records, respectively; 27 studies defining percentages of macrocephalic patients and 44 structural brain imaging studies providing total brain volumes for patients and controls were included in our meta-analyses. Head circumference was significantly larger in autistic compared to control individuals, with 822/5225 (15.7%) autistic individuals displaying macrocephaly. Structural brain imaging studies measuring brain volume estimated effect size. The effect size is higher in low functioning autistics compared to high functioning and ASD individuals. Brain overgrowth was recorded in 142/1558 (9.1%) autistic patients. Finally, we found a significant interaction between age and total brain volume, resulting in larger head circumference and brain size during early childhood. Our results provide conclusive effect sizes and prevalence rates for macrocephaly and brain overgrowth in autism, confirm the variation of abnormal brain growth with age, and support the inclusion of this endophenotype in multi-biomarker diagnostic panels for clinical use. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Body Size Evolution in Insular Speckled Rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meik, Jesse M.; Lawing, A. Michelle; Pires-daSilva, André

    2010-01-01

    Background Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii) inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size) evolving in response to shifts in prey size. Methodology/Principal Findings Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Ángel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. Conclusions/Significance Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in community dynamics

  20. Body size evolution in insular speckled rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse M Meik

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size evolving in response to shifts in prey size. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Angel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in

  1. Body size evolution in insular speckled rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meik, Jesse M; Lawing, A Michelle; Pires-daSilva, André

    2010-03-04

    Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii) inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size) evolving in response to shifts in prey size. Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Angel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in community dynamics that are related to graded differences in area over what are

  2. Effects of population size on virus evolution: a baculovirus perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwart, M.P.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis explores the population genetics of the baculovirus infection process and the consequences for virus evolution. Using Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) and lepidopteran insect larvae as a model system, we attempt to characterize (1) elemental virus-host and

  3. Life history evolution and cellular mechanisms associated with increased size in high-altitude Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lack, Justin B; Yassin, Amir; Sprengelmeyer, Quentin D; Johanning, Evan J; David, Jean R; Pool, John E

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the physiological and genetic basis of growth and body size variation has wide-ranging implications, from cancer and metabolic disease to the genetics of complex traits. We examined the evolution of body and wing size in high-altitude Drosophila melanogaster from Ethiopia, flies with larger size than any previously known population. Specifically, we sought to identify life history characteristics and cellular mechanisms that may have facilitated size evolution. We found that the large-bodied Ethiopian flies laid significantly fewer but larger eggs relative to lowland, smaller-bodied Zambian flies. The highland flies were found to achieve larger size in a similar developmental period, potentially aided by a reproductive strategy favoring greater provisioning of fewer offspring. At the cellular level, cell proliferation was a strong contributor to wing size evolution, but both thorax and wing size increases involved important changes in cell size. Nuclear size measurements were consistent with elevated somatic ploidy as an important mechanism of body size evolution. We discuss the significance of these results for the genetic basis of evolutionary changes in body and wing size in Ethiopian D. melanogaster.

  4. Rate of evolution in brain-expressed genes in humans and other primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurng-Yi Wang

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Brain-expressed genes are known to evolve slowly in mammals. Nevertheless, since brains of higher primates have evolved rapidly, one might expect acceleration in DNA sequence evolution in their brain-expressed genes. In this study, we carried out full-length cDNA sequencing on the brain transcriptome of an Old World monkey (OWM and then conducted three-way comparisons among (i mouse, OWM, and human, and (ii OWM, chimpanzee, and human. Although brain-expressed genes indeed appear to evolve more rapidly in species with more advanced brains (apes > OWM > mouse, a similar lineage effect is observable for most other genes. The broad inclusion of genes in the reference set to represent the genomic average is therefore critical to this type of analysis. Calibrated against the genomic average, the rate of evolution among brain-expressed genes is probably lower (or at most equal in humans than in chimpanzee and OWM. Interestingly, the trend of slow evolution in coding sequence is no less pronounced among brain-specific genes, vis-à-vis brain-expressed genes in general. The human brain may thus differ from those of our close relatives in two opposite directions: (i faster evolution in gene expression, and (ii a likely slowdown in the evolution of protein sequences. Possible explanations and hypotheses are discussed.

  5. Climate change, body size evolution, and Cope's Rule in deep-sea ostracodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Gene; Roy, Kaustuv

    2006-01-31

    Causes of macroevolutionary trends in body size, such as Cope's Rule, the tendency of body size to increase over time, remain poorly understood. We used size measurements from Cenozoic populations of the ostracode genus Poseidonamicus, in conjunction with phylogeny and paleotemperature estimates, to show that climatic cooling leads to significant increases in body size, both overall and within individual lineages. The magnitude of size increase due to Cenozoic cooling is consistent with temperature-size relationships in geographically separated modern populations (Bergmann's Rule). Thus population-level phenotypic evolution in response to climate change can be an important determinant of macroevolutionary trends in body size.

  6. The evolution of distributed association networks in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Randy L; Krienen, Fenna M

    2013-12-01

    The human cerebral cortex is vastly expanded relative to other primates and disproportionately occupied by distributed association regions. Here we offer a hypothesis about how association networks evolved their prominence and came to possess circuit properties vital to human cognition. The rapid expansion of the cortical mantle may have untethered large portions of the cortex from strong constraints of molecular gradients and early activity cascades that lead to sensory hierarchies. What fill the gaps between these hierarchies are densely interconnected networks that widely span the cortex and mature late into development. Limitations of the tethering hypothesis are discussed as well as its broad implications for understanding critical features of the human brain as a byproduct of size scaling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Sophie Knobloch

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians, magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing oxytocin, vasopressin and their homologs reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds and mammals into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots.

  8. Smaller beaks for colder winters: Thermoregulation drives beak size evolution in Australasian songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Nicholas R; Harmáčková, Lenka; Economo, Evan P; Remeš, Vladimír

    2017-08-01

    Birds' beaks play a key role in foraging, and most research on their size and shape has focused on this function. Recent findings suggest that beaks may also be important for thermoregulation, and this may drive morphological evolution as predicted by Allen's rule. However, the role of thermoregulation in the evolution of beak size across species remains largely unexplored. In particular, it remains unclear whether the need for retaining heat in the winter or dissipating heat in the summer plays the greater role in selection for beak size. Comparative studies are needed to evaluate the relative importance of these functions in beak size evolution. We addressed this question in a clade of birds exhibiting wide variation in their climatic niche: the Australasian honeyeaters and allies (Meliphagoidea). Across 158 species, we compared species' climatic conditions extracted from their ranges to beak size measurements in a combined spatial-phylogenetic framework. We found that winter minimum temperature was positively correlated with beak size, while summer maximum temperature was not. This suggests that while diet and foraging behavior may drive evolutionary changes in beak shape, changes in beak size can also be explained by the beak's role in thermoregulation, and winter heat retention in particular. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Relative Brain and Brain Part Sizes Provide Only Limited Evidence that Machiavellian Behaviour in Cleaner Wrasse Is Cognitively Demanding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominika Chojnacka

    Full Text Available It is currently widely accepted that the complexity of a species' social life is a major determinant of its brain complexity, as predicted by the social brain hypothesis. However, it remains a challenge to explain what social complexity exactly is and what the best corresponding measures of brain anatomy are. Absolute and relative size of the brain and of the neocortex have often been used as a proxy to predict cognitive performance. Here, we apply the logic of the social brain hypothesis to marine cleaning mutualism involving the genus Labroides. These wrasses remove ectoparasites from 'client' reef fish. Conflict occurs as wrasse prefer client mucus over ectoparasites, where mucus feeding constitutes cheating. As a result of this conflict, cleaner wrasse show remarkable Machiavellian-like behaviour. Using own data as well as available data from the literature, we investigated whether the general brain anatomy of Labroides provides any indication that their Machiavellian behaviour is associated with a more complex brain. Neither data set provided evidence for an increased encephalisation index compared to other wrasse species. Published data on relative sizes of brain parts in 25 species of the order Perciformes suggests that only the diencephalon is relatively enlarged in Labroides dimidiatus. This part contains various nuclei of the social decision making network. In conclusion, gross brain anatomy yields little evidence for the hypothesis that strategic behaviour in cleaning selects for larger brains, while future research should focus on more detailed aspects like the sizes of specific nuclei as well as their cryoarchitectonic structure and connectivity.

  10. Relative Brain and Brain Part Sizes Provide Only Limited Evidence that Machiavellian Behaviour in Cleaner Wrasse Is Cognitively Demanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacka, Dominika; Isler, Karin; Barski, Jaroslaw Jerzy; Bshary, Redouan

    2015-01-01

    It is currently widely accepted that the complexity of a species’ social life is a major determinant of its brain complexity, as predicted by the social brain hypothesis. However, it remains a challenge to explain what social complexity exactly is and what the best corresponding measures of brain anatomy are. Absolute and relative size of the brain and of the neocortex have often been used as a proxy to predict cognitive performance. Here, we apply the logic of the social brain hypothesis to marine cleaning mutualism involving the genus Labroides. These wrasses remove ectoparasites from ‘client’ reef fish. Conflict occurs as wrasse prefer client mucus over ectoparasites, where mucus feeding constitutes cheating. As a result of this conflict, cleaner wrasse show remarkable Machiavellian-like behaviour. Using own data as well as available data from the literature, we investigated whether the general brain anatomy of Labroides provides any indication that their Machiavellian behaviour is associated with a more complex brain. Neither data set provided evidence for an increased encephalisation index compared to other wrasse species. Published data on relative sizes of brain parts in 25 species of the order Perciformes suggests that only the diencephalon is relatively enlarged in Labroides dimidiatus. This part contains various nuclei of the social decision making network. In conclusion, gross brain anatomy yields little evidence for the hypothesis that strategic behaviour in cleaning selects for larger brains, while future research should focus on more detailed aspects like the sizes of specific nuclei as well as their cryoarchitectonic structure and connectivity. PMID:26263490

  11. SYNAPTOSOMAL LACTATE DEHYDROGENASE ISOENZYME COMPOSITION IS SHIFTED TOWARD AEROBIC FORMS IN PRIMATE BRAIN EVOLUTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duka, Tetyana; Anderson, Sarah M.; Collins, Zachary; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Ely, John J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Goodman, Morris; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2014-01-01

    With the evolution of a relatively large brain size in haplorhine primates (i.e., tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans), there have been associated changes in the molecular machinery that delivers energy to the neocortex. Here we investigated variation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) expression and isoenzyme composition of the neocortex and striatum in primates using quantitative Western blotting and isoenzyme analysis of total homogenates and synaptosomal fractions. Analysis of isoform expression revealed that LDH in the synaptosomal fraction from both forebrain regions shifted towards a predominance of the heart-type, aerobic isoforms, LDHB, among haplorhines as compared to strepsirrhines (i.e., lorises and lemurs), while in total homogenate of neocortex and striatum there was no significant difference in the LDH isoenzyme composition between the primate suborders. The largest increase occurred in synapse-associated LDH-B expression in the neocortex, displaying an especially remarkable elevation in the ratio of LDH-B to LDH-A in humans. The phylogenetic variation in LDH-B to LDH-A ratio was correlated with species typical brain mass, but not encephalization quotient. A significant LDHB increase in the sub-neuronal fraction from haplorhine neocortex and striatum suggests a relatively higher rate of aerobic glycolysis that is linked to synaptosomal mitochondrial metabolism. Our results indicate that there is differential composition of LDH isoenzymes and metabolism in synaptic terminals that evolved in primates to meet increased energy requirements in association with brain enlargement. PMID:24686273

  12. Brain size does not impact shoaling dynamics in unfamiliar groups of guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Szorkovszky, Alexander; Romenskyy, Maksym; Perna, Andrea; Buechel, Severine D; Zeng, Hong-Li; Pelckmans, Kristiaan; Sumpter, David; Kolm, Niclas

    2018-02-01

    Collective movement is achieved when individuals adopt local rules to interact with their neighbours. How the brain processes information about neighbours' positions and movements may affect how individuals interact in groups. As brain size can determine such information processing it should impact collective animal movement. Here we investigate whether brain size affects the structure and organisation of newly forming fish shoals by quantifying the collective movement of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from large- and small-brained selection lines, with known differences in learning and memory. We used automated tracking software to determine shoaling behaviour of single-sex groups of eight or two fish and found no evidence that brain size affected the speed, group size, or spatial and directional organisation of fish shoals. Our results suggest that brain size does not play an important role in how fish interact with each other in these types of moving groups of unfamiliar individuals. Based on these results, we propose that shoal dynamics are likely to be governed by relatively basic cognitive processes that do not differ in these brain size selected lines of guppies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Smart Moves: Effects of Relative Brain Size on Establishment Success of Invasive Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiel, Joshua J.; Tingley, Reid; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Brain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success) was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility), or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability). PMID:21494328

  14. The value of size. Bioeconomic consequences of size-dependent pricing and fishing-induced evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Zimmermann, Fabian

    2011-01-01

    The influence of fishing on the dynamics of fish stocks is a core element in fisheries management. One of the most notable characteristics in this context is the sizestructure of a fish stock, composed by the individual and its body size. From a biological perspective, individual size is directly linked to most relevant life-history traits like growth, maturation or reproductive output, connecting it to evolutionary processes. In the context of fisheries, individual fish consti...

  15. Breaking Haller's rule: brain-body size isometry in a minute parasitic wasp.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woude, van der E.; Smid, H.M.; Chittka, L.; Huigens, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    Throughout the animal kingdom, Haller's rule holds that smaller individuals have larger brains relative to their body than larger-bodied individuals. Such brain-body size allometry is documented for all animals studied to date, ranging from small ants to the largest mammals. However, through

  16. The impact of brain size on pilot performance varies with aviation training and years of education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamson, Maheen M; Samarina, Viktoriya; Xiangyan, Xu; Huynh, Virginia; Kennedy, Quinn; Weiner, Michael; Yesavage, Jerome; Taylor, Joy L

    2010-05-01

    Previous studies have consistently reported age-related changes in cognitive abilities and brain structure. Previous studies also suggest compensatory roles for specialized training, skill, and years of education in the age-related decline of cognitive function. The Stanford/VA Aviation Study examines the influence of specialized training and skill level (expertise) on age-related changes in cognition and brain structure. This preliminary report examines the effect of aviation expertise, years of education, age, and brain size on flight simulator performance in pilots aged 45-68 years. Fifty-one pilots were studied with structural magnetic resonance imaging, flight simulator, and processing speed tasks. There were significant main effects of age (p brain size (p > .1) or education (p > .1), on flight simulator performance. However, even though age and brain size were correlated (r = -0.41), age differences in flight simulator performance were not explained by brain size. Both aviation expertise and education were involved in an interaction with brain size in predicting flight simulator performance (p < .05). These results point to the importance of examining measures of expertise and their interactions to assess age-related cognitive changes.

  17. Why Size Matters: Differences in Brain Volume Account for Apparent Sex Differences in Callosal Anatomy

    OpenAIRE

    Luders, Eileen; Toga, Arthur W.; Thompson, Paul M.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated a sexual dimorphism of the human corpus callosum. However, the question remains if sex differences in brain size, which typically is larger in men than in women, or biological sex per se account for the apparent sex differences in callosal morphology. Comparing callosal dimensions between men and women matched for overall brain size may clarify the true contribution of biological sex, as any observed group difference should indicate pure sex effects. We thus...

  18. The evolution of bacterial cell size: the internal diffusion-constraint hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Romain; Violle, Cyrille; Fromin, Nathalie; Jabbour-Zahab, Roula; Enquist, Brian J; Lenormand, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    Size is one of the most important biological traits influencing organismal ecology and evolution. However, we know little about the drivers of body size evolution in unicellulars. A long-term evolution experiment (Lenski's LTEE) in which Escherichia coli adapts to a simple glucose medium has shown that not only the growth rate and the fitness of the bacterium increase over time but also its cell size. This increase in size contradicts prominent 'external diffusion' theory (EDC) predicting that cell size should have evolved toward smaller cells. Among several scenarios, we propose and test an alternative 'internal diffusion-constraint' (IDC) hypothesis for cell size evolution. A change in cell volume affects metabolite concentrations in the cytoplasm. The IDC states that a higher metabolism can be achieved by a reduction in the molecular traffic time inside of the cell, by increasing its volume. To test this hypothesis, we studied a population from the LTEE. We show that bigger cells with greater growth and CO2 production rates and lower mass-to-volume ratio were selected over time in the LTEE. These results are consistent with the IDC hypothesis. This novel hypothesis offers a promising approach for understanding the evolutionary constraints on cell size.

  19. Ligand mediated evolution of size dependent magnetism in cobalt nanoclusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Michael J; Millstone, Jill E; Häkkinen, Hannu

    2018-02-07

    We use density functional theory to model the impact of a ligand shell on the magnetic properties of CoN (15 ≤ N ≤ 55) nanoclusters. We study three different ligand shells on each nanocluster core size, each known to have different electronic interactions with the surface: pure Cl ligand shells (X-type), pure PH3 ligand shells (L-type), and two component ligand shells with mixtures of Cl and PH3 ligands. The simulations show that the identity, arrangement, and total coverage of the ligand shell controls the distribution of local magnetic moments across the CoN core. On the surface of an unpassivated CoN nanocluster, the Co-Co coordination number (CN) is known to determine the local magnetic moments. Upon the introduction of a ligand, the Co-Co CN remains important, however the nature of the metal-ligand bond changes the extent to which increasing Co-Co CN quenches magnetism. Further, we identify an additional and significant long-range impact on local magnetic moments (LMM) from the PH3 ligand shells. Thus, we establish important design principles of magnetic nanoclusters, where ligand shell chemistry mediates the distribution of LMMs across a CoNLM nanocluster, allowing a route to rational design of specific magnetic properties.

  20. Scaling of brain metabolism with a fixed energy budget per neuron: implications for neuronal activity, plasticity and evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana Herculano-Houzel

    Full Text Available It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodents and primates (including humans. The estimated average glucose use per neuron does not correlate with neuronal density in any structure. This suggests that the energy budget of the whole brain per neuron is fixed across species and brain sizes, such that total glucose use by the brain as a whole, by the cerebral cortex and also by the cerebellum alone are linear functions of the number of neurons in the structures across the species (although the average glucose consumption per neuron is at least 10× higher in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum. These results indicate that the apparently remarkable use in humans of 20% of the whole body energy budget by a brain that represents only 2% of body mass is explained simply by its large number of neurons. Because synaptic activity is considered the major determinant of metabolic cost, a conserved energy budget per neuron has several profound implications for synaptic homeostasis and the regulation of firing rates, synaptic plasticity, brain imaging, pathologies, and for brain scaling in evolution.

  1. The evolution of body size and shape in the human career.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungers, William L; Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Richmond, Brian G

    2016-07-05

    Body size is a fundamental biological property of organisms, and documenting body size variation in hominin evolution is an important goal of palaeoanthropology. Estimating body mass appears deceptively simple but is laden with theoretical and pragmatic assumptions about best predictors and the most appropriate reference samples. Modern human training samples with known masses are arguably the 'best' for estimating size in early bipedal hominins such as the australopiths and all members of the genus Homo, but it is not clear if they are the most appropriate priors for reconstructing the size of the earliest putative hominins such as Orrorin and Ardipithecus The trajectory of body size evolution in the early part of the human career is reviewed here and found to be complex and nonlinear. Australopith body size varies enormously across both space and time. The pre-erectus early Homo fossil record from Africa is poor and dominated by relatively small-bodied individuals, implying that the emergence of the genus Homo is probably not linked to an increase in body size or unprecedented increases in size variation. Body size differences alone cannot explain the observed variation in hominin body shape, especially when examined in the context of small fossil hominins and pygmy modern humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. Drug-Resistant Brain Metastases: A Role for Pharmacology, Tumor Evolution, and Too-Late Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stricker, Thomas; Arteaga, Carlos L

    2015-11-01

    Two recent studies report deep molecular profiling of matched brain metastases and primary tumors. In both studies, somatic alterations in the brain metastases were frequently discordant with those in the primary tumor, suggesting divergent evolution at metastatic sites and raising questions about the use of biomarkers in patients in clinical trials with targeted therapies. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  3. Allometry and size control: what can studies of body size regulation teach us about the evolution of morphological scaling relationships?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirth, Christen K; Anthony Frankino, W; Shingleton, Alexander W

    2016-02-01

    The relationship between organ and body size, known as morphological allometry, has fascinated biologists for over a century because changes in allometry generate the vast diversity of organism shapes. Nevertheless, progress has been limited in understanding the genetic mechanisms that regulate allometries and how these mechanisms evolve. This is perhaps because allometry is measured at the population level, however adult organ and body size depends on genetic background and the developmental environment of individuals. Recent findings have enhanced our understanding of how insects regulate their organ and body sizes in response to environmental conditions, particularly nutritional availability. We argue that merging these developmental insights with a population genetics approach will provide a powerful system for understanding the evolution of allometry. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Genome size evolution in Ontario ferns (Polypodiidae): evolutionary correlations with cell size, spore size, and habitat type and an absence of genome downsizing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Thomas A; Bainard, Jillian D; Newmaster, Steven G

    2014-10-01

    Genome size is known to correlate with a number of traits in angiosperms, but less is known about the phenotypic correlates of genome size in ferns. We explored genome size variation in relation to a suite of morphological and ecological traits in ferns. Thirty-six fern taxa were collected from wild populations in Ontario, Canada. 2C DNA content was measured using flow cytometry. We tested for genome downsizing following polyploidy using a phylogenetic comparative analysis to explore the correlation between 1Cx DNA content and ploidy. There was no compelling evidence for the occurrence of widespread genome downsizing during the evolution of Ontario ferns. The relationship between genome size and 11 morphological and ecological traits was explored using a phylogenetic principal component regression analysis. Genome size was found to be significantly associated with cell size, spore size, spore type, and habitat type. These results are timely as past and recent studies have found conflicting support for the association between ploidy/genome size and spore size in fern polyploid complexes; this study represents the first comparative analysis of the trend across a broad taxonomic group of ferns.

  5. Size evolution of normal and compact galaxies in the EAGLE simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlong, M.; Bower, R. G.; Crain, R. A.; Schaye, J.; Theuns, T.; Trayford, J. W.; Qu, Y.; Schaller, M.; Berthet, M.; Helly, J. C.

    2017-02-01

    We present the evolution of galaxy sizes, from redshift 2 to 0, for actively star forming and passive galaxies in the cosmological hydrodynamical 1003 cMpc3 simulation of the EAGLE project. We find that the sizes increase with stellar mass, but that the relation weakens with increasing redshift. Separating galaxies by their star formation activity, we find that passive galaxies are typically smaller than active galaxies at a fixed stellar mass. These trends are consistent with those found in observations and the level of agreement between the predicted and observed size-mass relations is of the order of 0.1 dex for z < 1 and 0.2-0.3 dex from redshift 1 to 2. We use the simulation to compare the evolution of individual galaxies with that of the population as a whole. While the evolution of the size-stellar mass relation for active galaxies provides a good proxy for the evolution of individual galaxies, the evolution of individual passive galaxies is not well represented by the observed size-mass relation due to the evolving number density of passive galaxies. Observations of z ˜ 2 galaxies have revealed an abundance of massive red compact galaxies, which depletes below z ˜ 1. We find that a similar population forms naturally in the simulation. Comparing these galaxies with their z = 0 descendants, we find that all compact galaxies grow in size due to the high-redshift stars migrating outwards. Approximately 60 per cent of the compact galaxies increase in size further due to renewed star formation and/or mergers.

  6. Brain size predicts the success of mammal species introduced into novel environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sol, Daniel; Bacher, Sven; Reader, Simon M; Lefebvre, Louis

    2008-07-01

    Large brains, relative to body size, can confer advantages to individuals in the form of behavioral flexibility. Such enhanced behavioral flexibility is predicted to carry fitness benefits to individuals facing novel or altered environmental conditions, a theory known as the brain size-environmental change hypothesis. Here, we provide the first empirical link between brain size and survival in novel environments in mammals, the largest-brained animals on Earth. Using a global database documenting the outcome of more than 400 introduction events, we show that mammal species with larger brains, relative to their body mass, tend to be more successful than species with smaller brains at establishing themselves when introduced to novel environments, when both taxonomic and regional autocorrelations are accounted for. This finding is robust to the effect of other factors known to influence establishment success, including introduction effort and habitat generalism. Our results replicate similar findings in birds, increasing the generality of evidence for the idea that enlarged brains can provide a survival advantage in novel environments.

  7. The impact of brain size on pilot performance varies with aviation training and years of education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamson, Maheen M.; Samarina, Viktoriya; Xiangyan, Xu; Huynh, Virginia; Kennedy, Quinn; Weiner, Michael; Yesavage, Jerome; Taylor, Joy L.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies have consistently reported age-related changes in cognitive abilities and brain structure. Previous studies also suggest compensatory roles for specialized training, skill, and years of education in the age-related decline of cognitive function. The Stanford/VA Aviation Study examines the influence of specialized training and skill level (expertise) on age-related changes in cognition and brain structure. This preliminary report examines the effect of aviation expertise, years of education, age, and brain size on flight simulator performance in pilots aged 45–68 years. Fifty-one pilots were studied with structural magnetic resonance imaging, flight simulator, and processing speed tasks. There were significant main effects of age (p .1) or education (p > .1), on flight simulator performance. However, even though age and brain size were correlated (r = −0.41), age differences in flight simulator performance were not explained by brain size. Both aviation expertise and education were involved in an interaction with brain size in predicting flight simulator performance (p age-related cognitive changes. PMID:20193103

  8. Female brain size affects the assessment of male attractiveness during mate choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corral-López, Alberto; Bloch, Natasha I; Kotrschal, Alexander; van der Bijl, Wouter; Buechel, Severine D; Mank, Judith E; Kolm, Niclas

    2017-03-01

    Mate choice decisions are central in sexual selection theory aimed to understand how sexual traits evolve and their role in evolutionary diversification. We test the hypothesis that brain size and cognitive ability are important for accurate assessment of partner quality and that variation in brain size and cognitive ability underlies variation in mate choice. We compared sexual preference in guppy female lines selected for divergence in relative brain size, which we have previously shown to have substantial differences in cognitive ability. In a dichotomous choice test, large-brained and wild-type females showed strong preference for males with color traits that predict attractiveness in this species. In contrast, small-brained females showed no preference for males with these traits. In-depth analysis of optomotor response to color cues and gene expression of key opsins in the eye revealed that the observed differences were not due to differences in visual perception of color, indicating that differences in the ability to process indicators of attractiveness are responsible. We thus provide the first experimental support that individual variation in brain size affects mate choice decisions and conclude that differences in cognitive ability may be an important underlying mechanism behind variation in female mate choice.

  9. Female brain size affects the assessment of male attractiveness during mate choice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corral-López, Alberto; Bloch, Natasha I.; Kotrschal, Alexander; van der Bijl, Wouter; Buechel, Severine D.; Mank, Judith E.; Kolm, Niclas

    2017-01-01

    Mate choice decisions are central in sexual selection theory aimed to understand how sexual traits evolve and their role in evolutionary diversification. We test the hypothesis that brain size and cognitive ability are important for accurate assessment of partner quality and that variation in brain size and cognitive ability underlies variation in mate choice. We compared sexual preference in guppy female lines selected for divergence in relative brain size, which we have previously shown to have substantial differences in cognitive ability. In a dichotomous choice test, large-brained and wild-type females showed strong preference for males with color traits that predict attractiveness in this species. In contrast, small-brained females showed no preference for males with these traits. In-depth analysis of optomotor response to color cues and gene expression of key opsins in the eye revealed that the observed differences were not due to differences in visual perception of color, indicating that differences in the ability to process indicators of attractiveness are responsible. We thus provide the first experimental support that individual variation in brain size affects mate choice decisions and conclude that differences in cognitive ability may be an important underlying mechanism behind variation in female mate choice. PMID:28345039

  10. A comparative study on the evolution of reversed size dimorphism in monogamous waders

    OpenAIRE

    Figuerola, Jordi

    1999-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in size is common in birds. Males are usually larger than females, although in some taxa reversed size dimorphism (RSD) predominates. Whilst direct dimorphism is attributed to sexual selection in males giving greater reproductive access to females, the evolutionary causes of RSD are still unclear. Four different hypotheses could explain the evolution of RSD in monogamous birds: (1) The ‘energy storing’ hypothesis suggests that larger females could accumulate more reserves at...

  11. Temporal and spatial evolution of brain network topology during the first two years of life.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Gao

    Full Text Available The mature brain features high wiring efficiency for information transfer. However, the emerging process of such an efficient topology remains elusive. With resting state functional MRI and a large cohort of normal pediatric subjects (n = 147 imaged during a critical time period of brain development, 3 wk- to 2 yr-old, the temporal and spatial evolution of brain network topology is revealed. The brain possesses the small world topology immediately after birth, followed by a remarkable improvement in whole brain wiring efficiency in 1 yr olds and becomes more stable in 2 yr olds. Regional developments of brain wiring efficiency and the evolution of functional hubs suggest differential development trend for primary and higher order cognitive functions during the first two years of life. Simulations of random errors and targeted attacks reveal an age-dependent improvement of resilience. The lower resilience to targeted attack observed in 3 wk old group is likely due to the fact that there are fewer well-established long-distance functional connections at this age whose elimination might have more profound implications in the overall efficiency of information transfer. Overall, our results offer new insights into the temporal and spatial evolution of brain topology during early brain development.

  12. Individual differences in the dominance of interhemispheric connections predict cognitive ability beyond sex and brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Kenia; Janssen, Joost; Pineda-Pardo, José Ángel; Carmona, Susanna; Román, Francisco Javier; Alemán-Gómez, Yasser; Garcia-Garcia, David; Escorial, Sergio; Quiroga, María Ángeles; Santarnecchi, Emiliano; Navas-Sánchez, Francisco Javier; Desco, Manuel; Arango, Celso; Colom, Roberto

    2017-07-15

    Global structural brain connectivity has been reported to be sex-dependent with women having increased interhemispheric connectivity (InterHc) and men having greater intrahemispheric connectivity (IntraHc). However, (a) smaller brains show greater InterHc, (b) larger brains show greater IntraHc, and (c) women have, on average, smaller brains than men. Therefore, sex differences in brain size may modulate sex differences in global brain connectivity. At the behavioural level, sex-dependent differences in connectivity are thought to contribute to men-women differences in spatial and verbal abilities. But this has never been tested at the individual level. The current study assessed whether individual differences in global structural connectome measures (InterHc, IntraHc and the ratio of InterHc relative to IntraHc) predict spatial and verbal ability while accounting for the effect of sex and brain size. The sample included forty men and forty women, who did neither differ in age nor in verbal and spatial latent components defined by a broad battery of tests and tasks. High-resolution T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted images were obtained for computing brain size and reconstructing the structural connectome. Results showed that men had higher IntraHc than women, while women had an increased ratio InterHc/IntraHc. However, these sex differences were modulated by brain size. Increased InterHc relative to IntraHc predicted higher spatial and verbal ability irrespective of sex and brain size. The positive correlations between the ratio InterHc/IntraHc and the spatial and verbal abilities were confirmed in 1000 random samples generated by bootstrapping. Therefore, sex differences in global structural connectome connectivity were modulated by brain size and did not underlie sex differences in verbal and spatial abilities. Rather, the level of dominance of InterHc over IntraHc may be associated with individual differences in verbal and spatial abilities in both men and

  13. Exploring Diversification and Genome Size Evolution in Extant Gymnosperms through Phylogenetic Synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gordon Burleigh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Gymnosperms, comprising cycads, Ginkgo, Gnetales, and conifers, represent one of the major groups of extant seed plants. Yet compared to angiosperms, little is known about the patterns of diversification and genome evolution in gymnosperms. We assembled a phylogenetic supermatrix containing over 4.5 million nucleotides from 739 gymnosperm taxa. Although 93.6% of the cells in the supermatrix are empty, the data reveal many strongly supported nodes that are generally consistent with previous phylogenetic analyses, including weak support for Gnetales sister to Pinaceae. A lineage through time plot suggests elevated rates of diversification within the last 100 million years, and there is evidence of shifts in diversification rates in several clades within cycads and conifers. A likelihood-based analysis of the evolution of genome size in 165 gymnosperms finds evidence for heterogeneous rates of genome size evolution due to an elevated rate in Pinus.

  14. A century of shocks : The evolution of the German city size distribution 1925-1999

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosker, Maarten; Brakman, Steven; Garretsen, Harry; Schramm, Marc

    This paper uses empirical evidence on the evolution and structure of the West-German city size distribution to assess the relevance of three different theories of urban growth. The West-German case is of particular interest as Germany's urban system has been subject to some of history's largest

  15. Consolidation of nanometer-sized aluminum single crystals: Microstructure and defects evolutions

    KAUST Repository

    Afify, N. D.

    2014-04-01

    Deriving bulk materials with ultra-high mechanical strength from nanometer-sized single metalic crystals depends on the consolidation procedure. We present an accurate molecular dynamics study to quantify microstructure responses to consolidation. Aluminum single crystals with an average size up to 10.7 nm were hydrostatically compressed at temperatures up to 900 K and pressures up to 5 GPa. The consolidated material developed an average grain size that grew exponentially with the consolidation temperature, with a growth rate dependent on the starting average grain size and the consolidation pressure. The evolution of the microstructure was accompanied by a significant reduction in the concentration of defects. The ratio of vacancies to dislocation cores decreased with the average grain size and then increased after reaching a critical average grain size. The deformation mechanisms of poly-crystalline metals can be better understood in the light of the current findings. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of Isometric Brain-Body Size Scaling on the Complexity of Monoaminergic Neurons in a Minute Parasitic Wasp

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woude, van der Emma; Smid, Hans M.

    2017-01-01

    Trichogramma evanescens parasitic wasps show large phenotypic plasticity in brain and body size, resulting in a 5-fold difference in brain volume among genetically identical sister wasps. Brain volume scales linearly with body volume in these wasps. This isometric brain scaling forms an exception to

  17. Rearing-group size determines social competence and brain structure in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Stefan; Bessert-Nettelbeck, Mathilde; Kotrschal, Alexander; Taborsky, Barbara

    2015-07-01

    Social animals can greatly benefit from well-developed social skills. Because the frequency and diversity of social interactions often increase with the size of social groups, the benefits of advanced social skills can be expected to increase with group size. Variation in social skills often arises during ontogeny, depending on early social experience. Whether variation of social-group sizes affects development of social skills and related changes in brain structures remains unexplored. We investigated whether, in a cooperatively breeding cichlid, early group size (1) shapes social behavior and social skills and (2) induces lasting plastic changes in gross brain structures and (3) whether the development of social skills is confined to a sensitive ontogenetic period. Rearing-group size and the time juveniles spent in these groups interactively influenced the development of social skills and the relative sizes of four main brain regions. We did not detect a sensitive developmental period for the shaping of social behavior within the 2-month experience phase. Instead, our results suggest continuous plastic behavioral changes over time. We discuss how developmental effects on social behavior and brain architecture may adaptively tune phenotypes to their current or future environments.

  18. Toward the Language-Ready Brain: Biological Evolution and Primate Comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2017-02-01

    The approach to language evolution suggested here focuses on three questions: How did the human brain evolve so that humans can develop, use, and acquire languages? How can the evolutionary quest be informed by studying brain, behavior, and social interaction in monkeys, apes, and humans? How can computational modeling advance these studies? I hypothesize that the brain is language ready in that the earliest humans had protolanguages but not languages (i.e., communication systems endowed with rich and open-ended lexicons and grammars supporting a compositional semantics), and that it took cultural evolution to yield societies (a cultural constructed niche) in which language-ready brains could become language-using brains. The mirror system hypothesis is a well-developed example of this approach, but I offer it here not as a closed theory but as an evolving framework for the development and analysis of conflicting subhypotheses in the hope of their eventual integration. I also stress that computational modeling helps us understand the evolving role of mirror neurons, not in and of themselves, but only in their interaction with systems "beyond the mirror." Because a theory of evolution needs a clear characterization of what it is that evolved, I also outline ideas for research in neurolinguistics to complement studies of the evolution of the language-ready brain. A clear challenge is to go beyond models of speech comprehension to include sign language and models of production, and to link language to visuomotor interaction with the physical and social world.

  19. Art and brain: insights from neuropsychology, biology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, Dahlia W

    2010-02-01

    Art is a uniquely human activity associated fundamentally with symbolic and abstract cognition. Its practice in human societies throughout the world, coupled with seeming non-functionality, has led to three major brain theories of art. (1) The localized brain regions and pathways theory links art to multiple neural regions. (2) The display of art and its aesthetics theory is tied to the biological motivation of courtship signals and mate selection strategies in animals. (3) The evolutionary theory links the symbolic nature of art to critical pivotal brain changes in Homo sapiens supporting increased development of language and hierarchical social grouping. Collectively, these theories point to art as a multi-process cognition dependent on diverse brain regions and on redundancy in art-related functional representation.

  20. A Mind of Three Minds: Evolution of the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Paul D.

    1978-01-01

    The author examines the evolutionary and neural roots of a triune intelligence comprised of a primal mind, an emotional mind, and a rational mind. A simple brain model and some definitions of unfamiliar behavioral terms are included. (Author/MA)

  1. The exon junction complex component Magoh controls brain size by regulating neural stem cell division

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Debra L.; Watkins-Chow, Dawn E.; Schreck, Karisa C.; Pierfelice, Tarran J.; Larson, Denise M.; Burnetti, Anthony J.; Liaw, Hung-Jiun; Myung, Kyungjae; Walsh, Christopher A.; Gaiano, Nicholas; Pavan, William J.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Brain structure and size requires precise division of neural stem cells (NSCs), which self-renew and generate intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) and neurons. The factors that regulate NSCs remain poorly understood, as do mechanistic explanations of how aberrant NSC division causes reduced brain size as seen in microcephaly. Here we demonstrate that Magoh, a component of the exon junction complex (EJC) that binds RNA, controls mouse cerebral cortical size by regulating NSC division. Magoh haploinsufficiency causes microcephaly due to INP depletion and neuronal apoptosis. Defective mitosis underlies these phenotypes as depletion of EJC components disrupts mitotic spindle orientation and integrity, chromosome number, and genomic stability. In utero rescue experiments revealed that a key function of Magoh is to control levels of the microcephaly-associated protein, LIS1, during neurogenesis. This study uncovers new requirements for the EJC in brain development, NSC maintenance, and mitosis, thus implicating this complex in the pathogenesis of microcephaly. PMID:20364144

  2. Our Brains are Wired for Morality: Evolution, Development, and Neuroscience

    OpenAIRE

    Decety, Jean; Cowell, Jason M.

    2016-01-01

    Psychological and neuroscience research both tell us that morality, our mental ability to tell right from wrong in our behaviors and the behaviors of others, is a product of evolution. Morality has been passed on through the course of evolution because it helps us to live in large social groups by enhancing our ability to get along and interact with others. “Building blocks” of morality, such as sensing fairness, experiencing empathy, and judging others’ harmful and helpful actions, can be ob...

  3. The mode and tempo of genome size evolution in the subgenus Sophophora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjelmen, Carl E; Johnston, J Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Genome size varies widely across organisms, with no apparent tie to organismal complexity. While genome size is inherited, there is no established evolutionary model for this trait. Hypotheses have been postulated for the observed variation in genome sizes across species, most notably the effective population size hypothesis, the mutational equilibrium hypothesis, and the adaptive hypothesis. While much data has been collected on genome size, the above hypotheses have largely ignored impacts from phylogenetic relationships. In order to test these competing hypotheses, genome sizes of 87 Sophophora species were analyzed in a comparative phylogenetic approach using Pagel's parameters of evolution, Blomberg's K, Abouheif's Cmean and Moran's I. In addition to testing the mode and rate of genome size evolution in Sophophora species, the effect of number of taxa on detection of phylogenetic signal was analyzed for each of these comparative phylogenetic methods. Sophophora genome size was found to be dependent on the phylogeny, indicating that evolutionary time was important for predicting the variation among species. Genome size was found to evolve gradually on branches of the tree, with a rapid burst of change early in the phylogeny. These results suggest that Sophophora genome size has experienced gradual changes, which support the largely theoretical mutational equilibrium hypothesis. While some methods (Abouheif's Cmean and Moran's I) were found to be affected by increasing taxa numbers, more commonly used methods (λ and Blomberg's K) were found to have increasing reliability with increasing taxa number, with significantly more support with fifteen or more taxa. Our results suggest that these comparative phylogenetic methods, with adequate taxon sampling, can be a powerful way to uncover the enigma that is genome size variation through incorporation of phylogenetic relationships.

  4. Phylogeny, historical biogeography and body size evolution in Pacific Island Crocodile skinks Tribolonotus (Squamata; Scincidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Christopher C; Rittmeyer, Eric N; Richards, Stephen J; Zug, George R

    2010-10-01

    Competition heavily influences the structure of island communities, particularly in species-rich areas. If ecologically similar lineages come into contact following dispersal, selection may favor rapid evolutionary change; if constraints prevent such change, lineage extinction may result. One mechanism for relieving competition among newly sympatric species is the evolution of body size differences, such as through character displacement or size assortment. The Crocodile skinks of the genus Tribolonotus exhibit a threefold variation in body size, and several species occur in sympatry. We use 2252 bp of DNA sequence data spanning two mitochondrial (cyt b and ND2) and three nuclear (C-mos, Rhodopsin and Phosducin) gene regions to reconstruct the phylogeny of Tribolonotus, use it to examine the biogeography of the genus, and test for size assortment or character displacement. We find evidence that Tribolonotus originated on either Greater Bougainville or in New Guinea, and subsequently colonized surrounding islands via multiple colonization events. Our ancestral state reconstructions support multiple instances of parallel and independent change in body size within Tribolonotus. Additionally, we find no evidence for size assortment and conflicting evidence for character displacement, which we argue suggests that character displacement, combined with ecological differences between New Guinean species (T. gracilis and T. novaeguineae), best explains the evolution of body size in the genus Tribolonotus. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Evolution and maintenance of sexual size dimorphism: Aligning phylogenetic and experimental evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matjaz eKuntner

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Integrating the insights derived from both phylogenetic and experimental approaches offers a more complete understanding of evolutionary patterns and processes, yet it is rarely a feature of investigations of the evolutionary significance of trait variation. We combine these approaches to reinterpret the patterns and processes in the evolution of female biased sexual size dimorphism in Nephilidae, a spider lineage characterized by the most extreme sexual size dimorphism among terrestrial animals. We use a molecular phylogeny to reconstruct the size evolution for each sex and reveal a case of sexually dimorphic gigantism: both sexes steadily outgrow their ancestral sizes, but the female and male slopes differ, and hence sexual size dimorphism steadily increases. A review of the experimental evidence reveals a predominant net selection for large size in both sexes, consistent with the phylogenetic pattern for females but not for males. Thus, while sexual size dimorphism in spiders most likely originates and is maintained by fecundity selection on females, it is unclear what selection pressures prevent males from becoming as large as females. This integrated approach highlights the dangers of inferring evolutionary significance from experimental studies that isolate the effects of single selection pressures.

  6. Implications of Grain Size Evolution for the Effective Stress Exponent in Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behn, M. D.; Goldsby, D. L.; Hirth, G.

    2016-12-01

    Viscous flow in ice has typically been described by the Glen law—a non-Newtonian, power-law relationship between stress and strain-rate with a stress exponent n 3. The Glen law is attributed to grain-size-insensitive dislocation creep; however, laboratory and field studies demonstrate that deformation in ice is strongly dependent on grain size. This has led to the hypothesis that at sufficiently low stresses, ice flow is controlled by grain boundary sliding [1], which explicitly incorporates the grain-size dependence of ice rheology. Yet, neither dislocation creep (n 4), nor grain boundary sliding (n 1.8), have stress exponents that match the value of n 3 for the Glen law. Thus, although the Glen law provides an approximate description of ice flow in glaciers and ice sheets, its functional form cannot be explained by a single deformation mechanism. Here we seek to understand the origin of the n 3 dependence of the Glen law through a new model for grain-size evolution in ice. In our model, grain size evolves in response to the balance between dynamic recrystallization and grain growth. To simulate these processes we adapt the "wattmeter" [2], originally developed within the solid-Earth community to quantify grain size in crustal and mantle rocks. The wattmeter posits that grain size is controlled by a balance between the mechanical work required for grain growth and dynamic grain size reduction. The evolution of grain size in turn controls the relative contributions of dislocation creep and grain boundary sliding, and thus the effective stress exponent for ice flow. Using this approach, we first benchmark our grain size evolution model on experimental data and then calculate grain size in two end-member scenarios: (1) as a function of depth within an ice-sheet, and (2) across an ice-stream margin. We show that the calculated grain sizes match ice core observations for the interior of ice sheets. Furthermore, owing to the influence of grain size on strain rate, the

  7. Stature, body mass, and brain size: a two-million-year odyssey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Andrew

    2013-12-01

    Physical size has been critical in the evolutionary success of the genus Homo over the past 2.4 million-years. An acceleration in the expansion of savannah grasslands in Africa from 1.6Ma to 1.2Ma witnessed concomitant increases in physical stature (150-170cm), weight (50-70kg), and brain size (750-900cm(3)). With the onset of 100,000year Middle Pleistocene glacial cycles ("ice ages") some 780,000years ago, large-bodied Homo groups had reached modern size and had successfully dispersed from equatorial Africa, Central, and Southeast Asia to high-latitude localities in Atlantic Europe and North East Asia. While there is support for incursions of multiple Homo lineages to West Asia and Continental Europe at this time, data does not favour a persistence of Homo erectus beyond ∼400,000years ago in Africa, west and Central Asia, and Europe. Novel Middle Pleistocene Homo forms (780,000-400,000years) may not have been substantially taller (150-170cm) than earlier Homo (1.6Ma-800,000years), yet brain size exceeded 1000cm(3) and body mass approached 80kg in some males. Later Pleistocene Homo (400,000-138,000years) were 'massive' in their height (160-190cm) and mass (70-90kg) and consistently exceed recent humans. Relative brain size exceeds earlier Homo, yet is substantially lower than in final glacial H. sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. A final leap in absolute and relative brain size in Homo (300,000-138,000years) occurred independent of any observed increase in body mass and implies a different selective mediator to that operating on brain size increases observed in earlier Homo. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Genome Size Diversity and Its Impact on the Evolution of Land Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Pellicer

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Genome size is a biodiversity trait that shows staggering diversity across eukaryotes, varying over 64,000-fold. Of all major taxonomic groups, land plants stand out due to their staggering genome size diversity, ranging ca. 2400-fold. As our understanding of the implications and significance of this remarkable genome size diversity in land plants grows, it is becoming increasingly evident that this trait plays not only an important role in shaping the evolution of plant genomes, but also in influencing plant community assemblages at the ecosystem level. Recent advances and improvements in novel sequencing technologies, as well as analytical tools, make it possible to gain critical insights into the genomic and epigenetic mechanisms underpinning genome size changes. In this review we provide an overview of our current understanding of genome size diversity across the different land plant groups, its implications on the biology of the genome and what future directions need to be addressed to fill key knowledge gaps.

  9. Genome size evolution at the speciation level: the cryptic species complex Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelzer, Claus-Peter; Riss, Simone; Stadler, Peter

    2011-04-07

    Studies on genome size variation in animals are rarely done at lower taxonomic levels, e.g., slightly above/below the species level. Yet, such variation might provide important clues on the tempo and mode of genome size evolution. In this study we used the flow-cytometry method to study the evolution of genome size in the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis, a cryptic species complex consisting of at least 14 closely related species. We found an unexpectedly high variation in this species complex, with genome sizes ranging approximately seven-fold (haploid '1C' genome sizes: 0.056-0.416 pg). Most of this variation (67%) could be ascribed to the major clades of the species complex, i.e. clades that are well separated according to most species definitions. However, we also found substantial variation (32%) at lower taxonomic levels--within and among genealogical species--and, interestingly, among species pairs that are not completely reproductively isolated. In one genealogical species, called B. 'Austria', we found greatly enlarged genome sizes that could roughly be approximated as multiples of the genomes of its closest relatives, which suggests that whole-genome duplications have occurred early during separation of this lineage. Overall, genome size was significantly correlated to egg size and body size, even though the latter became non-significant after controlling for phylogenetic non-independence. Our study suggests that substantial genome size variation can build up early during speciation, potentially even among isolated populations. An alternative, but not mutually exclusive interpretation might be that reproductive isolation tends to build up unusually slow in this species complex.

  10. Genome size evolution at the speciation level: The cryptic species complex Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riss Simone

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies on genome size variation in animals are rarely done at lower taxonomic levels, e.g., slightly above/below the species level. Yet, such variation might provide important clues on the tempo and mode of genome size evolution. In this study we used the flow-cytometry method to study the evolution of genome size in the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis, a cryptic species complex consisting of at least 14 closely related species. Results We found an unexpectedly high variation in this species complex, with genome sizes ranging approximately seven-fold (haploid '1C' genome sizes: 0.056-0.416 pg. Most of this variation (67% could be ascribed to the major clades of the species complex, i.e. clades that are well separated according to most species definitions. However, we also found substantial variation (32% at lower taxonomic levels - within and among genealogical species - and, interestingly, among species pairs that are not completely reproductively isolated. In one genealogical species, called B. 'Austria', we found greatly enlarged genome sizes that could roughly be approximated as multiples of the genomes of its closest relatives, which suggests that whole-genome duplications have occurred early during separation of this lineage. Overall, genome size was significantly correlated to egg size and body size, even though the latter became non-significant after controlling for phylogenetic non-independence. Conclusions Our study suggests that substantial genome size variation can build up early during speciation, potentially even among isolated populations. An alternative, but not mutually exclusive interpretation might be that reproductive isolation tends to build up unusually slow in this species complex.

  11. Comparative Methylome Analyses Identify Epigenetic Regulatory Loci of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendizabal, Isabel; Shi, Lei; Keller, Thomas E; Konopka, Genevieve; Preuss, Todd M; Hsieh, Tzung-Fu; Hu, Enzhi; Zhang, Zhe; Su, Bing; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-11-01

    How do epigenetic modifications change across species and how do these modifications affect evolution? These are fundamental questions at the forefront of our evolutionary epigenomic understanding. Our previous work investigated human and chimpanzee brain methylomes, but it was limited by the lack of outgroup data which is critical for comparative (epi)genomic studies. Here, we compared whole genome DNA methylation maps from brains of humans, chimpanzees and also rhesus macaques (outgroup) to elucidate DNA methylation changes during human brain evolution. Moreover, we validated that our approach is highly robust by further examining 38 human-specific DMRs using targeted deep genomic and bisulfite sequencing in an independent panel of 37 individuals from five primate species. Our unbiased genome-scan identified human brain differentially methylated regions (DMRs), irrespective of their associations with annotated genes. Remarkably, over half of the newly identified DMRs locate in intergenic regions or gene bodies. Nevertheless, their regulatory potential is on par with those of promoter DMRs. An intriguing observation is that DMRs are enriched in active chromatin loops, suggesting human-specific evolutionary remodeling at a higher-order chromatin structure. These findings indicate that there is substantial reprogramming of epigenomic landscapes during human brain evolution involving noncoding regions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  12. Head size and intelligence, learning, nutritional status and brain development. Head, IQ, learning, nutrition and brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanovic, Daniza M; Leiva, Boris P; Pérez, Hernán T; Olivares, Manuel G; Díaz, Nora S; Urrutia, María Soledad C; Almagià, Atilio F; Toro, Triana D; Miller, Patricio T; Bosch, Enrique O; Larraín, Cristián G

    2004-01-01

    This multifactorial study investigates the interrelationships between head circumference (HC) and intellectual quotient (IQ), learning, nutritional status and brain development in Chilean school-age children graduating from high school, of both sexes and with high and low IQ and socio-economic strata (SES). The sample consisted of 96 right-handed healthy students (mean age 18.0 +/- 0.9 years) born at term. HC was measured both in the children and their parents and was expressed as Z-score (Z-HC). In children, IQ was determined by means of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults-Revised (WAIS-R), scholastic achievement (SA) through the standard Spanish language and mathematics tests and the academic aptitude test (AAT) score, nutritional status was assessed through anthropometric indicators, brain development was determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and SES applying the Graffar modified method. Results showed that microcephalic children (Z-HC 2S.D.). Multiple regression analysis revealed that BV, parental Z-HC and BL were the independent variables with the greatest explanatory power for child's Z-HC variance (r(2) = 0.727). These findings confirm the hypothesis formulated in this study: (1) independently of age, sex and SES, brain parameters, parental HC and prenatal nutritional indicators are the most important independent variables that determine HC and (2) microcephalic children present multiple disorders not only related to BV but also to IQ, SA and nutritional background.

  13. Brain Evolution: The Origins of Social and Cognitive Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Paul

    1983-01-01

    Argues that common anatomical and functional characteristics exist among the brains of reptiles, mammals, and man--the most significant commonality for educators being social behavior. Illustrates inherited behavior, including behavior observed in classroom and believed to be learned by placing it in context of a model "triune"…

  14. Can Foraging Ecology Drive the Evolution of Body Size in a Diving Endotherm?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Timothée R.; Lescroël, Amélie; Cherel, Yves; Kato, Akiko; Bost, Charles-André

    2013-01-01

    Within a single animal species, different morphs can allow for differential exploitation of foraging niches between populations, while sexual size dimorphism can provide each sex with access to different resources. Despite being potentially important agents of evolution, resource polymorphisms, and the way they operate in wild populations, remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine how trophic factors can select for different body sizes between populations and sexes in a diving endotherm. Dive depth and duration are positively related to body size in diving birds and mammals, a relationship explained by a lower mass-specific metabolic rate and greater oxygen stores in larger individuals. Based on this allometry, we predict that selection for exploiting resources situated at different depths can drive the evolution of body size in species of diving endotherms at the population and sexual level. To test this prediction, we studied the foraging ecology of Blue-eyed Shags, a group of cormorants with male-biased sexual size dimorphism from across the Southern Ocean. We found that mean body mass and relative difference in body mass between sexes varied by up to 77% and 107% between neighbouring colonies, respectively. Birds from colonies with larger individuals dived deeper than birds from colonies with smaller individuals, when accounting for sex. In parallel, males dived further offshore and deeper than females and the sexual difference in dive depth reflected the level of sexual size dimorphism at each colony. We argue that body size in this group of birds is under intense selection for diving to depths of profitable benthic prey patches and that, locally, sexual niche divergence selection can exaggerate the sexual size dimorphism of Blue-eyed Shags initially set up by sexual selection. Our findings suggest that trophic resources can select for important geographic micro-variability in body size between populations and sexes. PMID:23409169

  15. Can foraging ecology drive the evolution of body size in a diving endotherm?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothée R Cook

    Full Text Available Within a single animal species, different morphs can allow for differential exploitation of foraging niches between populations, while sexual size dimorphism can provide each sex with access to different resources. Despite being potentially important agents of evolution, resource polymorphisms, and the way they operate in wild populations, remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine how trophic factors can select for different body sizes between populations and sexes in a diving endotherm. Dive depth and duration are positively related to body size in diving birds and mammals, a relationship explained by a lower mass-specific metabolic rate and greater oxygen stores in larger individuals. Based on this allometry, we predict that selection for exploiting resources situated at different depths can drive the evolution of body size in species of diving endotherms at the population and sexual level. To test this prediction, we studied the foraging ecology of Blue-eyed Shags, a group of cormorants with male-biased sexual size dimorphism from across the Southern Ocean. We found that mean body mass and relative difference in body mass between sexes varied by up to 77% and 107% between neighbouring colonies, respectively. Birds from colonies with larger individuals dived deeper than birds from colonies with smaller individuals, when accounting for sex. In parallel, males dived further offshore and deeper than females and the sexual difference in dive depth reflected the level of sexual size dimorphism at each colony. We argue that body size in this group of birds is under intense selection for diving to depths of profitable benthic prey patches and that, locally, sexual niche divergence selection can exaggerate the sexual size dimorphism of Blue-eyed Shags initially set up by sexual selection. Our findings suggest that trophic resources can select for important geographic micro-variability in body size between populations and sexes.

  16. Brief Report: Abnormal Association between the Thalamus and Brain Size in Asperger's Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardan, Antonio Y.; Girgis, Ragy R.; Adams, Jason; Gilbert, Andrew R.; Melhem, Nadine M.; Keshavan, Matcheri S.; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between thalamic volume and brain size in individuals with Asperger's disorder (ASP). Volumetric measurements of the thalamus were performed on MRI scans obtained from 12 individuals with ASP (age range: 10-35 years) and 12 healthy controls (age range: 9-33 years). A positive correlation…

  17. ALFY-Controlled DVL3 Autophagy Regulates Wnt Signaling, Determining Human Brain Size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadir, Rotem; Harel, Tamar; Markus, Barak; Perez, Yonatan; Bakhrat, Anna; Cohen, Idan; Volodarsky, Michael; Feintsein-Linial, Miora; Chervinski, Elana; Zlotogora, Joel; Sivan, Sara; Birnbaum, Ramon Y; Abdu, Uri; Shalev, Stavit; Birk, Ohad S

    2016-03-01

    Primary microcephaly is a congenital neurodevelopmental disorder of reduced head circumference and brain volume, with fewer neurons in the cortex of the developing brain due to premature transition between symmetrical and asymmetrical cellular division of the neuronal stem cell layer during neurogenesis. We now show through linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing, that a dominant mutation in ALFY, encoding an autophagy scaffold protein, causes human primary microcephaly. We demonstrate the dominant effect of the mutation in drosophila: transgenic flies harboring the human mutant allele display small brain volume, recapitulating the disease phenotype. Moreover, eye-specific expression of human mutant ALFY causes rough eye phenotype. In molecular terms, we demonstrate that normally ALFY attenuates the canonical Wnt signaling pathway via autophagy-dependent removal specifically of aggregates of DVL3 and not of Dvl1 or Dvl2. Thus, autophagic attenuation of Wnt signaling through removal of Dvl3 aggregates by ALFY acts in determining human brain size.

  18. ALFY-Controlled DVL3 Autophagy Regulates Wnt Signaling, Determining Human Brain Size.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rotem Kadir

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Primary microcephaly is a congenital neurodevelopmental disorder of reduced head circumference and brain volume, with fewer neurons in the cortex of the developing brain due to premature transition between symmetrical and asymmetrical cellular division of the neuronal stem cell layer during neurogenesis. We now show through linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing, that a dominant mutation in ALFY, encoding an autophagy scaffold protein, causes human primary microcephaly. We demonstrate the dominant effect of the mutation in drosophila: transgenic flies harboring the human mutant allele display small brain volume, recapitulating the disease phenotype. Moreover, eye-specific expression of human mutant ALFY causes rough eye phenotype. In molecular terms, we demonstrate that normally ALFY attenuates the canonical Wnt signaling pathway via autophagy-dependent removal specifically of aggregates of DVL3 and not of Dvl1 or Dvl2. Thus, autophagic attenuation of Wnt signaling through removal of Dvl3 aggregates by ALFY acts in determining human brain size.

  19. Influence of high deformation rate, brain region, transverse compression, and specimen size on rat brain shear stress morphology and magnitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haslach, Henry W; Gipple, Jenna M; Leahy, Lauren N

    2017-04-01

    An external mechanical insult to the brain, such as a blast, may create internal stress and deformation waves, which have shear and longitudinal components that can induce combined shear and compression of the brain tissue. To isolate the consequences of such interactions for the shear stress and to investigate the role of the extracellular fluid in the mechanical response, translational shear stretch at 10/s, 60/s, and 100/s translational shear rates under either 0% or 33% fixed transverse compression is applied without preconditioning to rat brain specimens. The specimens from the cerebrum, the cerebellum grey matter, and the brainstem white matter are nearly the full length of their respective regions. The translational shear stress response to translational shear deformation is characterized by the effect that each of four factors, high deformation rate, brain region, transverse compression, and specimen size, have on the shear stress magnitude averaged over ten specimens for each combination of factors. Increasing the deformation rate increases the magnitude of the shear stress at a given translational shear stretch, and as tested by ANOVAs so does applying transverse fixed compression of 33% of the thickness. The stress magnitude differs by the region that is the specimen source: cerebrum, cerebellum or brainstem. The magnitude of the shear stress response at a given deformation rate and stretch depends on the specimen length, called a specimen size effect. Surprisingly, under no compression a shorter length specimen requires more shear stress, but under 33% compression a shorter length specimen requires less shear stress, to meet a required shear deformation rate. The shear specimen size effect calls into question the applicability of the classical shear stress definition to hydrated soft biological tissue. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The evolution of vertebrate eye size across an environmental gradient: phenotype does not predict genotype in a Trinidadian killifish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beston, Shannon M; Wostl, Elijah; Walsh, Matthew R

    2017-08-01

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial variation in eye size. Eye size correlates positively with visual capacity and behaviors that enhance fitness, such as predator avoidance. This foreshadows a connection between predation and eye size evolution. Yet, the conditions that favor evolutionary shifts in eye size, besides the well-known role for light availability, are unclear. We tested the influence of predation on the evolution of eye size in Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii. Rivulus are located across a series of communities where they coexist with visually oriented piscivores ("high predation" sites), and no predators ("Rivulus-only" sites). Wild-caught Rivulus from high predation sites generally exhibited a smaller relative eye size than communities that lack predators. Yet, such differences were inconsistent across rivers. Second-generation common garden reared fish revealed repeatable decreases in eye size in Rivulus from high predation sites. We performed additional experiments that tested the importance of light and resources on eye size evolution. Sites that differ in light or resource availability did not differ in eye size. Our results argue that differences in predator-induced mortality underlie genetically-based shifts in vertebrate eye size. We discuss the drivers of eye size evolution in light of the nonparallel trends between the phenotypic and common garden results. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. WITNESSING THE DIFFERENTIAL EVOLUTION OF DISK GALAXIES IN LUMINOSITY AND SIZE VIA GRAVITATIONAL LENSING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bandara, Kaushala; Crampton, David; Peng, Chien; Simard, Luc [Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada)

    2013-11-01

    We take advantage of the magnification in size and flux of a galaxy provided by gravitational lensing to analyze the properties of 62 strongly lensed galaxies from the Sloan Lens ACS (SLACS) Survey. The sample of lensed galaxies spans a redshift range of 0.20 ≤ z ≤ 1.20 with a median redshift of z = 0.61. We use the lens modeling code LENSFIT to derive the luminosities, sizes, and Sérsic indices of the lensed galaxies. The measured properties of the lensed galaxies show a primarily compact, {sup d}isk{sup -}like population with the peaks of the size and Sérsic index distributions corresponding to ∼1.50 kpc and n ∼ 1, respectively. Comparison of the SLACS galaxies to a non-lensing, broadband imaging survey shows that a lensing survey allows us to probe a galaxy population that reaches ∼2 mag fainter. Our analysis allows us to compare the (z) = 0.61 disk galaxy sample (n ≤ 2.5) to an unprecedented local galaxy sample of ∼670, 000 SDSS galaxies at z ∼ 0.1; this analysis indicates that the evolution of the luminosity-size relation since z ∼ 1 may not be fully explained by a pure-size or pure-luminosity evolution but may instead require a combination of both. Our observations are also in agreement with recent numerical simulations of disk galaxies that show evidence of a mass-dependent evolution since z ∼ 1, where high-mass disk galaxies (M{sub *} > 10{sup 9} M{sub ☉}) evolve more in size and low-mass disk galaxies (M{sub *} ≤ 10{sup 9} M{sub ☉}) evolve more in luminosity.

  2. The effect of particle size distributions on the microstructural evolution during sintering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørk, Rasmus; Tikare, V.; Frandsen, Henrik Lund

    2013-01-01

    Microstructural evolution and sintering behavior of powder compacts composed of spherical particles with different particle size distributions (PSDs) were simulated using a kinetic Monte Carlo model of solid state sintering. Compacts of monosized particles, normal PSDs with fixed mean particle...... PSDs, but the final grain sizes were smaller. These behaviors are explained by the smallest grains in the broader PSDs being consumed very quickly by larger neighboring grains. The elimination of the small grains reduces both the total number of necks and the neck area between particles, which in turn...

  3. Brain size and brain/intracranial volume ratio in major mental illness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teale Peter

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This paper summarizes the findings of a long term study addressing the question of how several brain volume measure are related to three major mental illnesses in a Colorado subject group. It reports results obtained from a large N, collected and analyzed by the same laboratory over a multiyear period, with visually guided MRI segmentation being the primary initial analytic tool. Methods Intracerebral volume (ICV, total brain volume (TBV, ventricular volume (VV, ventricular/brain ratio (VBR, and TBV/ICV ratios were calculated from a total of 224 subject MRIs collected over a period of 13 years. Subject groups included controls (C, N = 89, and patients with schizophrenia (SZ, N = 58, bipolar disorder (BD, N = 51, and schizoaffective disorder (SAD, N = 26. Results ICV, TBV, and VV measures compared favorably with values obtained by other research groups, but in this study did not differ significantly between groups. TBV/ICV ratios were significantly decreased, and VBR increased, in the SZ and BD groups compared to the C group. The SAD group did not differ from C on any measure. Conclusions In this study TBV/ICV and VBR ratios separated SZ and BD patients from controls. Of interest however, SAD patients did not differ from controls on these measures. The findings suggest that the gross measure of TBV may not reliably differ in the major mental illnesses to a degree useful in diagnosis, likely due to the intrinsic variability of the measures in question; the differences in VBR appear more robust across studies. Differences in some of these findings compared to earlier reports from several laboratories finding significant differences between groups in VV and TBV may relate to phenomenological drift, differences in analytic techniques, and possibly the "file drawer problem".

  4. Whole brain CT perfusion in acute anterior circulation ischemia: coverage size matters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Emmer, B.J. [Erasmus Medical Centre, Department of Radiology, Postbus 2040, Rotterdam (Netherlands); Rijkee, M.; Walderveen, M.A.A. van [Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Radiology, Leiden (Netherlands); Niesten, J.M.; Velthuis, B.K. [University Medical Centre Utrecht, Department of Radiology, Utrecht (Netherlands); Wermer, M.J.H. [Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Neurology, Leiden (Netherlands)

    2014-12-15

    Our aim was to compare infarct core volume on whole brain CT perfusion (CTP) with several limited coverage sizes (i.e., 3, 4, 6, and 8 cm), as currently used in routine clinical practice. In total, 40 acute ischemic stroke patients with non-contrast CT (NCCT) and CTP imaging of anterior circulation ischemia were included. Imaging was performed using a 320-multislice CT. Average volumes of infarct core of all simulated partial coverage sizes were calculated. Infarct core volume of each partial brain coverage was compared with infarct core volume of whole brain coverage and expressed using a percentage. To determine the optimal starting position for each simulated CTP coverage, the percentage of infarct coverage was calculated for every possible starting position of the simulated partial coverage in relation to Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score in Acute Stroke Triage (ASPECTS 1) level. Whole brain CTP coverage further increased the percentage of infarct core volume depicted by 10 % as compared to the 8-cm coverage when the bottom slice was positioned at the ASPECTS 1 level. Optimization of the position of the region of interest (ROI) in 3 cm, 4 cm, and 8 cm improved the percentage of infarct depicted by 4 % for the 8-cm, 7 % for the 4-cm, and 13 % for the 3-cm coverage size. This study shows that whole brain CTP is the optimal coverage for CTP with a substantial improvement in accuracy in quantifying infarct core size. In addition, our results suggest that the optimal position of the ROI in limited coverage depends on the size of the coverage. (orig.)

  5. Size Effect on Acoustic Emission Characteristics of Coal-Rock Damage Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhijie Wen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Coal-gas outburst, rock burst, and other mine dynamic disasters are closely related to the instability and failure of coal-rock. Coal-rock is the assemblies of mineral particles of varying sizes and shapes bonded together by cementing materials. The damage and rupture process of coal-rock is accompanied by acoustic emission (AE, which can be used as an effective means to monitor and predict the instability of coal-rock body. In this manuscript, considering the size effect of coal-rock, the influence of different height to diameter ratio on the acoustic emission characteristics of coal-rock damage evolution was discussed by microparticle flow PFC2D software platform. The results show that coal-rock size influences the uniaxial compressive strength, peak strain, and elastic modulus of itself; the size effect has little effect on the acoustic emission law of coal-rock damage and the effects of the size of coal-rock samples on acoustic emission characteristics are mainly reflected in three aspects: the triggering time of acoustic emission, the strain range of strong acoustic emission, and the intensity of acoustic emission; the damage evolution of coal-rock specimen can be divided into 4 stages: initial damage, stable development, accelerated development, and damage.

  6. Genome evolution of ferns: evidence for relative stasis of genome size across the fern phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, James; Hidalgo, Oriane; Pellicer, Jaume; Liu, Hongmei; Marquardt, Jeannine; Robert, Yannis; Christenhusz, Maarten; Zhang, Shouzhou; Gibby, Mary; Leitch, Ilia J; Schneider, Harald

    2016-05-01

    The genome evolution of ferns has been considered to be relatively static compared with angiosperms. In this study, we analyse genome size data and chromosome numbers in a phylogenetic framework to explore three hypotheses: the correlation of genome size and chromosome number, the origin of modern ferns from ancestors with high chromosome numbers, and the occurrence of several whole-genome duplications during the evolution of ferns. To achieve this, we generated new genome size data, increasing the percentage of fern species with genome sizes estimated to 2.8% of extant diversity, and ensuring a comprehensive phylogenetic coverage including at least three species from each fern order. Genome size was correlated with chromosome number across all ferns despite some substantial variation in both traits. We observed a trend towards conservation of the amount of DNA per chromosome, although Osmundaceae and Psilotaceae have substantially larger chromosomes. Reconstruction of the ancestral genome traits suggested that the earliest ferns were already characterized by possessing high chromosome numbers and that the earliest divergences in ferns were correlated with substantial karyological changes. Evidence for repeated whole-genome duplications was found across the phylogeny. Fern genomes tend to evolve slowly, albeit genome rearrangements occur in some clades. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Sexual size dimorphism is not associated with the evolution of parental care in frogs

    OpenAIRE

    Monroe, Melanie J; Alonzo, Suzanne H.

    2014-01-01

    Sex differences in parental care are thought to arise from differential selection on the sexes. Sexual dimorphism, including sexual size dimorphism (SSD), is often used as a proxy for sexual selection on males. Some studies have found an association between male-biased SSD (i.e., males larger than females) and the loss of paternal care. While the relationship between sexual selection on males and parental care evolution has been studied extensively, the relationship between female-biased SSD ...

  8. Diagnosis and temporal evolution of signs of intracranial hypotension on MRI of the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forghani, R. [McGill University Health Center, Department of Radiology, Montreal, Que (Canada); Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Neuroradiology, Boston, MA (United States); Farb, R.I. [University of Toronto, Department of Medical Imaging, Division of Neuroradiology, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2008-12-15

    A comprehensive evaluation of cranial magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs) of 23 patients with intracranial hypotension (IH) was performed, and the evolution of the abnormalities on follow-up MRIs was correlated with the clinical outcome. The MRI report database at the University Health Network in Toronto was searched, and 23 cases of IH were identified between 2001 and 2007. A retrospective review of the MRIs of the brain and the electronic patient chart was performed. A control group of 40 subjects was also selected to complement the analysis of the pituitary gland. A positive venous distention sign (VDS) was observed in 23 out of 23 patients and was the first sign to disappear on early follow-up scans following successful treatment. Pachymeningeal enhancement was seen in 23 out of 23 patients, and pachymeningeal thickening was detectable on unenhanced fluid attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences in 17 out of 23 patients (74%). An increase in pituitary size in IH was also demonstrated based on the measured pituitary height and was qualitatively detectable in 12 out of 21 (57%) patients as the protrusion of the pituitary gland above the sella turica (two postpartum patients were excluded from this analysis). Overall, there was good correlation between the imaging findings and clinical outcome following treatment. Accurate diagnosis and follow-up of IH should be possible is some patients on unenhanced MRI of the brain by combining the signs on FLAIR and sagittal T1W images, enabling timely diagnosis in unsuspected cases and avoiding unnecessary administration of gadolinium compounds. In addition, VDS might be useful for early assessment of response to treatment. (orig.)

  9. Life course evolution of body size and breast cancer survival in the E3N cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    His, Mathilde; Le Guélennec, Marine; Mesrine, Sylvie; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Clavel-Chapelon, Françoise; Fagherazzi, Guy; Dossus, Laure

    2017-11-27

    Although adult obesity has been associated with poor breast cancer survival, data on adiposity at different periods in life and its lifelong evolution are scarce. Our aims were to assess the associations between breast cancer survival and body size during childhood, puberty and early adulthood and body size trajectories from childhood to adulthood. Self-assessed body size at age 8, at puberty, at age 20-25 and at age 35-40 and trajectories of body size of 4,662 breast cancer survivors from the prospective E3N cohort were studied in relation to risk of death from any cause, death from breast cancer and second invasive cancer event using multivariate Cox regression models. Four trajectories of body size were identified (T1 "moderate increase," T2 "stable/low increase," T3 "increase at puberty" and T4 "constantly high"). Compared with stable body size, an increase in body size during adult life was associated with an increased risk of death from any cause (HR T1 vs. T2 = 1.27; 95% CI = 1.01-1.60) and an increased risk of second invasive cancer event (HR T1 vs. T2 = 1.25; 95% CI = 1.06-1.47). Silhouettes at various ages were not associated with survival. Our results suggest that the evolution of body size from childhood to adulthood has a long-term influence on breast cancer survival. Although these results need to be confirmed, this work sheds light on the need to combine lifelong approaches to current BMI to better identify breast cancer survivors who are at higher risk of recurrence or second primary cancer, or of death. © 2017 UICC.

  10. History and evolution of brain tumor imaging: insights through radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Mauricio

    2014-11-01

    This review recounts the history of brain tumor diagnosis from antiquity to the present and, indirectly, the history of neuroradiology. Imaging of the brain has from the beginning held an enormous interest because of the inherent difficulty of this endeavor due to the presence of the skull. Because of this, most techniques when newly developed have always been used in neuroradiology and, although some have proved to be inappropriate for this purpose, many were easily incorporated into the specialty. The first major advance in modern neuroimaging was contrast agent-enhanced computed tomography, which permitted accurate anatomic localization of brain tumors and, by virtue of contrast enhancement, malignant ones. The most important advances in neuroimaging occurred with the development of magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted sequences that allowed an indirect estimation of tumor cellularity; this was further refined by the development of perfusion and permeability mapping. From its beginnings with indirect and purely anatomic imaging techniques, neuroradiology now uses a combination of anatomic and physiologic techniques that will play a critical role in biologic tumor imaging and radiologic genomics.

  11. Epigenomic annotation of gene regulatory alterations during evolution of the primate brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermunt, Marit W; Tan, Sander C; Castelijns, Bas; Geeven, Geert; Reinink, Peter; de Bruijn, Ewart; Kondova, Ivanela; Persengiev, Stephan; Bontrop, Ronald; Cuppen, Edwin; de Laat, Wouter; Creyghton, Menno P

    Although genome sequencing has identified numerous noncoding alterations between primate species, which of those are regulatory and potentially relevant to the evolution of the human brain is unclear. Here we annotated cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in the human, rhesus macaque and chimpanzee

  12. From mice to men: the evolution of the large, complex human brain

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2004-12-15

    Dec 15, 2004 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 30; Issue 2. Perspectives: From mice to men: the evolution of the large, complex human brain. Jon H Kaas. Volume 30 Issue 2 March 2005 pp 155-165. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  13. A Video Game for Learning Brain Evolution: A Resource or a Strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa Gomez, Luisa Fernanda; Bohorquez Sotelo, Maria Cristina; Roja Higuera, Naydu Shirley; Rodriguez Mendoza, Brigitte Julieth

    2016-01-01

    Learning resources are part of the educational process of students. However, how video games act as learning resources in a population that has not selected the virtual formation as their main methodology? The aim of this study was to identify the influence of a video game in the learning process of brain evolution. For this purpose, the opinions…

  14. Early Burst in Body Size Evolution is Uncoupled from Species Diversification in Diving Beetles (Dytiscidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Désamoré, Aurélie; Laenen, Benjamin; Miller, Kelly B; Bergsten, Johannes

    2018-01-15

    Changes in morphology are often thought to be linked to changes in species diversification, which is expected to leave a signal of Early Burst (EB) in phenotypic traits. However, such signal is rarely recovered in empirical phylogenies, even for groups with well-known adaptive radiation. Using a comprehensive phylogenetic approach in Dytiscidae, which harbors ~4,300 species with as much as 50-fold variation in body size among them, we ask whether pattern of species diversification correlates with morphological evolution. Additionally, we test if the large variation in body size is linked to habitat preference and if the later influences species turnover. We found, in sharp contrast to most animal groups, that Dytiscidae body size evolution follows an Early Burst model with subsequent high phylogenetic conservatism. However, we found no evidence for associated shifts in species diversification, which point to an uncoupled evolution of morphology and species diversification. We recovered the ancestral habitat of Dytiscidae as lentic (standing water), with many transitions to lotic habitat (running water) that are concomitant to a decrease in body size. Finally, we found no evidence for difference in net diversification rates between habitats nor difference in turnover in lentic and lotic species. This result, together with recent findings in dragonflies, contrasts with some theoretical expectations of the Habitat Stability Hypothesis. Thus, a thorough reassessment of the impact of dispersal, gene flow and range size on the speciation process is needed to fully encompass the evolutionary consequences of the lentic-lotic divide for freshwater fauna. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  15. Nitrogen limitation as a driver of genome size evolution in a group of karst plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Ming; Wang, Jing; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-06-01

    Genome size is of fundamental biological importance with significance in predicting structural and functional attributes of organisms. Although abundant evidence has shown that the genome size can be largely explained by differential proliferation and removal of non-coding DNA of the genome, the evolutionary and ecological basis of genome size variation remains poorly understood. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are essential elements of DNA and protein building blocks, yet often subject to environmental limitation in natural ecosystems. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we test this hypothesis by determining whether leaf N and P availability affects genome sizes in 99 species of Primulina (Gesneriaceae), a group of soil specialists adapted to limestone karst environment in south China. We find that genome sizes in Primulina are strongly positively correlated with plant N content, but the correlation with plant P content is not significant when phylogeny history was taken into account. This study shows for the first time that N limitation might have been a plausible driver of genome size variation in a group of plants. We propose that competition for nitrogen nutrient between DNA synthesis and cellular functions is a possible mechanism for genome size evolution in Primulina under N-limitation.

  16. Genome size evolution at the speciation level: The cryptic species complex Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera)

    OpenAIRE

    Riss Simone; Stelzer Claus-Peter; Stadler Peter

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Studies on genome size variation in animals are rarely done at lower taxonomic levels, e.g., slightly above/below the species level. Yet, such variation might provide important clues on the tempo and mode of genome size evolution. In this study we used the flow-cytometry method to study the evolution of genome size in the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis, a cryptic species complex consisting of at least 14 closely related species. Results We found an unexpectedly high variati...

  17. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang K. L.; Bartsch, Ronny P.; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N.; Ivanov, Plamen Ch.

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  18. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  19. Postoperative Stereotactic Radiosurgery Without Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy for Brain Metastases: Potential Role of Preoperative Tumor Size

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartford, Alan C., E-mail: Alan.C.Hartford@Hitchcock.org [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Paravati, Anthony J. [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Spire, William J. [Section of Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Li, Zhongze [Biostatistics Shared Resource, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Jarvis, Lesley A. [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Fadul, Camilo E. [Section of Hematology/Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Rhodes, C. Harker [Department of Pathology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Erkmen, Kadir [Section of Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Friedman, Jonathan [Department of Surgery, Texas A and M College of Medicine, College Station, Texas (United States); Gladstone, David J. [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Hug, Eugen B. [ProCure, New York, New York (United States); Roberts, David W.; Simmons, Nathan E. [Section of Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States)

    2013-03-01

    Purpose: Radiation therapy following resection of a brain metastasis increases the probability of disease control at the surgical site. We analyzed our experience with postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as an alternative to whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT), with an emphasis on identifying factors that might predict intracranial disease control and overall survival (OS). Methods and Materials: We retrospectively reviewed all patients through December 2008, who, after surgical resection, underwent SRS to the tumor bed, deferring WBRT. Multiple factors were analyzed for time to intracranial recurrence (ICR), whether local recurrence (LR) at the surgical bed or “distant” recurrence (DR) in the brain, for time to WBRT, and for OS. Results: A total of 49 lesions in 47 patients were treated with postoperative SRS. With median follow-up of 9.3 months (range, 1.1-61.4 months), local control rates at the resection cavity were 85.5% at 1 year and 66.9% at 2 years. OS rates at 1 and 2 years were 52.5% and 31.7%, respectively. On univariate analysis (preoperative) tumors larger than 3.0 cm exhibited a significantly shorter time to LR. At a cutoff of 2.0 cm, larger tumors resulted in significantly shorter times not only for LR but also for DR, ICR, and salvage WBRT. While multivariate Cox regressions showed preoperative size to be significant for times to DR, ICR, and WBRT, in similar multivariate analysis for OS, only the graded prognostic assessment proved to be significant. However, the number of intracranial metastases at presentation was not significantly associated with OS nor with other outcome variables. Conclusions: Larger tumor size was associated with shorter time to recurrence and with shorter time to salvage WBRT; however, larger tumors were not associated with decrements in OS, suggesting successful salvage. SRS to the tumor bed without WBRT is an effective treatment for resected brain metastases, achieving local control particularly for tumors up to

  20. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  1. The effects of laboratory housing and spatial enrichment on brain size and metabolic rate in the eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mischa P. Turschwell

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available It has long been hypothesised that there is a functional correlation between brain size and metabolic rate in vertebrates. The present study tested this hypothesis in wild-caught adult mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki by testing for an intra-specific association between resting metabolic rate (RMR and brain size while controlling for variation in body size, and through the examination of the effects of spatial enrichment and laboratory housing on body mass-independent measures of brain size and RMR. Controlling for body mass, there was no relationship between brain size and RMR in wild-caught fish. Contrary to predictions, spatial enrichment caused a decrease in mass-independent brain size, highlighting phenotypic plasticity in the adult brain. As expected, after controlling for differences in body size, wild-caught fish had relatively larger brains than fish that had been maintained in the laboratory for a minimum of six weeks, but wild-caught fish also had significantly lower mass-independent RMR. This study demonstrates that an organisms' housing environment can cause significant plastic changes to fitness related traits including brain size and RMR. We therefore conclude that current standard laboratory housing conditions may cause captive animals to be non-representative of their wild counterparts, potentially undermining the transferability of previous laboratory-based studies of aquatic ectothermic vertebrates to wild populations.

  2. The effects of laboratory housing and spatial enrichment on brain size and metabolic rate in the eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turschwell, Mischa P; White, Craig R

    2016-01-21

    It has long been hypothesised that there is a functional correlation between brain size and metabolic rate in vertebrates. The present study tested this hypothesis in wild-caught adult mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki by testing for an intra-specific association between resting metabolic rate (RMR) and brain size while controlling for variation in body size, and through the examination of the effects of spatial enrichment and laboratory housing on body mass-independent measures of brain size and RMR. Controlling for body mass, there was no relationship between brain size and RMR in wild-caught fish. Contrary to predictions, spatial enrichment caused a decrease in mass-independent brain size, highlighting phenotypic plasticity in the adult brain. As expected, after controlling for differences in body size, wild-caught fish had relatively larger brains than fish that had been maintained in the laboratory for a minimum of six weeks, but wild-caught fish also had significantly lower mass-independent RMR. This study demonstrates that an organisms' housing environment can cause significant plastic changes to fitness related traits including brain size and RMR. We therefore conclude that current standard laboratory housing conditions may cause captive animals to be non-representative of their wild counterparts, potentially undermining the transferability of previous laboratory-based studies of aquatic ectothermic vertebrates to wild populations. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Evolution Balancing of the Small-Sized Wheel Loader Assembly Line

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongshen Lai

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Assembly line balancing not only directly determines production efficiency but also influences precision and quality of key assemblies or even the overall performance of final products. Driven by market demand and development of science and technology, product family must evolve constantly, which necessitates frequent adjustment and rebalancing of product family assembly line (PFAL. In order to maintain production efficiency, improve assembly quality and precision, and reduce costs for adjustment, the evolution balancing problem of PFAL for small-sized wheel loader is solved in this paper. Firstly, the evolution balancing model of PFAL is put forward. Then, with minimizing the number of workstations, the in-station and between-station load indexes and adjustment costs, and maximizing relevancy between activities as optimization objectives, meanwhile regarding product platform planning, modularity design and the critical chain technology in concurrent engineering as constraint conditions, the evolution balancing problem of PFAL is optimized using improved genetic algorithm (IGA. Finally, the whole analysis procedure is demonstrated by the small-sized wheel loader PFAL case study and the effectiveness of the proposed method is verified.

  4. The rate of DNA evolution: effects of body size and temperature on the molecular clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillooly, James F; Allen, Andrew P; West, Geoffrey B; Brown, James H

    2005-01-04

    Observations that rates of molecular evolution vary widely within and among lineages have cast doubts on the existence of a single "molecular clock." Differences in the timing of evolutionary events estimated from genetic and fossil evidence have raised further questions about the accuracy of molecular clocks. Here, we present a model of nucleotide substitution that combines theory on metabolic rate with the now-classic neutral theory of molecular evolution. The model quantitatively predicts rate heterogeneity and may reconcile differences in molecular- and fossil-estimated dates of evolutionary events. Model predictions are supported by extensive data from mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. By accounting for the effects of body size and temperature on metabolic rate, this model explains heterogeneity in rates of nucleotide substitution in different genes, taxa, and thermal environments. This model also suggests that there is indeed a single molecular clock, as originally proposed by Zuckerkandl and Pauling [Zuckerkandl, E. & Pauling, L. (1965) in Evolving Genes and Proteins, eds. Bryson, V. & Vogel, H. J. (Academic, New York), pp. 97-166], but that it "ticks" at a constant substitution rate per unit of mass-specific metabolic energy rather than per unit of time. This model therefore links energy flux and genetic change. More generally, the model suggests that body size and temperature combine to control the overall rate of evolution through their effects on metabolism.

  5. Body mass estimates of hominin fossils and the evolution of human body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Hatala, Kevin G; Jungers, William L; Richmond, Brian G

    2015-08-01

    Body size directly influences an animal's place in the natural world, including its energy requirements, home range size, relative brain size, locomotion, diet, life history, and behavior. Thus, an understanding of the biology of extinct organisms, including species in our own lineage, requires accurate estimates of body size. Since the last major review of hominin body size based on postcranial morphology over 20 years ago, new fossils have been discovered, species attributions have been clarified, and methods improved. Here, we present the most comprehensive and thoroughly vetted set of individual fossil hominin body mass predictions to date, and estimation equations based on a large (n = 220) sample of modern humans of known body masses. We also present species averages based exclusively on fossils with reliable taxonomic attributions, estimates of species averages by sex, and a metric for levels of sexual dimorphism. Finally, we identify individual traits that appear to be the most reliable for mass estimation for each fossil species, for use when only one measurement is available for a fossil. Our results show that many early hominins were generally smaller-bodied than previously thought, an outcome likely due to larger estimates in previous studies resulting from the use of large-bodied modern human reference samples. Current evidence indicates that modern human-like large size first appeared by at least 3-3.5 Ma in some Australopithecus afarensis individuals. Our results challenge an evolutionary model arguing that body size increased from Australopithecus to early Homo. Instead, we show that there is no reliable evidence that the body size of non-erectus early Homo differed from that of australopiths, and confirm that Homo erectus evolved larger average body size than earlier hominins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The evolution of mammal body sizes: responses to Cenozoic climate change in North American mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovegrove, B G; Mowoe, M O

    2013-06-01

    Explanations for the evolution of body size in mammals have remained surprisingly elusive despite the central importance of body size in evolutionary biology. Here, we present a model which argues that the body sizes of Nearctic mammals were moulded by Cenozoic climate and vegetation changes. Following the early Eocene Climate Optimum, forests retreated and gave way to open woodland and savannah landscapes, followed later by grasslands. Many herbivores that radiated in these new landscapes underwent a switch from browsing to grazing associated with increased unguligrade cursoriality and body size, the latter driven by the energetics and constraints of cellulose digestion (fermentation). Carnivores also increased in size and digitigrade, cursorial capacity to occupy a size distribution allowing the capture of prey of the widest range of body sizes. With the emergence of larger, faster carnivores, plantigrade mammals were constrained from evolving to large body sizes and most remained smaller than 1 kg throughout the middle Cenozoic. We find no consistent support for either Cope's Rule or Bergmann's Rule in plantigrade mammals, the largest locomotor guild (n = 1186, 59% of species in the database). Some cold-specialist plantigrade mammals, such as beavers and marmots, showed dramatic increases in body mass following the Miocene Climate Optimum which may, however, be partially explained by Bergmann's rule. This study reemphasizes the necessity of considering the evolutionary history and resultant form and function of mammalian morphotypes when attempting to understand contemporary mammalian body size distributions. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Convergent evolution of complex brains and high intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Gerhard

    2015-12-19

    Within the animal kingdom, complex brains and high intelligence have evolved several to many times independently, e.g. among ecdysozoans in some groups of insects (e.g. blattoid, dipteran, hymenopteran taxa), among lophotrochozoans in octopodid molluscs, among vertebrates in teleosts (e.g. cichlids), corvid and psittacid birds, and cetaceans, elephants and primates. High levels of intelligence are invariantly bound to multimodal centres such as the mushroom bodies in insects, the vertical lobe in octopodids, the pallium in birds and the cerebral cortex in primates, all of which contain highly ordered associative neuronal networks. The driving forces for high intelligence may vary among the mentioned taxa, e.g. needs for spatial learning and foraging strategies in insects and cephalopods, for social learning in cichlids, instrumental learning and spatial orientation in birds and social as well as instrumental learning in primates. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. Positive correlation between occlusion rate and nidus size of proton beam treated brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blomquist, Erik; Ronne Engström, Elisabeth; Borota, Ljubisa

    2016-01-01

    those with and without total occlusion regarding mean age, gender distribution or symptoms at diagnosis. Forty-one patients developed a mild radiation-induced brain edema and this was more common in those that had total occlusion of the AVM. Two patients had brain hemorrhages after treatment. One......Background. Proton beam radiotherapy of arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in the brain has been performed in Uppsala since 1991. An earlier study based on the first 26 patients concluded that proton beam can be used for treating large and medium sized AVMs that were considered difficult to treat...... with photons due to the risk of side effects. In the present study we analyzed the result from treating the subsequent 65 patients.Material and methods. A retrospective review of the patients medical records, treatment protocols and radiological results was done. Information about gender, age, presenting...

  9. A novel domain suggests a ciliary function for ASPM, a brain size determining gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponting, Chris P

    2006-05-01

    The N-terminal domain of abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated protein (ASPM) is identified as a member of a novel family of ASH (ASPM, SPD-2, Hydin) domains. These domains are present in proteins associated with cilia, flagella, the centrosome and the Golgi complex, and in Hydin and OCRL whose deficiencies are associated with hydrocephalus and Lowe oculocerebrorenal syndrome, respectively. Genes encoding ASH domains thus represent good candidates for primary ciliary dyskinesias. ASPM has been proposed to function in neurogenesis and to be a major determinant of cerebral cortical size in humans. Support for this hypothesis stems from associations between mutations in ASPM and primary microcephaly, and from the rapid evolution of ASPM during recent hominid evolution. The identification of the ASH domain family instead indicates possible roles for ASPM in sperm flagellar or in ependymal cells' cilia. ASPM's rapid evolution may thus reflect selective pressures on ciliary function, rather than pressures on mitosis during neurogenesis.

  10. Coevolving parasites and population size shape the evolution of mating behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstes Niels AG

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coevolution with parasites and population size are both expected to influence the evolution of mating rates. To gain insights into the interaction between these dual selective factors, we used populations from a coevolution experiment with the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, and its microsporidian parasite, Nosema whitei. We maintained each experimental population at two different population sizes. We assayed the mating behaviour of both males and females from coevolved and paired non-coevolved control populations after 24 generations of coevolution with parasites. Results Males from large, coevolved populations (i.e. ancestors were exposed to parasites showed a reduced eagerness to mate compared to males from large, non-coevolved populations. But in small populations, coevolution did not lead to decreased male mating rates. Coevolved females from both large and small populations appeared to be more willing to accept mating than non-coevolved females. Conclusions This study provides unique, experimental insights into the combined roles of coevolving parasites and population size on the evolution of mating rate. Furthermore, we find that males and females respond differently to the same environmental conditions. Our results show that parasites can be key determinants of the sexual behaviour of their hosts.

  11. Friends with Social Benefits: Host-Microbe Interactions as a Driver of Brain Evolution and Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman M Stilling

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The tight association of the human body with trillions of colonizing microbes that we observe today is the result of a long evolutionary history. Only very recently have we started to understand how this symbiosis also affects brain function and behaviour. Here in this hypothesis and theory article, we propose how host-microbe associations potentially influenced mammalian brain evolution and development. In particular, we explore the integration of human brain development with evolution, symbiosis, and RNA biology, which together represent a ‘social triangle’ that drives human social behaviour and cognition. We argue that, in order to understand how inter-kingdom communication can affect brain adaptation and plasticity, it is inevitable to consider epigenetic mechanisms as important mediators of genome-microbiome interactions on an individual as well as a transgenerational time scale. Finally, we unite these interpretations with the hologenome theory of evolution. Taken together, we propose a tighter integration of neuroscience fields with host-associated microbiology by taking an evolutionary perspective.

  12. The Influence of Genome and Cell Size on Brain Morphology in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Gerhard; Walkowiak, Wolfgang

    2015-08-10

    In amphibians, nerve cell size is highly correlated with genome size, and increases in genome and cell size cause a retardation of the rate of development of nervous (as well as nonnervous) tissue leading to secondary simplification. This yields an inverse relationship between genome and cell size on the one hand and morphological complexity of the tectum mesencephali as the main visual center, the size of the torus semicircularis as the main auditory center, the size of the amphibian papilla as an important peripheral auditory structure, and the size of the cerebellum as a major sensorimotor center. Nervous structures developing later (e.g., torus and cerebellum) are more affected by secondary simplification than those that develop earlier (e.g., the tectum). This effect is more prominent in salamanders and caecilians than in frogs owing to larger genome and cells sizes in the former two taxa. We hypothesize that because of intragenomic evolutionary processes, important differences in brain morphology can arise independently of specific environmental selection. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  13. The Bilingual Brain: Human Evolution and Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kirk Hagen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available For the past half-century, psycholinguistic research has concerned itself with two mysteries of human cognition: (1 that children universally acquire a highly abstract, computationally complex set of linguistic rules rapidly and effortlessly, and (2 that second language acquisition (SLA among adults is, conversely, slow, laborious, highly variable, and virtually never results in native fluency. We now have a decent, if approximate, understanding of the biological foundations of first language acquisition, thanks in large part to Lenneberg's (1964, 1984 seminal work on the critical period hypothesis. More recently, the elements of a promising theory of language and evolution have emerged as well (see e.g. Bickerton, 1981, 1990; Leiberman, 1984, 1987. I argue here that the empirical foundations of an evolutionary theory of language are now solid enough to support an account of bilingualism and adult SLA as well. Specifically, I will show that evidence from the environment of evolutionary adaptation of paleolithic humans suggests that for our nomadic ancestors, the ability to master a language early in life was an eminently useful adaptation. However, the ability to acquire another language in adulthood was not, and consequently was not selected for propagation.

  14. Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, Robin IM

    2007-01-01

    The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis) is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20) add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between the two sexes in the social mechanisms and brain units involved. Female sociality (which is more affiliative) is related most closely to neocortex volume, but male sociality (which is more competitive and combative) is more closely related to subcortical units (notably those associated with emotional responses). Thus different brain units have responded to different selection pressures. PMID:17493267

  15. Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunbar Robin IM

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20 add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between the two sexes in the social mechanisms and brain units involved. Female sociality (which is more affiliative is related most closely to neocortex volume, but male sociality (which is more competitive and combative is more closely related to subcortical units (notably those associated with emotional responses. Thus different brain units have responded to different selection pressures.

  16. Detailed modeling of soot size distribution evolution and pollutant formation inside aircraft and diesel engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moniruzzaman, Chowdhury G.

    Combustion emission of soot and pollutant gas species contributes to poor regional air quality near emission sources and to climate change. It is important to understand the formation mechanism and time evolution of these pollutants inside the combustion engine, through detailed modeling of combustion chemistry and microphysics as well as comparison with observation. In this thesis, two multi-zone gas parcel combustion engine models, one for aircraft engines and another for diesel engines, have been developed to study soot size distribution evolution and pollutant formation inside the engines as well as emissions. The models take into account size-resolved (sectional) soot aerosol dynamics (nucleation, growth, and coagulation) and detailed combustion chemistry of jet and diesel fuel. For the aircraft engine, the model considers 362 chemical species, 2657 reversible reactions and 75 aerosol size bins. The model was applied to a CFM56-2-C1 aircraft engine for idle operating conditions. This is the first model to simulate soot size distribution evolution inside an aircraft engine (to our knowledge). The simulated values for major species are generally consistent with measurements. Model simulation shows that, for idle operating conditions, concentrations of most key combustion products don't change significantly in the post-combustor, however, HONO, H2SO4, and HO 2 concentrations change by more than a factor of 10. The sulfur oxidation efficiency (SOE), ([SO3]+[H2SO4])/([SO 2]+[SO3] +[H2SO4]), was found to be 2.1% at the engine exit. For the diesel engine, the multi-zone gas parcel model has been further enhanced by including fuel injection, droplet break-up, fuel evaporation and air entrainment rate. The model considers 283 chemical species, 2137 reversible reactions, and 75 aerosol size bins. The developed model calculates the time evolution of concentrations of these chemical species and soot size distributions inside a diesel engine. This is the first model to

  17. Recent Structural Evolution of Early-Type Galaxies: Size Growth from z = 1 to z = 0

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Wel, Arjen; Holden, Bradford P.; Zirm, Andrew W.; Franx, Marijn; Rettura, Alessandro; Illingworth, Garth D.; Ford, Holland C.

    2008-11-01

    Strong size and internal density evolution of early-type galaxies between z ~ 2 and the present has been reported by several authors. Here we analyze samples of nearby and distant (z ~ 1) galaxies with dynamically measured masses in order to confirm the previous, model-dependent results and constrain the uncertainties that may play a role. Velocity dispersion (σ) measurements are taken from the literature for 50 morphologically selected 0.8 University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  18. Mitochondrial genome evolution in Alismatales: Size reduction and extensive loss of ribosomal protein genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Gitte; Cuenca, Argelia; Zervas, Athanasios

    2017-01-01

    The order Alismatales is a hotspot for evolution of plant mitochondrial genomes characterized by remarkable differences in genome size, substitution rates, RNA editing, retrotranscription, gene loss and intron loss. Here we have sequenced the complete mitogenomes of Zostera marina and Stratiotes ...... mitogenome from a non-parasitic plant. Using a broad sample of the Alismatales, the evolutionary history of ribosomal protein gene loss is analyzed. In Zostera almost all ribosomal protein genes are lost from the mitogenome, but only some can be found in the nucleus....

  19. A simple non-invasive method for measuring gross brain size in small live fish with semi-transparent heads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joacim Näslund

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes a non-invasive method for estimating gross brain size in small fish with semi-transparent heads, using system camera equipment. Macro-photographs were taken from above on backlit free-swimming fish undergoing light anaesthesia. From the photographs, the width of the optic tectum was measured. This measure (TeO-measure correlates well with the width of the optic tectum as measured from out-dissected brains in both brown trout fry and zebrafish (Pearson r > 0.90. The TeO-measure also correlates well with overall brain wet weight in brown trout fry (r = 0.90, but less well for zebrafish (r = 0.79. A non-invasive measure makes it possible to quickly assess brain size from a large number of individuals, as well as repeatedly measuring brain size of live individuals allowing calculation of brain growth.

  20. Superresolution Imaging of Aquaporin-4 Cluster Size in Antibody-Stained Paraffin Brain Sections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Alex J.; Verkman, Alan S.

    2015-01-01

    The water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) forms supramolecular clusters whose size is determined by the ratio of M1- and M23-AQP4 isoforms. In cultured astrocytes, differences in the subcellular localization and macromolecular interactions of small and large AQP4 clusters results in distinct physiological roles for M1- and M23-AQP4. Here, we developed quantitative superresolution optical imaging methodology to measure AQP4 cluster size in antibody-stained paraffin sections of mouse cerebral cortex and spinal cord, human postmortem brain, and glioma biopsy specimens. This methodology was used to demonstrate that large AQP4 clusters are formed in AQP4−/− astrocytes transfected with only M23-AQP4, but not in those expressing only M1-AQP4, both in vitro and in vivo. Native AQP4 in mouse cortex, where both isoforms are expressed, was enriched in astrocyte foot-processes adjacent to microcapillaries; clusters in perivascular regions of the cortex were larger than in parenchymal regions, demonstrating size-dependent subcellular segregation of AQP4 clusters. Two-color superresolution imaging demonstrated colocalization of Kir4.1 with AQP4 clusters in perivascular areas but not in parenchyma. Surprisingly, the subcellular distribution of AQP4 clusters was different between gray and white matter astrocytes in spinal cord, demonstrating regional specificity in cluster polarization. Changes in AQP4 subcellular distribution are associated with several neurological diseases and we demonstrate that AQP4 clustering was preserved in a postmortem human cortical brain tissue specimen, but that AQP4 was not substantially clustered in a human glioblastoma specimen despite high-level expression. Our results demonstrate the utility of superresolution optical imaging for measuring the size of AQP4 supramolecular clusters in paraffin sections of brain tissue and support AQP4 cluster size as a primary determinant of its subcellular distribution. PMID:26682810

  1. Grain size evolution in the mantle and its effect on geodynamics and seismic observables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhill, R.; Dannberg, J.; Eilon, Z.; Gassmoeller, R.; Moulik, P.; Faul, U.; Asimow, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    Dynamic models of Earth's convecting mantle usually implement flow laws with constant grain size, stress-independent viscosity and a limited treatment of variations associated with changes in mineral assemblage. These simplifications greatly reduce computational requirements but preclude effects such as shear localisation and transient changes in rheology associated with phase transitions, which have the potential to fundamentally change flow patterns in the mantle. Here we use the finite-element code ASPECT (Bangerth et al., 2013) to model grain size evolution and the interplay between grain size, stress and strain rate in the convecting mantle. We include the simultaneous and competing effects of dynamic recrystallisation resulting from work done by dislocation creep, grain growth and recrystallisation at phase transitions. Further expressions account for slow growth in multiphase assemblages resulting from pinning. Grain size variations also affect seismic properties of mantle materials. We use several formulations from the literature to relate intrinsic variables (P, T, and grain size) from our numerical models to seismic velocity (Vs) and attenuation (Q). Our calculations use thermodynamically self-consistent anharmonic elastic moduli determined for the mineral assemblages in the mantle using HeFESTo (Stixrude and Lithgow-Bertelloni, 2013). We investigate the effect of realistically heterogeneous grain sizes by computing seismic observables such as body wave travel times, ray paths, and attenuation (t*) as well as mode eigenfrequencies and quality factors at different frequencies. We highlight the frequency-dependent sensitivity of seismic waves to grain size, which is important when interpreting Vs and Q observations in terms of mineral assemblage and temperature. This work is based on a project started at the CIDER 2014 summer program. References: Bangerth, W. et al., 2014, ASPECT: Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion. Computational

  2. [Endoscopic third ventriculostomy: risk factors for failure and evolution of ventricular size].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamarta, D; Onzain, I; Blázquez, J A; Gómez-Moreta, J A; Morales, F

    2004-06-01

    Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is the treatment of choice for non communicating hydrocephalus at our institution. Several factors have been associated with failure of endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The goals of the study have been to evaluate the outcome, the influence of factors theoretically prone to failure of ventriculostomy and the evolution of ventricular size. Fifty-six patients (mean age 48.5 yrs) treated with an endoscopic third ventriculostomy during the period 1997-2002 were analysed retrospectively. Hydrocephalus was classified as acute (68%) and chronic forms. Etiology was classified in space-occupying lesions (59%), primary aqueductal stenosis (34%) and Chiari malformation (7%). The presence of the following factors theoretically prone to failure was considered: age below one year, history of mielomeningocele, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infection, intracranial haemorrhage, radiotherapy, craniotomy and previous treatment of hydrocephalus with a shunt. Ventricular size was measured linearly with four ventricular index pre- and postoperatively. The global success rate was 71.4% (mean follow-up 26 months). Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for hydrocephalus secondary to cerebral metastases obstructing CSF pathways was associated with a higher risk of failure (p=0.006). None of the risk factors considered was associated with a higher risk of failure. The evolution of the ventricular size measured with linear methods is associated with outcome. Evans ratio, third ventricle index, cella media index and ventricular score decreased in patients whose outcome is satisfactory and increased in those cases deemed clinical failures (p< 0.05). The risk of failure increases in patients with cerebral metastases close to CSF pathways, likely due to the concurrence of mechanisms other than obstruction. Changes in ventricular size are associated with outcome.

  3. Aggregate size and structure determination of nanomaterials in physiological media: importance of dynamic evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Afrooz, A. R. M. Nabiul [The University of Texas, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (United States); Hussain, Saber M. [Wright-Patterson AFB, Human Effectiveness Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory (United States); Saleh, Navid B., E-mail: navid.saleh@utexas.edu [The University of Texas, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (United States)

    2014-12-15

    Most in vitro nanotoxicological assays are performed after 24 h exposure. However, in determining size and shape effect of nanoparticles in toxicity assays, initial characterization data are generally used to describe experimental outcome. The dynamic size and structure of aggregates are typically ignored in these studies. This brief communication reports dynamic evolution of aggregation characteristics of gold nanoparticles. The study finds that gradual increase in aggregate size of gold nanospheres (AuNS) occurs up to 6 h duration; beyond this time period, the aggregation process deviates from gradual to a more abrupt behavior as large networks are formed. Results of the study also show that aggregated clusters possess unique structural conformation depending on nominal diameter of the nanoparticles. The differences in fractal dimensions of the AuNS samples likely occurred due to geometric differences, causing larger packing propensities for smaller sized particles. Both such observations can have profound influence on dosimetry for in vitro nanotoxicity analyses.Graphical Abstract.

  4. Recent Evolution in Rattus norvegicus Is Shaped by Declining Effective Population Size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deinum, Eva E; Halligan, Daniel L; Ness, Rob W; Zhang, Yao-Hua; Cong, Lin; Zhang, Jian-Xu; Keightley, Peter D

    2015-10-01

    The brown rat, Rattus norvegicus, is both a notorious pest and a frequently used model in biomedical research. By analyzing genome sequences of 12 wild-caught brown rats from their presumed ancestral range in NE China, along with the sequence of a black rat, Rattus rattus, we investigate the selective and demographic forces shaping variation in the genome. We estimate that the recent effective population size (Ne) of this species = [Formula: see text], based on silent site diversity. We compare patterns of diversity in these genomes with patterns in multiple genome sequences of the house mouse (Mus musculus castaneus), which has a much larger Ne. This reveals an important role for variation in the strength of genetic drift in mammalian genome evolution. By a Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent analysis of demographic history, we infer that there has been a recent population size bottleneck in wild rats, which we date to approximately 20,000 years ago. Consistent with this, wild rat populations have experienced an increased flux of mildly deleterious mutations, which segregate at higher frequencies in protein-coding genes and conserved noncoding elements. This leads to negative estimates of the rate of adaptive evolution (α) in proteins and conserved noncoding elements, a result which we discuss in relation to the strongly positive estimates observed in wild house mice. As a consequence of the population bottleneck, wild rats also show a markedly slower decay of linkage disequilibrium with physical distance than wild house mice. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. Inferring the photometric and size evolution of galaxies from image simulations. I. Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carassou, Sébastien; de Lapparent, Valérie; Bertin, Emmanuel; Le Borgne, Damien

    2017-09-01

    Context. Current constraints on models of galaxy evolution rely on morphometric catalogs extracted from multi-band photometric surveys. However, these catalogs are altered by selection effects that are difficult to model, that correlate in non trivial ways, and that can lead to contradictory predictions if not taken into account carefully. Aims: To address this issue, we have developed a new approach combining parametric Bayesian indirect likelihood (pBIL) techniques and empirical modeling with realistic image simulations that reproduce a large fraction of these selection effects. This allows us to perform a direct comparison between observed and simulated images and to infer robust constraints on model parameters. Methods: We use a semi-empirical forward model to generate a distribution of mock galaxies from a set of physical parameters. These galaxies are passed through an image simulator reproducing the instrumental characteristics of any survey and are then extracted in the same way as the observed data. The discrepancy between the simulated and observed data is quantified, and minimized with a custom sampling process based on adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Results: Using synthetic data matching most of the properties of a Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey Deep field, we demonstrate the robustness and internal consistency of our approach by inferring the parameters governing the size and luminosity functions and their evolutions for different realistic populations of galaxies. We also compare the results of our approach with those obtained from the classical spectral energy distribution fitting and photometric redshift approach. Conclusions: Our pipeline infers efficiently the luminosity and size distribution and evolution parameters with a very limited number of observables (three photometric bands). When compared to SED fitting based on the same set of observables, our method yields results that are more accurate and free from

  6. Mammalian collection on Noah's Ark: the effects of beauty, brain and body size.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Frynta

    Full Text Available The importance of today's zoological gardens as the so-called "Noah's Ark" grows as the natural habitat of many species quickly diminishes. Their potential to shelter a large amount of individuals from many species gives us the opportunity to reintroduce a species that disappeared in nature. However, the selection of animals to be kept in zoos worldwide is highly selective and depends on human decisions driven by both ecological criteria such as population size or vulnerability and audience-driven criteria such as aesthetic preferences. Thus we focused our study on the most commonly kept and bred animal class, the mammals, and we asked which factors affect various aspects of the mammalian collection of zoos. We analyzed the presence/absence, population size, and frequency per species of each of the 123 mammalian families kept in the worldwide zoo collection. Our aim was to explain these data using the human-perceived attractiveness of mammalian families, their body weight, relative brain size and species richness of the family. In agreement with various previous studies, we found that the body size and the attractiveness of mammals significantly affect all studied components of the mammalian collection of zoos. There is a higher probability of the large and attractive families to be kept. Once kept, these animals are presented in larger numbers in more zoos. On the contrary, the relative mean brain size only affects the primary selection whether to keep the family or not. It does not affect the zoo population size or the number of zoos that keep the family.

  7. Evolution of large body size in abalones (Haliotis): Patterns and implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, J.A.; Lindberg, D.R.; Wray, C.

    2005-01-01

    Kelps and other fleshy macroalgae - dominant reef-inhabiting organisms in cool - seasmay have radiated extensively following late Cenozoic polar cooling, thus triggering a chain of evolutionary change in the trophic ecology of nearshore temperate ecosystems. We explore this hypothesis through an analysis of body size in the abalones (Gastropoda; Haliotidae), a widely distributed group in modern oceans that displays a broad range of body sizes and contains fossil representatives from the late Cretaceous (60-75 Ma). Geographic analysis of maximum shell length in living abalones showed that small-bodied species, while most common in the Tropics, have a cosmopolitan distribution, whereas large-bodied species occur exclusively in cold-water ecosystems dominated by kelps and other macroalgae. The phylogeography of body size evolution in extant abalones was assessed by constructing a molecular phylogeny in a mix of large and small species obtained from different regions of the world. This analysis demonstrates that small body size is the plesiomorphic state and largeness has likely arisen at least twice. Finally, we compiled data on shell length from the fossil record to determine how (slowly or suddenly) and when large body size arose in the abalones. These data indicate that large body size appears suddenly at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. Our findings support the view that fleshy-algal dominated ecosystems radiated rapidly in the coastal oceans with the onset of the most recent glacial age. We conclude with a discussion of the broader implications of this change. ?? 2005 The Paleontological Society. All rights reserved.

  8. Diversification Rates and the Evolution of Species Range Size Frequency Distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Castiglione

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The geographic range sizes frequency distribution (RFD within clades is typically right-skewed with untransformed data, and bell-shaped or slightly left-skewed under the log-transformation. This means that most species within clades occupy diminutive ranges, whereas just a few species are truly widespread. A number of ecological and evolutionary explanations have been proposed to account for this pattern. Among the latter, much attention has been given to the issue of how extinction and speciation probabilities influence RFD. Numerous accounts now convincingly demonstrate that extinction rate decreases with range size, both in living and extinct taxa. The relationship between range size and speciation rate, though, is much less obvious, with either small or large ranged species being proposed to originate more daughter taxa. Herein, we used a large fossil database including 21 animal clades and more than 80,000 fossil occurrences distributed over more than 400 million years of marine metazoans (exclusive of vertebrates evolution, to test the relationship between extinction rate, speciation rate, and range size. As expected, we found that extinction rate almost linearly decreases with range size. In contrast, speciation rate peaks at the large (but not the largest end of the range size spectrum. This is consistent with the peripheral isolation mode of allopatric speciation being the main mechanism of species origination. The huge variation in phylogeny, fossilization potential, time of fossilization, and the overarching effect of mass extinctions suggest caution must be posed at generalizing our results, as individual clades may deviate significantly from the general pattern.

  9. SEXUAL SELECTION AND THE EVOLUTION OF SEXUAL SIZE DIMORPHISM IN THE WATER STRIDER, AQUARIUS REMIGIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairbairn, Daphne J; Preziosi, Richard F

    1996-08-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is often attributed to sexual selection, particularly when males are the larger sex. However, sexual selection favoring large males is common even in taxa where females are the larger sex, and is therefore not a sufficient explanation of patterns of SSD. As part of a more extensive study of the evolution of SSD in water striders (Heteroptera, Gerridae), we examine patterns of sexual selection and SSD in 12 populations of Aquarius remigis. We calculate univariate and multivariate selection gradients from samples of mating and single males, for two sexually dimorphic traits (total length and profemoral width) and two sexually monomorphic traits (mesofemoral length and wing form). The multivariate analyses reveal strong selection favoring larger males, in spite of the female-biased SSD for this trait, and weaker selection favoring aptery and reduced mesofemoral length. Selection is weakest on the most dimorphic trait, profemoral width, and is stabilizing rather than directional. The pattern of sexual selection on morphological traits is therefore not concordant with the pattern of SSD. The univariate selection gradients reveal little net selection (direct + indirect) on any of the traits, and suggest that evolution away from the plesiomorphic pattern of SSD is constrained by antagonistic patterns of selection acting on this suite of positively correlated morphological traits. We hypothesize that SSD in A. remigis is not in equilibrium, a hypothesis that is consistent with both theoretical models of the evolution of SSD and our previous studies of allometry for SSD. A negative interpopulation correlation between the intensity of sexual selection and the operational sex ratio supports the hypothesis that, as in several other water strider species, sexual selection in A. remigis occurs through generalized female reluctance rather than active female choice. The implications of this for patterns of sexual selection are discussed. © 1996 The

  10. Relationship between apathy and tumor location, size, and brain edema in patients with intracranial meningioma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Y

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Yihua Peng,1,* Chunhong Shao,1,* Ye Gong,2 Xuehai Wu,2 Weijun Tang,3 Shenxun Shi1 1Psychiatry Department, 2Neurosurgery Department, 3Radiology Department, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Background: The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between apathy and tumor location, size, and brain edema in patients with intracranial meningioma. Methods: We enrolled 65 consecutive patients with meningioma and 31 normal controls matched for age, gender, and education. The patients were divided into frontal or non-frontal (NF meningioma groups based on magnetic resonance imaging; the frontal group was then subdivided to dorsolateral frontal (DLF, medial frontal (MF, and ventral frontal (VF groups. Tumor size and brain edema were also recorded. Apathy was assessed by the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES. Assessments were carried out 1 week before and 3 months after surgery, respectively. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the predictive effect of tumor size, location, and brain edema on apathy. Analysis of variance and chi-square analysis were applied to compare apathy scores and apathy rates among the frontal, NF, and normal control groups, and all subgroups within the frontal group. Results: Compared with the NF and control groups, the mean AES score was much higher in the frontal group (34.0±8.3 versus 28.63±6.0, P=0.008, and 26.8±4.2, P<0.001. Subgroup analysis showed that AES scores in the MF group (42.1±6.6 and VF group (34.7±8.0 were higher than in the DLF group (28.5±4.36, NF group, and control group (P<0.05. The apathy rate was 63.6% in the MF group and 25% in the VF group, and significantly higher than in the DLF (5.6%, NF (5.3%, and control (0% groups (P<0.001. A moderate correlation was found between AES score and mean diameter of the meningioma in all patient groups. Further analysis demonstrated that the correlation existed in

  11. Mapping behavioural evolution onto brain evolution: the strategic roles of conserved organization in individuals and species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Barbara L; Hinz, Flora; Darlington, Richard B

    2011-07-27

    The pattern of individual variation in brain component structure in pigs, minks and laboratory mice is very similar to variation across species in the same components, at a reduced scale. This conserved pattern of allometric scaling resembles robotic architectures designed to be robust to changes in computing power and task demands, and may reflect the mechanism by which both growing and evolving brains defend basic sensory, motor and homeostatic functions at multiple scales. Conserved scaling rules also have implications for species-specific sensory and social communication systems, motor competencies and cognitive abilities. The role of relative changes in neuron number in the central nervous system in producing species-specific behaviour is thus highly constrained, while changes in the sensory and motor periphery, and in motivational and attentional systems increase in probability as the principal loci producing important changes in functional neuroanatomy between species. By their nature, these loci require renewed attention to development and life history in the initial organization and production of species-specific behavioural abilities.

  12. The evolution of body size, Cope's rule and the origin of amniotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurin, Michel

    2004-08-01

    The evolution of body size in tetrapods is assessed using a database that includes 107 early stegocephalian species ranging in time from the Frasnian (Upper Devonian) to the Tatarian (Upper Permian). All analyses use methods that incorporate phylogenetic information (topology and branch lengths). In all tests, the impact of alternative topologies and branch lengths are assessed. Previous reports that raised doubts about the accuracy of squared-change parsimony assessment of ancestral character value appear to have used datasets in which there was no phylogenetic signal. Hence, squared-change parsimony may be more reliable than suggested in recent studies, at least when a phylogenetic signal is present in the datasets of interest. Analysis using random taxon reshuffling on three reference phylogenies shows that cranial and presacral length include a strong phylogenetic signal. Character optimization of body size in stegocephalians using squared-change parsimony on a time-calibrated phylogeny incorporating branch length information is used to test a previously published scenario on the origin of amniotes and of the amniotic egg that implies that the ancestors of amniotes were small (no more than 10 cm in snout-vent length), and that their size increased subsequent to the appearance of the amniotic egg. The optimization suggests that first amniotes were somewhat larger than previously hypothesized; the estimated snout-vent length is about 24 cm, and the lower end of the 95% confidence interval of the phylogeny that yields the smallest inferred size suggests that no ancestor of amniotes measured less than 12 cm in snout-vent length. Character optimization, permutational multiple linear regressions, and independent contrast analyses show that Cope's rule of phyletic size increase applies to early reptiliomorphs but that it does not apply to early stegocephalians globally.

  13. Modeling the seasonal evolution of the Arctic sea ice floe size distribution

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    Jinlun Zhang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract To better simulate the seasonal evolution of sea ice in the Arctic, with particular attention to the marginal ice zone, a sea ice model of the distribution of ice thickness, floe size, and enthalpy was implemented into the Pan-arctic Ice–Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS. Theories on floe size distribution (FSD and ice thickness distribution (ITD were coupled in order to explicitly simulate multicategory FSD and ITD distributions simultaneously. The expanded PIOMAS was then used to estimate the seasonal evolution of the Arctic FSD in 2014 when FSD observations are available for model calibration and validation. Results indicate that the simulated FSD, commonly described equivalently as cumulative floe number distribution (CFND, generally follows a power law across space and time and agrees with the CFND observations derived from TerraSAR-X satellite images. The simulated power-law exponents also correlate with those derived using MODIS images, with a low mean bias of –2%. In the marginal ice zone, the modeled CFND shows a large number of small floes in winter because of stronger winds acting on thin, weak first-year ice in the ice edge region. In mid-spring and summer, the CFND resembles an upper truncated power law, with the largest floes mostly broken into smaller ones; however, the number of small floes is lower than in winter because floes of small sizes or first-year ice are easily melted away. In the ice pack interior there are fewer floes in late fall and winter than in summer because many of the floes are “welded” together into larger floes in freezing conditions, leading to a relatively flat CFND with low power-law exponents. The simulated mean floe size averaged over all ice-covered areas shows a clear annual cycle, large in winter and smaller in summer. However, there is no obvious annual cycle of mean floe size averaged over the marginal ice zone. The incorporation of FSD into PIOMAS results in reduced

  14. Handedness- and brain size-related efficiency differences in small-world brain networks: a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Meiling; Wang, Junping; Liu, Feng; Chen, Heng; Lu, Fengmei; Wu, Guorong; Yu, Chunshui; Chen, Huafu

    2015-05-01

    The human brain has been described as a complex network, which integrates information with high efficiency. However, the relationships between the efficiency of human brain functional networks and handedness and brain size remain unclear. Twenty-one left-handed and 32 right-handed healthy subjects underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. The whole brain functional networks were constructed by thresholding Pearson correlation matrices of 90 cortical and subcortical regions. Graph theory-based methods were employed to further analyze their topological properties. As expected, all participants demonstrated small-world topology, suggesting a highly efficient topological structure. Furthermore, we found that smaller brains showed higher local efficiency, whereas larger brains showed higher global efficiency, reflecting a suitable efficiency balance between local specialization and global integration of brain functional activity. Compared with right-handers, significant alterations in nodal efficiency were revealed in left-handers, involving the anterior and median cingulate gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, angular gyrus, and amygdala. Our findings indicated that the functional network organization in the human brain was associated with handedness and brain size.

  15. Larger ATV engine size correlates with an increased rate of traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butts, C Caleb; Rostas, Jack W; Lee, Y L; Gonzalez, Richard P; Brevard, Sidney B; Frotan, M Amin; Ahmed, Naveed; Simmons, Jon D

    2015-04-01

    Since the introduction of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to the United States in 1971, injuries and mortalities related to their use have increased significantly. Furthermore, these vehicles have become larger and more powerful. As there are no helmet requirements or limitations on engine-size in the State of Alabama, we hypothesised that larger engine size would correlate with an increased incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in patients following an ATV crash. Patient and ATV data were prospectively collected on all ATV crashes presenting to a level one trauma centre from September 2010 to May 2013. Collected data included: demographics, age of driver, ATV engine size, presence of helmet, injuries, and outcomes. The data were grouped according to the ATV engine size in cubic centimetres (cc). For the purposes of this study, TBI was defined as any type of intracranial haemorrhage on the initial computed tomography scan. There were 61 patients identified during the study period. Two patients (3%) were wearing a helmet at the time of injury. Patients on an ATV with an engine size of 350 cc or greater had higher Injury Severity Scores (13.9 vs. 7.5, p ≤ 0.05) and an increased incidence of TBI (26% vs. 0%, p ≤ 0.05) when compared to patients on ATV's with an engine size less than 350 cc. Patients on an ATV with an engine size of 350 cc or greater were more likely to have a TBI. The use of a helmet was rarely present in this cohort. Legislative efforts to implement rider protection laws for ATVs are warranted. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Optimal Location and Sizing of UPQC in Distribution Networks Using Differential Evolution Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Abbas Taher

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Differential evolution (DE algorithm is used to determine optimal location of unified power quality conditioner (UPQC considering its size in the radial distribution systems. The problem is formulated to find the optimum location of UPQC based on an objective function (OF defined for improving of voltage and current profiles, reducing power loss and minimizing the investment costs considering the OF's weighting factors. Hence, a steady-state model of UPQC is derived to set in forward/backward sweep load flow. Studies are performed on two IEEE 33-bus and 69-bus standard distribution networks. Accuracy was evaluated by reapplying the procedures using both genetic (GA and immune algorithms (IA. Comparative results indicate that DE is capable of offering a nearer global optimal in minimizing the OF and reaching all the desired conditions than GA and IA.

  17. Rates of ecological divergence and body size evolution are correlated with species diversification in scaly tree ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Barrera-Redondo, Josué; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2016-07-13

    Variation in species richness across regions and between different groups of organisms is a major feature of evolution. Several factors have been proposed to explain these differences, including heterogeneity in the rates of species diversification and the age of clades. It has been frequently assumed that rapid rates of diversification are coupled to high rates of ecological and morphological evolution, leading to a prediction that remains poorly explored for most species: the positive association between ecological niche divergence, morphological evolution and species diversification. We combined a time-calibrated phylogeny with distribution, ecological and body size data for scaly tree ferns (Cyatheaceae) to test whether rates of species diversification are predicted by the rates at which clades have evolved distinct ecological niches and body sizes. We found that rates of species diversification are positively correlated with rates of ecological and morphological evolution, with rapidly diversifying clades also showing rapidly evolving ecological niches and body sizes. Our results show that rapid diversification of scaly tree ferns is associated with the evolution of species with comparable morphologies that diversified into similar, yet distinct, environments. This suggests parallel evolutionary pathways opening in different tropical regions whenever ecological and geographical opportunities arise. Accordingly, rates of ecological niche and body size evolution are relevant to explain the current patterns of species richness in this 'ancient' fern lineage across the tropics. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. The 'silence' of silent brain infarctions may be related to chronic ischemic preconditioning and nonstrategic locations rather than to a small infarction size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Feng

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Silent brain infarctions are the silent cerebrovascular events that are distinguished from symptomatic lacunar infarctions by their 'silence'; the origin of these infarctions is still unclear. This study analyzed the characteristics of silent and symptomatic lacunar infarctions and sought to explore the mechanism of this 'silence'. METHODS: In total, 156 patients with only silent brain infarctions, 90 with only symptomatic lacunar infarctions, 160 with both silent and symptomatic lacunar infarctions, and 115 without any infarctions were recruited. Vascular risk factors, leukoaraiosis, and vascular assessment results were compared. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores were compared between patients with only symptomatic lacunar infarctions and patients with two types of infarctions. The locations of all of the infarctions were evaluated. The evolution of the two types of infarctions was retrospectively studied by comparing the infarcts on the magnetic resonance images of 63 patients obtained at different times. RESULTS: The main risk factors for silent brain infarctions were hypertension, age, and advanced leukoaraiosis; the main factors for symptomatic lacunar infarctions were hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and atherosclerosis of relevant arteries. The neurological deficits of patients with only symptomatic lacunar infarctions were more severe than those of patients with both types of infarctions. More silent brain infarctions were located in the corona radiata and basal ganglia; these locations were different from those of the symptomatic lacunar infarctions. The initial sizes of the symptomatic lacunar infarctions were larger than the silent brain infarctions, whereas the final sizes were almost equal between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic ischemic preconditioning and nonstrategic locations may be the main reasons for the 'silence' of silent brain infarctions.

  19. Body size evolution in an old insect order: No evidence for Cope's Rule in spite of fitness benefits of large size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, John T; Svensson, Erik I

    2017-09-01

    We integrate field data and phylogenetic comparative analyses to investigate causes of body size evolution and stasis in an old insect order: odonates ("dragonflies and damselflies"). Fossil evidence for "Cope's Rule" in odonates is weak or nonexistent since the last major extinction event 65 million years ago, yet selection studies show consistent positive selection for increased body size among adults. In particular, we find that large males in natural populations of the banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) over several generations have consistent fitness benefits both in terms of survival and mating success. Additionally, there was no evidence for stabilizing or conflicting selection between fitness components within the adult life-stage. This lack of stabilizing selection during the adult life-stage was independently supported by a literature survey on different male and female fitness components from several odonate species. We did detect several significant body size shifts among extant taxa using comparative methods and a large new molecular phylogeny for odonates. We suggest that the lack of Cope's rule in odonates results from conflicting selection between fitness advantages of large adult size and costs of long larval development. We also discuss competing explanations for body size stasis in this insect group. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Impact of breast milk on intelligence quotient, brain size, and white matter development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaacs, Elizabeth B; Fischl, Bruce R; Quinn, Brian T; Chong, Wui K; Gadian, David G; Lucas, Alan

    2010-04-01

    Although observational findings linking breast milk to higher scores on cognitive tests may be confounded by factors associated with mothers' choice to breastfeed, it has been suggested that one or more constituents of breast milk facilitate cognitive development, particularly in preterms. Because cognitive scores are related to head size, we hypothesized that breast milk mediates cognitive effects by affecting brain growth. We used detailed data from a randomized feeding trial to calculate percentage of expressed maternal breast milk (%EBM) in the infant diet of 50 adolescents. MRI scans were obtained (mean age=15 y 9 mo), allowing volumes of total brain (TBV) and white and gray matter (WMV, GMV) to be calculated. In the total group, %EBM correlated significantly with verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ); in boys, with all IQ scores, TBV and WMV. VIQ was, in turn, correlated with WMV and, in boys only, additionally with TBV. No significant relationships were seen in girls or with gray matter. These data support the hypothesis that breast milk promotes brain development, particularly white matter growth. The selective effect in males accords with animal and human evidence regarding gender effects of early diet. Our data have important neurobiological and public health implications and identify areas for future mechanistic study.

  1. Food portion size and energy density evoke different patterns of brain activation in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Laural K; Fearnbach, S Nicole; Wilson, Stephen J; Fisher, Jennifer O; Savage, Jennifer S; Rolls, Barbara J; Keller, Kathleen L

    2017-02-01

    Large portions of food promote intake, but the mechanisms that drive this effect are unclear. Previous neuroimaging studies have identified the brain-reward and decision-making systems that are involved in the response to the energy density (ED) (kilocalories per gram) of foods, but few studies have examined the brain response to the food portion size (PS). We used functional MRI (fMRI) to determine the brain response to food images that differed in PSs (large and small) and ED (high and low). Block-design fMRI was used to assess the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response to images in 36 children (7-10 y old; girls: 50%), which was tested after a 2-h fast. Pre-fMRI fullness and liking were rated on visual analog scales. A whole-brain cluster-corrected analysis was used to compare BOLD activation for main effects of the PS, ED, and their interaction. Secondary analyses were used to associate BOLD contrast values with appetitive traits and laboratory intake from meals for which the portions of all foods were increased. Compared with small-PS cues, large-PS cues were associated with decreased activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (P food PS may be processed in the lateral prefrontal cortex, which is a region that is implicated in cognitive control, whereas ED activates multiple areas involved in sensory and reward processing. Possible implications include the development of interventions that target decision-making and reward systems differently to moderate overeating. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.

  2. Starch digestion mechanistic information from the time evolution of molecular size distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Torsten; Gidley, Michael J; Gilbert, Robert G

    2010-07-28

    Size-exclusion chromatography [SEC, also termed gel permeation chromatography (GPC)] is used to measure the time evolution of the distributions of molecular size and of branch length as starch is subjected to in vitro digestion, including studying the development of enzyme-resistant starch. The method is applied to maize starches with varying amylose contents; the starches were extruded so as to provide an analogue for processed food. The initial rates of digestion of amylose and amylopectin components were found to be the same for high-amylose starches. A small starch species, not present in the original starting material, was formed during the digestion process; this new species has a slower digestion rate and is probably formed by retrogradation of longer branches of amylose and amylopectin as they are partially or wholly liberated from their parent starch molecule during the digestion process. The data suggest that the well-known connection between high amylose content and resistant starch arises from the greater number of longer branches, which can form the small retrograded species. The method is useful for the purpose of comparisons between different starches undergoing the process of digestion, by observing the changes in their molecular structures, as an adjunct to detailed studies of the enzyme-resistant fraction.

  3. Decreased Rate of Evolution in Y Chromosome STR Loci of Increased Size of the Repeat Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järve, Mari; Zhivotovsky, Lev A.; Rootsi, Siiri; Help, Hela; Rogaev, Evgeny I.; Khusnutdinova, Elza K.; Kivisild, Toomas; Sanchez, Juan J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Polymorphic Y chromosome short tandem repeats (STRs) have been widely used in population genetic and evolutionary studies. Compared to di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats, STRs with longer repeat units occur more rarely and are far less commonly used. Principal Findings In order to study the evolutionary dynamics of STRs according to repeat unit size, we analysed variation at 24 Y chromosome repeat loci: 1 tri-, 14 tetra-, 7 penta-, and 2 hexanucleotide loci. According to our results, penta- and hexanucleotide repeats have approximately two times lower repeat variance and diversity than tri- and tetranucleotide repeats, indicating that their mutation rate is about half of that of tri- and tetranucleotide repeats. Thus, STR markers with longer repeat units are more robust in distinguishing Y chromosome haplogroups and, in some cases, phylogenetic splits within established haplogroups. Conclusions Our findings suggest that Y chromosome STRs of increased repeat unit size have a lower rate of evolution, which has significant relevance in population genetic and evolutionary studies. PMID:19789645

  4. MRI derived brain atrophy in PSP and MSA-P. Determining sample size to detect treatment effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paviour, Dominic C; Price, Shona L; Lees, Andrew J; Fox, Nick C

    2007-04-01

    Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and multiple system (MSA) atrophy are associated with progressive brain atrophy. Serial MRI can be applied in order to measure this change in brain volume and to calculate atrophy rates. We evaluated MRI derived whole brain and regional atrophy rates as potential markers of progression in PSP and the Parkinsonian variant of multiple system atrophy (MSA-P). 17 patients with PSP, 9 with MSA-P and 18 healthy controls underwent two MRI brain scans. MRI scans were registered, and brain and regional atrophy rates (midbrain, pons, cerebellum, third and lateral ventricles) measured. Sample sizes required to detect the effect of a proposed disease-modifying treatment were estimated. The effect of scan interval on the variance of the atrophy rates and sample size was assessed. Based on the calculated yearly rates of atrophy, for a drug effect equivalent to a 30% reduction in atrophy, fewer PSP subjects are required in each treatment arm when using midbrain rather than whole brain atrophy rates (183 cf. 499). Fewer MSA-P subjects are required, using pontine/cerebellar, rather than whole brain atrophy rates (164/129 cf. 794). A reduction in the variance of measured atrophy rates was observed with a longer scan interval. Regional rather than whole brain atrophy rates calculated from volumetric serial MRI brain scans in PSP and MSA-P provide a more practical and powerful means of monitoring disease progression in clinical trials.

  5. Tailoring Particle Size of Mesoporous Silica Nanosystem To Antagonize Glioblastoma and Overcome Blood-Brain Barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Jianbin; He, Lizhen; Ma, Bin; Chen, Tianfeng

    2016-03-23

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is the main bottleneck to prevent some macromolecular substance entering the cerebral circulation, resulting the failure of chemotherapy in the treatment of glioma. Cancer nanotechnology displays potent applications in glioma therapy owing to their penetration across BBB and accumulation into the tumor core. In this study, we have tailored the particle size of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) through controlling the hydrolysis rate and polycondensation degree of reactants, and optimized the nanosystem that could effectively penetrate BBB and target the tumor tissue to achieve enhanced antiglioma efficacy. The nanoparticle was conjugated with cRGD peptide to enhance its cancer targeting effect, and then used to load antineoplastic doxorubicin. Therefore, the functionalized nanosystem (DOX@MSNs) selectively recognizes and binds to the U87 cells with higher expression level of ανβ3 integrin, sequentially enhancing the cellular uptake and inhibition to glioma cells, especially the particle size at 40 nm. This particle could rapidly enter cancer cells and was difficult to excrete outside the cells, thus leading to high drug accumulation. Furthermore, DOX@MSNs exhibited much higher selectivity and anticancer activity than free DOX and induced the glioma cells apoptosis through triggering ROS overproduction. Interestingly, DOX@MSNs at about 40 nm exhibited stronger permeability across the BBB, and could disrupt the VM-capability of glioma cells by regulating the expression of E-cadherin, FAK, and MMP-2, thus achieving satisfactory antiglioblastoma efficacy and avoiding the unwanted toxic side effects to normal brain tissue. Taken together, these results suggest that tailoring the particle size of MSNs nanosystem could be an effective strategy to antagonize glioblastoma and overcome BBB.

  6. Amino acid Alphabet Size in Protein Evolution Experiments: Better to Search a Small library Thoroughly or a Large Library Sparsely?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    We compare the results obtained from searching a smaller library thoroughly versus searching a more diverse, larger library sparsely. We study protein evolution with reduced amino acid alphabets, by simulating directed evolution experiments at three different alphabet sizes: 20, 5 and 2. We employ a physical model for evolution, the generalized NK model, that has proved successful in modeling protein evolution, antibody evolution, and T cell selection. We find that antibodies with higher affinity are found by searching a library with a larger alphabet sparsely than by searching a smaller library thoroughly, even with well-designed reduced libraries. We find ranked amino acid usage frequencies in agreement with observations of the CDR-H3 variable region of human antibodies. PMID:18375453

  7. Evidence for the unique function of DHA during the evolution of the modern hominid brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crawford M.A.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The African savanna ecosystem of the large mammals and primates was associated with a dramatic decline in relative brain capacity. This reduction happened to be associated with a decline in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA from the food chain. DHA is required for brain structures and growth. The biochemistry implies that the expansion of the human brain required a plentiful source of preformed DHA. The richest source of DHA is the marine food chain while the savannah environment offers very little of it. Consequently H. sapiens could not have evolved on the savannahs. Recent fossil evidence indicates that the lacustrine and marine food chain was being extensively exploited at the time cerebral expansion took place and suggests the alternative that the transition from the archaic to modern humans took place at the land\\\\water interface. Contemporary data on tropical lake shore dwellers reaffirms the above view. Lacustrine habitats provide nutritional support for the vascular system, the development of which would have been a prerequisite for cerebral expansion. Both arachidonic acid (AA and DHA would have been freely available from such habitats providing the double stimulus of preformed acyl components for the developing blood vessels and brain. The w3 docosapentaenoic acid precursor (w3DPA was the major w3 metabolite in the savanna mammals. Despite this abundance, neither it or the corresponding w6DPA were used for the photoreceptor nor the synapse. A substantial difference between DHA and other fatty acids is required to explain this high specificity. Studies on fluidity and other mechanical features of cell membranes have not revealed a difference of such magnitude between even a-linolenic acid (LNA and DHA sufficient to explain the exclusive use of DHA. We suggest that the evolution of the large human brain depended on a rich source of DHA from the land\\\\water interface. We review a number of proposals for the possible influence of DHA on

  8. Genomic divergence and brain evolution: How regulatory DNA influences development of the cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Debra L

    2016-02-01

    The cerebral cortex controls our most distinguishing higher cognitive functions. Human-specific gene expression differences are abundant in the cerebral cortex, yet we have only begun to understand how these variations impact brain function. This review discusses the current evidence linking non-coding regulatory DNA changes, including enhancers, with neocortical evolution. Functional interrogation using animal models reveals converging roles for our genome in key aspects of cortical development including progenitor cell cycle and neuronal signaling. New technologies, including iPS cells and organoids, offer potential alternatives to modeling evolutionary modifications in a relevant species context. Several diseases rooted in the cerebral cortex uniquely manifest in humans compared to other primates, thus highlighting the importance of understanding human brain differences. Future studies of regulatory loci, including those implicated in disease, will collectively help elucidate key cellular and genetic mechanisms underlying our distinguishing cognitive traits. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Evolution of brain-computer interfaces: going beyond classic motor physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuthardt, Eric C.; Schalk, Gerwin; Roland, Jarod; Rouse, Adam; Moran, Daniel W.

    2010-01-01

    The notion that a computer can decode brain signals to infer the intentions of a human and then enact those intentions directly through a machine is becoming a realistic technical possibility. These types of devices are known as brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). The evolution of these neuroprosthetic technologies could have significant implications for patients with motor disabilities by enhancing their ability to interact and communicate with their environment. The cortical physiology most investigated and used for device control has been brain signals from the primary motor cortex. To date, this classic motor physiology has been an effective substrate for demonstrating the potential efficacy of BCI-based control. However, emerging research now stands to further enhance our understanding of the cortical physiology underpinning human intent and provide further signals for more complex brain-derived control. In this review, the authors report the current status of BCIs and detail the emerging research trends that stand to augment clinical applications in the future. PMID:19569892

  10. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology

    OpenAIRE

    Raichlen, David A.; Polk, John D.

    2013-01-01

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. Howe...

  11. Increased brain size in mammals is associated with size variations in gene families with cell signalling, chemotaxis and immune-related functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Monzón-Sandoval, Jimena; Urrutia, Araxi O; Gutiérrez, Humberto

    2014-01-22

    Genomic determinants underlying increased encephalization across mammalian lineages are unknown. Whole genome comparisons have revealed large and frequent changes in the size of gene families, and it has been proposed that these variations could play a major role in shaping morphological and physiological differences among species. Using a genome-wide comparative approach, we examined changes in gene family size (GFS) and degree of encephalization in 39 fully sequenced mammalian species and found a significant over-representation of GFS variations in line with increased encephalization in mammals. We found that this relationship is not accounted for by known correlates of brain size such as maximum lifespan or body size and is not explained by phylogenetic relatedness. Genes involved in chemotaxis, immune regulation and cell signalling-related functions are significantly over-represented among those gene families most highly correlated with encephalization. Genes within these families are prominently expressed in the human brain, particularly the cortex, and organized in co-expression modules that display distinct temporal patterns of expression in the developing cortex. Our results suggest that changes in GFS associated with encephalization represent an evolutionary response to the specific functional requirements underlying increased brain size in mammals.

  12. Brain dynamics of word familiarization in 20-month-olds: effects of productive vocabulary size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torkildsen, Janne von Koss; Friis Hansen, Hanna; Svangstu, Janne Mari; Smith, Lars; Simonsen, Hanne Gram; Moen, Inger; Lindgren, Magnus

    2009-02-01

    The present study investigated the brain mechanisms involved during young children's receptive familiarization with new words, and whether the dynamics of these mechanisms are related to the child's productive vocabulary size. To this end, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from 20-month-old children in a pseudoword repetition task. Results revealed distinct patterns of repetition effects for children with large and small productive vocabularies. High producers showed evidence of recognizing the novel words already after three presentations, while the low producers needed five presentations to display a recognition effect. The familiarization process was manifested in the modulations of two components, the N200-400 and a later fronto-central component, which appeared to increase in amplitude until a certain level of encoding was reached and then decrease with further repetition. These findings suggest a relation between the onset of the productive vocabulary spurt and the rate of receptive word familiarization.

  13. A model of posttraumatic epilepsy after penetrating brain injuries: effect of lesion size and metal fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendirli, M Tansel; Rose, Dominique T; Bertram, Edward H

    2014-12-01

    Penetrating brain injury (PBI) has the highest risk for inducing posttraumatic epilepsy, and those PBIs with retained foreign materials such as bullet fragments carry the greatest risk. This study examines the potential contribution of copper, a major component of bullets, to the development of epilepsy following PBI. Anesthetized adult male rats received a penetrating injury from the dorsal cortex to the ventral hippocampus from a high speed small bit drill. In one group of animals, copper wire was inserted into the lesion. Control animals had only the lesion or the lesion plus stainless steel wire (biologically inert foreign body). From 6 to up to 11 months following the injury the rats were monitored intermittently for the development of epilepsy with video-electroencephalography (EEG). A separate set of animals was examined for possible acute seizures in the week following the injury. Twenty-two of the 23 animals with copper wire developed chronic epilepsy, compared to three of the 20 control rats (lesion and lesion with stainless steel). Copper was associated with more extensive injury. The control rats with epilepsy had larger lesions. In the acute injury group, there was no difference in the incidence of seizures (83% lesion plus stainless steel, 70% lesion plus copper). Copper increases the risk for epilepsy and may increase damage over time, but there were no differences between the groups in the incidence of acute postinjury seizures. Lesion size may contribute to epilepsy development in lesion-only animals. Copper may be an independent risk factor for the development of epilepsy and possible secondary injury, but lesion size also contributes to the development of epilepsy. The consequences of prolonged exposure of the brain to copper observed in these animals may have clinical implications that require further evaluation. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 International League Against Epilepsy.

  14. A Theory of Reproductive Allocation Based on Size-specific Demography(SYMPOSIUM : LIFE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION IN ARISAEMA)

    OpenAIRE

    MASAYUKI, KAKEHASHI; YASUSHI, HARADA; Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University; Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University

    1988-01-01

    An evolutionary approach to reproductive allocation is extended to the realm of size-specific demography. Questions of how resource is allocated between male and female functions and between present and future reproduction are investigated. The concepts of reproductive value and the Euler-Lotka equation are extended to cover size-specific demography. The criterion of life history evolution in age-specific demography is also extended and applied to the prediction of the reproductive allocation...

  15. A shift in the long-term mode of foraminiferan size evolution caused by the end-Permian mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Jonathan L; Jost, Adam B; Wang, Steve C; Skotheim, Jan M

    2013-03-01

    Size is among the most important traits of any organism, yet the factors that control its evolution remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate controls on the evolution of organismal size using a newly compiled database of nearly 25,000 foraminiferan species and subspecies spanning the past 400 million years. We find a transition in the pattern of foraminiferan size evolution from correlation with atmospheric pO2 during the Paleozoic (400-250 million years ago) to long-term stasis during the post-Paleozoic (250 million years ago to present). Thus, a dramatic shift in the evolutionary mode coincides with the most severe biotic catastrophe of the Phanerozoic (543 million years ago to present). Paleozoic tracking of pO2 was confined to Order Fusulinida, whereas Paleozoic lagenides, miliolids, and textulariids were best described by the stasis model. Stasis continued to best describe miliolids and textulariids during post-Paleozoic time, whereas random walk was the best supported mode for the other diverse orders. The shift in evolutionary dynamics thus appears to have resulted primarily from the selective elimination of fusulinids at the end of the Permian Period. These findings illustrate the potential for mass extinction to alter macroevolutionary dynamics for hundreds of millions of years. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Evolution of grain size and morphology of Si thin films fabricated on lunar regolith glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramajo, C.; Williams, L.; Feltrin, A.; Alemu, A.; Freundlich, A.

    2006-10-01

    A critical requirement for space colonization and in particular for its lunar exploration component is the availability of large amounts of electric energy. Novel architectures which involve the in situ manufacture of solar cells on the Moon using indigenous lunar materials have been proposed to meet this need [1]. In support of this effort, this study delves on several aspects of interest starting from the fabrication of a glass substrate from lunar regolith, to the deposition of Si films and the effects of thermal processing induced changes on the properties of these films. The experiments were implemented using several types of commercially available glasses as well as in-house fabricated regolith glass. In particular, the study provides valuable information on the effect of temperature on the interactions between Si and the substrates, and also the interaction between metallic contact layers and Si, which could affect regions beyond their common interface. This insight sheds a light on the evolution of grain size and morphology of Si thin films grown on lunar regolith.

  17. Growth in fossil and extant deer and implications for body size and life history evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Christian; Scheyer, Torsten M; Lister, Adrian M; Azorit, Concepcion; de Vos, John; Schlingemann, Margaretha A J; Rössner, Gertrud E; Monaghan, Nigel T; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2015-02-14

    extended lifespan compared to other deer of similar body size such as Mazama which has a maximum longevity of 12 years in the wild. Comparison with other clades of mammals reveals that changes in size and life history in evolution have occurred in parallel, with various modes of skeletal tissue modification.

  18. Morpho morphometrics: Shared ancestry and selection drive the evolution of wing size and shape in Morpho butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chazot, Nicolas; Panara, Stephen; Zilbermann, Nicolas; Blandin, Patrick; Le Poul, Yann; Cornette, Raphaël; Elias, Marianne; Debat, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Butterfly wings harbor highly diverse phenotypes and are involved in many functions. Wing size and shape result from interactions between adaptive processes, phylogenetic history, and developmental constraints, which are complex to disentangle. Here, we focus on the genus Morpho (Nymphalidae: Satyrinae, 30 species), which presents a high diversity of sizes, shapes, and color patterns. First, we generate a comprehensive molecular phylogeny of these 30 species. Next, using 911 collection specimens, we quantify the variation of wing size and shape across species, to assess the importance of shared ancestry, microhabitat use, and sexual selection in the evolution of the wings. While accounting for phylogenetic and allometric effects, we detect a significant difference in wing shape but not size among microhabitats. Fore and hindwings covary at the individual and species levels, and the covariation differs among microhabitats. However, the microhabitat structure in covariation disappears when phylogenetic relationships are taken into account. Our results demonstrate that microhabitat has driven wing shape evolution, although it has not strongly affected forewing and hindwing integration. We also found that sexual dimorphism of forewing shape and color pattern are coupled, suggesting a common selective force. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Rare ecomorphological convergence on a complex adaptive landscape: Body size and diet mediate evolution of jaw shape in squirrels (Sciuridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelditch, Miriam Leah; Ye, Ji; Mitchell, Jonathan S; Swiderski, Donald L

    2017-03-01

    Convergence is widely regarded as compelling evidence for adaptation, often being portrayed as evidence that phenotypic outcomes are predictable from ecology, overriding contingencies of history. However, repeated outcomes may be very rare unless adaptive landscapes are simple, structured by strong ecological and functional constraints. One such constraint may be a limitation on body size because performance often scales with size, allowing species to adapt to challenging functions by modifying only size. When size is constrained, species might adapt by changing shape; convergent shapes may therefore be common when size is limiting and functions are challenging. We examine the roles of size and diet as determinants of jaw shape in Sciuridae. As expected, size and diet have significant interdependent effects on jaw shape and ecomorphological convergence is rare, typically involving demanding diets and limiting sizes. More surprising is morphological without ecological convergence, which is equally common between and within dietary classes. Those cases, like rare ecomorphological convergence, may be consequences of evolving on an adaptive landscape shaped by many-to-many relationships between ecology and function, many-to-one relationships between form and performance, and one-to-many relationships between functionally versatile morphologies and ecology. On complex adaptive landscapes, ecological selection can yield different outcomes. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  1. Insularity and the evolution of melanism, sexual dichromatism and body size in the worldwide-distributed barn owl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roulin, A; Salamin, N

    2010-05-01

    Island biogeography has provided fundamental hypotheses in population genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology. Insular populations usually face different feeding conditions, predation pressure, intraspecific and interspecific competition than continental populations. This so-called island syndrome can promote the evolution of specific phenotypes like a small (or large) body size and a light (or dark) colouration as well as influence the evolution of sexual dimorphism. To examine whether insularity leads to phenotypic differentiation in a consistent way in a worldwide-distributed nonmigratory species, we compared body size, body shape and colouration between insular and continental barn owl (Tyto alba) populations by controlling indirectly for phylogeny. This species is suitable because it varies in pheomelanin-based colouration from reddish-brown to white, and it displays eumelanic black spots for which the number and size vary between individuals, populations and species. Females are on average darker pheomelanic and display more and larger eumelanic spots than males. Our results show that on islands barn owls exhibited smaller and fewer eumelanic spots and lighter pheomelanic colouration, and shorter wings than on continents. Sexual dimorphism in pheomelanin-based colouration was less pronounced on islands than continents (i.e. on islands males tended to be as pheomelanic as females), and on small islands owls were redder pheomelanic and smaller in size than owls living on larger islands. Sexual dimorphism in the size of eumelanic spots was more pronounced (i.e. females displayed much larger spots than males) in barn owls living on islands located further away from a continent. Our study indicates that insular conditions drive the evolution towards a lower degree of eumelanism, smaller body size and affects the evolution of sexual dichromatism in melanin-based colour traits. The effect of insularity was more pronounced on body size and shape than on melanic

  2. Four types of interference competition and their impacts on the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations and communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai; Andersen, Ken Haste; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2015-01-01

    We investigate how four types of interference competition - which alternatively affect foraging, metabolism, survival, and reproduction - impact the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations. Even though all four types of interference competition reduce population biomass, interference...... competition at intermediate intensity sometimes significantly increases the abundance of adult individuals and the population[U+05F3]s reproduction rate. We find that foraging and metabolic interference evolutionarily favor smaller maturation size when interference is weak and larger maturation size when...... together, our results show how the type and intensity of interference competition jointly affect coexistence patterns in structured population models...

  3. Brain size and white matter content of cerebrospinal tracts determine the upper cervical cord area: evidence from structural brain MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engl, Christina; Arsic, Milan; Boucard, Christine C.; Biberacher, Viola; Nunnemann, Sabine; Muehlau, Mark [Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich (Germany); Technische Universitaet Muenchen, TUM-Neuroimaging Center, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich (Germany); Schmidt, Paul [Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich (Germany); Ludwig-Maximilians-University Muenchen, Department of Statistics, Munich (Germany); Roettinger, Michael [Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Department of Radiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich (Germany); Muenchner Institut fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich (Germany); Etgen, Thorleif [Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich (Germany); Klinikum Traunstein, Department of Neurology, Traunstein (Germany); Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Meisenzahl, Eva M. [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Munich (Germany); Reiser, Maximilian [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Department of Radiology, Munich (Germany)

    2013-08-15

    Measurement of the upper cervical cord area (UCCA) from brain MRI may be an effective way to quantify spinal cord involvement in neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. However, knowledge on the determinants of UCCA in healthy controls (HCs) is limited. In two cohorts of 133 and 285 HCs, we studied the influence of different demographic, body-related, and brain-related parameters on UCCA by simple and partial correlation analyses as well as by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) across both cerebral gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM). First, we confirmed the known but moderate effect of age on UCCA in the older cohort. Second, we studied the correlation of UCCA with sex, body height, and total intracranial volume (TIV). TIV was the only variable that correlated significantly with UCCA after correction for the other variables. Third, we studied the correlation of UCCA with brain-related parameters. Brain volume correlated stronger with UCCA than TIV. Both volumes of the brain tissue compartments GM and WM correlated with UCCA significantly. WM volume explained variance of UCCA after correction for GM volume, whilst the opposite was not observed. Correspondingly, VBM did not yield any brain region, whose GM content correlated significantly with UCCA, whilst cerebral WM content of cerebrospinal tracts strongly correlated with UCCA. This latter effect increased along a craniocaudal gradient. UCCA is mainly determined by brain volume as well as by WM content of cerebrospinal tracts. (orig.)

  4. Effects of manganese doping on the structure evolution of small-sized boron clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lingquan; Qu, Xin; Wang, Yanchao; Lv, Jian; Zhang, Lijun; Hu, Ziyu; Gu, Guangrui; Ma, Yanming

    2017-07-01

    Atomic doping of clusters is known as an effective approach to stabilize or modify the structures and properties of resulting doped clusters. We herein report the effect of manganese (Mn) doping on the structure evolution of small-sized boron (B) clusters. The global minimum structures of both neutral and charged Mn doped B cluster \\text{MnB}nQ (n  =  10-20 and Q  =  0, ±1) have been proposed through extensive first-principles swarm-intelligence based structure searches. It is found that Mn doping has significantly modified the grow behaviors of B clusters, leading to two novel structural transitions from planar to tubular and then to cage-like B structures in both neutral and charged species. Half-sandwich-type structures are most favorable for small \\text{MnB}n-/0/+ (n  ⩽  13) clusters and gradually transform to Mn-centered double-ring tubular structures at \\text{MnB}16-/0/+ clusters with superior thermodynamic stabilities compared with their neighbors. Most strikingly, endohedral cages become the ground-state structures for larger \\text{MnB}n-/0/+ (n  ⩾  19) clusters, among which \\text{MnB}20+ adopts a highly symmetric structure with superior thermodynamic stability and a large HOMO-LUMO gap of 4.53 eV. The unique stability of the endohedral \\text{MnB}\\text{20}+ cage is attributed to the geometric fit and formation of 18-electron closed-shell configuration. The results significantly advance our understanding about the structure and bonding of B-based clusters and strongly suggest transition-metal doping as a viable route to synthesize intriguing B-based nanomaterials.

  5. Effects of manganese doping on the structure evolution of small-sized boron clusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lingquan; Qu, Xin; Wang, Yanchao; Lv, Jian; Zhang, Lijun; Hu, Ziyu; Gu, Guangrui; Ma, Yanming

    2017-07-05

    Atomic doping of clusters is known as an effective approach to stabilize or modify the structures and properties of resulting doped clusters. We herein report the effect of manganese (Mn) doping on the structure evolution of small-sized boron (B) clusters. The global minimum structures of both neutral and charged Mn doped B cluster [Formula: see text] (n  =  10-20 and Q  =  0, ±1) have been proposed through extensive first-principles swarm-intelligence based structure searches. It is found that Mn doping has significantly modified the grow behaviors of B clusters, leading to two novel structural transitions from planar to tubular and then to cage-like B structures in both neutral and charged species. Half-sandwich-type structures are most favorable for small [Formula: see text] (n  ⩽  13) clusters and gradually transform to Mn-centered double-ring tubular structures at [Formula: see text] clusters with superior thermodynamic stabilities compared with their neighbors. Most strikingly, endohedral cages become the ground-state structures for larger [Formula: see text] (n  ⩾  19) clusters, among which [Formula: see text] adopts a highly symmetric structure with superior thermodynamic stability and a large HOMO-LUMO gap of 4.53 eV. The unique stability of the endohedral [Formula: see text] cage is attributed to the geometric fit and formation of 18-electron closed-shell configuration. The results significantly advance our understanding about the structure and bonding of B-based clusters and strongly suggest transition-metal doping as a viable route to synthesize intriguing B-based nanomaterials.

  6. Is the social brain theory applicable to human individual differences? Relationship between sociability personality dimension and brain size

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Horváth, Klára; Martos, János; Mihalik, Béla; Bódizs, Róbert

    2011-01-01

    .... We hypothesized that these brain lobes, as well as the whole cerebrum and neocortex are in connection with the Sociability personality dimension that is associated with individuals' social lives...

  7. Is the Social Brain Theory Applicable to Human Individual Differences? Relationship between Sociability Personality Dimension and Brain Size

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Horváth, Klára; Martos, János; Mihalik, Béla; Bódizs, Róbert

    2011-01-01

    .... We hypothesized that these brain lobes, as well as the whole cerebrum and neocortex are in connection with the Sociability personality dimension that is associated with individuals' social lives...

  8. Simulation of the evolution of particle size distributions in a vehicle exhaust plume with unconfined dilution by ambient air.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Pengzhi; Lignell, David O; Kelly, Kerry E; Lighty, JoAnn S; Sarofim, Adel F; Montgomery, Christopher J

    2005-04-01

    Over the past several years, numerous studies have linked ambient concentrations of particulate matter (PM) to adverse health effects, and more recent studies have identified PM size and surface area as important factors in determining the health effects of PM. This study contributes to a better understanding of the evolution of particle size distributions in exhaust plumes with unconfined dilution by ambient air. It combines computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with an aerosol dynamics model to examine the effects of different streamlines in an exhaust plume, ambient particle size distributions, and vehicle and wind speed on the particle size distribution in an exhaust plume. CFD was used to calculate the flow field and gas mixing for unconfined dilution of a vehicle exhaust plume, and the calculated dilution ratios were then used as input to the aerosol dynamics simulation. The results of the study show that vehicle speed affected the particle size distribution of an exhaust plume because increasing vehicle speed caused more rapid dilution and inhibited coagulation. Ambient particle size distributions had an effect on the smaller sized particles (approximately 10 nm range under some conditions) and larger sized particles (>2 microm) of the particle size distribution. The ambient air particle size distribution affects the larger sizes of the exhaust plume because vehicle exhaust typically contains few particles larger than 2 microm. Finally, the location of a streamline in the exhaust plume had little effect on the particle size distribution; the particle size distribution along any streamline at a distance x differed by less than 5% from the particle size distributions along any other streamline at distance x.

  9. Comparing brain networks of different size and connectivity density using graph theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernadette C M van Wijk

    Full Text Available Graph theory is a valuable framework to study the organization of functional and anatomical connections in the brain. Its use for comparing network topologies, however, is not without difficulties. Graph measures may be influenced by the number of nodes (N and the average degree (k of the network. The explicit form of that influence depends on the type of network topology, which is usually unknown for experimental data. Direct comparisons of graph measures between empirical networks with different N and/or k can therefore yield spurious results. We list benefits and pitfalls of various approaches that intend to overcome these difficulties. We discuss the initial graph definition of unweighted graphs via fixed thresholds, average degrees or edge densities, and the use of weighted graphs. For instance, choosing a threshold to fix N and k does eliminate size and density effects but may lead to modifications of the network by enforcing (ignoring non-significant (significant connections. Opposed to fixing N and k, graph measures are often normalized via random surrogates but, in fact, this may even increase the sensitivity to differences in N and k for the commonly used clustering coefficient and small-world index. To avoid such a bias we tried to estimate the N,k-dependence for empirical networks, which can serve to correct for size effects, if successful. We also add a number of methods used in social sciences that build on statistics of local network structures including exponential random graph models and motif counting. We show that none of the here-investigated methods allows for a reliable and fully unbiased comparison, but some perform better than others.

  10. Comparing brain networks of different size and connectivity density using graph theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijk, Bernadette C M; Stam, Cornelis J; Daffertshofer, Andreas

    2010-10-28

    Graph theory is a valuable framework to study the organization of functional and anatomical connections in the brain. Its use for comparing network topologies, however, is not without difficulties. Graph measures may be influenced by the number of nodes (N) and the average degree (k) of the network. The explicit form of that influence depends on the type of network topology, which is usually unknown for experimental data. Direct comparisons of graph measures between empirical networks with different N and/or k can therefore yield spurious results. We list benefits and pitfalls of various approaches that intend to overcome these difficulties. We discuss the initial graph definition of unweighted graphs via fixed thresholds, average degrees or edge densities, and the use of weighted graphs. For instance, choosing a threshold to fix N and k does eliminate size and density effects but may lead to modifications of the network by enforcing (ignoring) non-significant (significant) connections. Opposed to fixing N and k, graph measures are often normalized via random surrogates but, in fact, this may even increase the sensitivity to differences in N and k for the commonly used clustering coefficient and small-world index. To avoid such a bias we tried to estimate the N,k-dependence for empirical networks, which can serve to correct for size effects, if successful. We also add a number of methods used in social sciences that build on statistics of local network structures including exponential random graph models and motif counting. We show that none of the here-investigated methods allows for a reliable and fully unbiased comparison, but some perform better than others.

  11. A spectroscopic sample of massive, quiescent z ∼ 2 galaxies: implications for the evolution of the mass-size relation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krogager, J.-K.; Zirm, A. W.; Toft, S.; Man, A. [Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen O (Denmark); Brammer, G. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21210 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    We present deep, near-infrared Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 grism spectroscopy and imaging for a sample of 14 galaxies at z ≈ 2 selected from a mass-complete photometric catalog in the COSMOS field. By combining the grism observations with photometry in 30 bands, we derive accurate constraints on their redshifts, stellar masses, ages, dust extinction, and formation redshifts. We show that the slope and scatter of the z ∼ 2 mass-size relation of quiescent galaxies is consistent with the local relation, and confirm previous findings that the sizes for a given mass are smaller by a factor of two to three. Finally, we show that the observed evolution of the mass-size relation of quiescent galaxies between z = 2 and 0 can be explained by the quenching of increasingly larger star forming galaxies at a rate dictated by the increase in the number density of quiescent galaxies with decreasing redshift. However, we find that the scatter in the mass-size relation should increase in the quenching-driven scenario in contrast to what is seen in the data. This suggests that merging is not needed to explain the evolution of the median mass-size relation of massive galaxies, but may still be required to tighten its scatter, and explain the size growth of individual z = 2 galaxies quiescent galaxies.

  12. Climate change, body size evolution, and Cope's Rule in deep-sea ostracodes

    OpenAIRE

    Hunt, Gene; Roy, Kaustuv

    2006-01-01

    Causes of macroevolutionary trends in body size, such as Cope's Rule, the tendency of body size to increase over time, remain poorly understood. We used size measurements from Cenozoic populations of the ostracode genus Poseidonamicus, in conjunction with phylogeny and paleotemperature estimates, to show that climatic cooling leads to significant increases in body size, both overall and within individual lineages. The magnitude of size increase due to Cenozoic cooling is consistent with tempe...

  13. Evolution, immunity and the emergence of brain superautoantigens [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Nataf

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available While some autoimmune disorders remain extremely rare, others largely predominate the epidemiology of human autoimmunity. Notably, these include psoriasis, diabetes, vitiligo, thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Thus, despite the quasi-infinite number of "self" antigens that could theoretically trigger autoimmune responses, only a limited set of antigens, referred here as superautoantigens, induce pathogenic adaptive responses. Several lines of evidence reviewed in this paper indicate that, irrespective of the targeted organ (e.g. thyroid, pancreas, joints, brain or skin, a significant proportion of superautoantigens are highly expressed in the synaptic compartment of the central nervous system (CNS. Such an observation applies notably for GAD65, AchR, ribonucleoproteins, heat shock proteins, collagen IV, laminin, tyrosine hydroxylase and the acetylcholinesterase domain of thyroglobulin. It is also argued that cognitive alterations have been described in a number of autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn's disease and autoimmune thyroiditis. Finally, the present paper points out that a great majority of the "incidental" autoimmune conditions notably triggered by neoplasms, vaccinations or microbial infections are targeting the synaptic or myelin compartments. On this basis, the concept of an immunological homunculus, proposed by Irun Cohen more than 25 years ago, is extended here in a model where physiological autoimmunity against brain superautoantigens confers both: i a crucial evolutionary-determined advantage via cognition-promoting autoimmunity; and ii a major evolutionary-determined vulnerability, leading to the emergence of autoimmune disorders in Homo sapiens. Moreover, in this theoretical framework, the so called co-development/co-evolution model, both the development (at the scale of an individual and evolution (at the scale of species of the antibody and T-cell repertoires

  14. Metopic suture of Taung (Australopithecus africanus) and its implications for hominin brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Dean; Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S

    2012-05-29

    The type specimen for Australopithecus africanus (Taung) includes a natural endocast that reproduces most of the external morphology of the right cerebral hemisphere and a fragment of fossilized face that articulates with the endocast. Despite the fact that Taung died between 3 and 4 y of age, the endocast reproduces a small triangular-shaped remnant of the anterior fontanelle, from which a clear metopic suture (MS) courses rostrally along the midline [Hrdlička A (1925) Am J Phys Anthropol 8:379-392]. Here we describe and interpret this feature of Taung in light of comparative fossil and actualistic data on the timing of MS closure. In great apes, the MS normally fuses shortly after birth, such that unfused MS similar to Taung's are rare. In humans, however, MS fuses well after birth, and partially or unfused MS are frequent. In gracile fossil adult hominins that lived between ∼3.0 and 1.5 million y ago, MS are also relatively frequent, indicating that the modern human-like pattern of late MS fusion may have become adaptive during early hominin evolution. Selective pressures favoring delayed fusion might have resulted from three aspects of perinatal ontogeny: (i) the difficulty of giving birth to large-headed neonates through birth canals that were reconfigured for bipedalism (the "obstetric dilemma"), (ii) high early postnatal brain growth rates, and (iii) reorganization and expansion of the frontal neocortex. Overall, our data indicate that hominin brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns.

  15. The social network-network: size is predicted by brain structure and function in the amygdala and paralimbic regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Der Heide, Rebecca; Vyas, Govinda; Olson, Ingrid R

    2014-12-01

    The social brain hypothesis proposes that the large size of the primate neocortex evolved to support complex and demanding social interactions. Accordingly, recent studies have reported correlations between the size of an individual's social network and the density of gray matter (GM) in regions of the brain implicated in social cognition. However, the reported relationships between GM density and social group size are somewhat inconsistent with studies reporting correlations in different brain regions. One factor that might account for these discrepancies is the use of different measures of social network size (SNS). This study used several measures of SNS to assess the relationships SNS and GM density. The second goal of this study was to test the relationship between social network measures and functional brain activity. Participants performed a social closeness task using photos of their friends and unknown people. Across the VBM and functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses, individual differences in SNS were consistently related to structural and functional differences in three regions: the left amygdala, right amygdala and the right entorhinal/ventral anterior temporal cortex. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Normal variants of Microcephalin and ASPM do not account for brain size variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Roger P; Freimer, Nelson B; De Young, Joseph A; Fears, Scott C; Sicotte, Nancy L; Service, Susan K; Valentino, Daniel J; Toga, Arthur W; Mazziotta, John C

    2006-06-15

    Normal human brain volume is heritable. The genes responsible for variation in brain volume are not known. Microcephalin (MCPH1) and ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) have been proposed as candidate genes as mutations in both genes are associated with microcephaly, and common variants of each gene are apparently under strong positive selective pressure. In 120 normal subjects, we genotyped these variants and measured brain volumes using magnetic resonance imaging. We found no evidence that the selected alleles were associated with increases or decreases in brain volume. This result suggests that the selective pressure on these genes may be related to subtle neurobiological effects or to their expression outside the brain.

  17. Miniaturization and its effects on cranial morphology in plethodontid salamanders, genus Thorius (Amphibia, Plethodontidae): II. The fate of the brain and sense organs and their role in skull morphogenesis and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanken, J

    1983-09-01

    Relative size and arrangement of the brain and paired sense organs are examined in three species of Thorius, a genus of minute, terrestrial salamanders that are among the smallest extant tailed tetrapods. Analogous measurements of representative species of three related genera of larger tropical (Pseudoeurycea, Chiropterotriton) and temperate (Plethodon) salamanders are used to identify changes in gross morphology of the brain and sense organs that have accompanied the evolution of decreased head size in Thorius and their relation to associated changes in skull morphology. In adult Thorius, relative size (area measured in frontal plane, and length) of the eyes, otic capsules, and brain each is greater than in adults of all of the larger genera; relative size of the nasal capsules is unchanged or slightly smaller. Interspecific scaling phenomena--negative allometry of otic capsule, eye and brain size, isometry or slight positive allometry of nasal capsule size, all with respect to skull length--also are characteristic of intraspecific (ontogenetic) comparisons in both T. narisovalis and Pseudoeurycea goebeli. Predominance of the brain and eyes in Thorius results in greater contact and overlap among these structures and the nasal capsules in the anterior portion of the head. This is associated with anterior displacement of both the eyes and nasal capsules, which now protrude anterior to the skull proper; a change in eye shape; and medial deformation of anterior braincase walls. Posteriorly, predominance of the otic capsules has effected a reorientation of the jaw suspensorium to a fully vertical position that is correlated with the novel presence of a posteriorly directed squamosal process and shift in origin of the quadropectoralis muscle. Many of these changes in cranial morphology may be explained simply as results of mechanical (physical) interactions among the skeletal, nervous, and sensory components during head development at reduced size. This provides

  18. Evolution of the brain: from behavior to consciousness in 3.4 billion years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oró, John J

    2004-06-01

    Once life began as single-cell organisms, evolution favored those able to seek nutrients and avoid risks. Receptors sensed the environment, memory traces were laid, and adaptive responses were made. Environmental stress, at times as dramatic as the collision of an asteroid, resulted in extinctions that favored small predators with dorsal nerve cords and cranially positioned brains. Myelination, and later thermoregulation, led to increasingly efficient neural processing. As somatosensory, visual, and auditory input increased, a neocortex developed containing both sensory and motor neural maps. Hominids, with their free hands, pushed cortical development further and began to make simple stone tools. Tools and increasing cognition allowed procurement of a richer diet that led to a smaller gut, thus freeing more energy for brain expansion. Multimodal association areas, initially developed for processing incoming sensory information, blossomed and began to provide the organism with an awareness of self and environment. Advancements in memory storage and retrieval gave the organism a sense of continuity through time. This developing consciousness eventually left visible traces, which today are dramatically evident on cave walls in France and Spain. We will take this journey from the single cell to human consciousness.

  19. Evolution of brain functions in mammals and LTR retrotransposon-derived genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

    In the human genome, there are approximately 30 LTR retrotransposon-derived genes, such as the sushi-ichi retrotransposon homologues (SIRH) and the paraneoplastic Ma antigen (PNMA) family genes. They are derivatives from the original LTR retrotransposons and each gene seems to have its own unique function. PEG10/SIRH1 as well as PEG11/RTL1/SIRH2 and SIRH7/LDOC1 play essential roles in placenta formation, maintenance of fetal capillaries and the differentiation/maturation of a variety of placental cells, respectively. All of this evidence provides strong support for their contribution to the evolution of viviparity in mammals via their eutherian-specific functions. SIRH11/ZCCHC16 is an X-linked gene that encodes a CCHC type of zinc-finger protein that exhibits high sequence identity to the LTR retrotransposon Gag protein and its deletion causes abnormal behavior related to cognition, including attention, impulsivity and working memory, possibly via the locus coeruleus noradrenaergic system in mice. Therefore, we have suggested that the acquisition of SIRH11/ZCCHC16 was involved in eutherian brain evolution. Interestingly, SIRH11/ZCCHC16 displays lineage-specific structural and putative species-specific functional variations in eutherians, suggesting that it contributed to the diversification of eutherians via increasing evolutionary fitness by these changes.

  20. Novel insights into early neuroanatomical evolution in penguins from the oldest described penguin brain endocast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proffitt, J V; Clarke, J A; Scofield, R P

    2016-08-01

    Digital methodologies for rendering the gross morphology of the brain from X-ray computed tomography data have expanded our current understanding of the origin and evolution of avian neuroanatomy and provided new perspectives on the cognition and behavior of birds in deep time. However, fossil skulls germane to extracting digital endocasts from early stem members of extant avian lineages remain exceptionally rare. Data from early-diverging species of major avian subclades provide key information on ancestral morphologies in Aves and shifts in gross neuroanatomical structure that have occurred within those groups. Here we describe data on the gross morphology of the brain from a mid-to-late Paleocene penguin fossil from New Zealand. This most basal and geochronologically earliest-described endocast from the penguin clade indicates that described neuroanatomical features of early stem penguins, such as lower telencephalic lateral expansion, a relatively wider cerebellum, and lack of cerebellar folding, were present far earlier in penguin history than previously inferred. Limited dorsal expansion of the wulst in the new fossil is a feature seen in outgroup waterbird taxa such as Gaviidae (Loons) and diving Procellariiformes (Shearwaters, Diving Petrels, and allies), indicating that loss of flight may not drastically affect neuroanatomy in diving taxa. Wulst enlargement in the penguin lineage is first seen in the late Eocene, at least 25 million years after loss of flight and cooption of the flight stroke for aquatic diving. Similar to the origin of avian flight, major shifts in gross brain morphology follow, but do not appear to evolve quickly after, acquisition of a novel locomotor mode. Enlargement of the wulst shows a complex pattern across waterbirds, and may be linked to sensory modifications related to prey choice and foraging strategy. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  1. Morphological and pathological evolution of the brain microcirculation in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse M Hunter

    Full Text Available Key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD, including amyloid plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA and neurofibrillary tangles do not completely account for cognitive impairment, therefore other factors such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pathologies, may contribute to AD. In order to elucidate the microvascular changes that contribute to aging and disease, direct neuropathological staining and immunohistochemistry, were used to quantify the structural integrity of the microvasculature and its innervation in three oldest-old cohorts: 1 nonagenarians with AD and a high amyloid plaque load; 2 nonagenarians with no dementia and a high amyloid plaque load; 3 nonagenarians without dementia or amyloid plaques. In addition, a non-demented (ND group (average age 71 years with no amyloid plaques was included for comparison. While gray matter thickness and overall brain mass were reduced in AD compared to ND control groups, overall capillary density was not different. However, degenerated string capillaries were elevated in AD, potentially suggesting greater microvascular "dysfunction" compared to ND groups. Intriguingly, apolipoprotein ε4 carriers had significantly higher string vessel counts relative to non-ε4 carriers. Taken together, these data suggest a concomitant loss of functional capillaries and brain volume in AD subjects. We also demonstrated a trend of decreasing vesicular acetylcholine transporter staining, a marker of cortical cholinergic afferents that contribute to arteriolar vasoregulation, in AD compared to ND control groups, suggesting impaired control of vasodilation in AD subjects. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker of noradrenergic vascular innervation, was reduced which may also contribute to a loss of control of vasoconstriction. The data highlight the importance of the brain microcirculation in the pathogenesis and evolution of AD.

  2. THE SIZE EVOLUTION OF PASSIVE GALAXIES: OBSERVATIONS FROM THE WIDE-FIELD CAMERA 3 EARLY RELEASE SCIENCE PROGRAM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, R. E. Jr. [Physics Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); McCarthy, P. J. [Observatories of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Cohen, S. H.; Rutkowski, M. J.; Mechtley, M. R.; Windhorst, R. A. [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Yan, H. [Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Hathi, N. P. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Koekemoer, A. M.; Bond, H. E.; Bushouse, H. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); O' Connell, R. W. [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Balick, B. [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Calzetti, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States); Crockett, R. M. [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PU (United Kingdom); Disney, M. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 3AA (United Kingdom); Dopita, M. A. [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Australian National University, Weston Creek, ACT 2611 (Australia); Frogel, J. A. [Galaxies Unlimited, Lutherville, MD 21093 (United States); Hall, D. N. B. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Holtzman, J. A., E-mail: rryan@physics.ucdavis.edu [Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); and others

    2012-04-10

    We present the size evolution of passively evolving galaxies at z {approx} 2 identified in Wide-Field Camera 3 imaging from the Early Release Science program. Our sample was constructed using an analog to the passive BzK galaxy selection criterion, which isolates galaxies with little or no ongoing star formation at z {approx}> 1.5. We identify 30 galaxies in {approx}40 arcmin{sup 2} to H < 25 mag. By fitting the 10-band Hubble Space Telescope photometry from 0.22 {mu}m {approx}< {lambda}{sub obs} {approx}< 1.6 {mu}m with stellar population synthesis models, we simultaneously determine photometric redshift, stellar mass, and a bevy of other population parameters. Based on the six galaxies with published spectroscopic redshifts, we estimate a typical redshift uncertainty of {approx}0.033(1 + z). We determine effective radii from Sersic profile fits to the H-band image using an empirical point-spread function. By supplementing our data with published samples, we propose a mass-dependent size evolution model for passively evolving galaxies, where the most massive galaxies (M{sub *} {approx} 10{sup 11} M{sub Sun }) undergo the strongest evolution from z {approx} 2 to the present. Parameterizing the size evolution as (1 + z){sup -{alpha}}, we find a tentative scaling of {alpha} Almost-Equal-To (- 0.6 {+-} 0.7) + (0.9 {+-} 0.4)log (M{sub *}/10{sup 9} M{sub Sun }), where the relatively large uncertainties reflect the poor sampling in stellar mass due to the low numbers of high-redshift systems. We discuss the implications of this result for the redshift evolution of the M{sub *}-R{sub e} relation for red galaxies.

  3. The rate of DNA evolution: Effects of body size and temperature on the molecular clock

    OpenAIRE

    Gillooly, James F.; Andrew P. Allen; West, Geoffrey B.; Brown, James H.

    2004-01-01

    Observations that rates of molecular evolution vary widely within and among lineages have cast doubts on the existence of a single “molecular clock.” Differences in the timing of evolutionary events estimated from genetic and fossil evidence have raised further questions about the accuracy of molecular clocks. Here, we present a model of nucleotide substitution that combines theory on metabolic rate with the now-classic neutral theory of molecular evolution. The model quantitatively predicts ...

  4. The quantitative genetic basis of female and male body size and their implications on the evolution of body size dimorphism in the house cricket Acheta domesticus (Gryllidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Cueva del Castillo

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Few theoretical and experimental studies have analyzed the genetic basis of body size dimorphism. Since the evolutionary response to selection depends of the genetic variance in a population it is to be expected that traits under selection would have smaller genetic variance than traits not affected by selection. The evolution of sexual size dimorphism is affected by the genetic correlation between females and males, with the most dimorphic traits showing smaller genetic correlations between the sexes. As result of the differences in the intensity of sexual selection between the sexes, it is expected that the levels of genetic variance would be larger in females than males. I analyzed the genetic additive variance underlying six traits of Acheta domesticus, and the genetic correlations between females and males. The most dimorphic trait with the smallest genetic correlation between the sexes was forewing length, this trait showing genetic variance only in females. It may be that sexual selection acting on male traits has depleted the genetic variance not only in male traits but also for those female traits that have a large genetic correlation with male traits. It is also possible that the evolution of sexual dimorphism in A. domesticus could be constrained as a result of the large genetic correlation between the sexes.

  5. Photocatalytic H2 Evolution Using Different Commercial TiO2 Catalysts Deposited with Finely Size-Tailored Au Nanoparticles: Critical Dependence on Au Particle Size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ákos Kmetykó

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available One weight percent of differently sized Au nanoparticles were deposited on two commercially available TiO2 photocatalysts: Aeroxide P25 and Kronos Vlp7000. The primary objective was to investigate the influence of the noble metal particle size and the deposition method on the photocatalytic activity. The developed synthesis method involves a simple approach for the preparation of finely-tuned Au particles through variation of the concentration of the stabilizing agent. Au was deposited on the TiO2 surface by photo- or chemical reduction, using trisodium citrate as a size-tailoring agent. The Au-TiO2 composites were synthetized by in situ reduction or by mixing the titania suspension with a previously prepared gold sol. The H2 production activities of the samples were studied in aqueous TiO2 suspensions irradiated with near-UV light in the absence of dissolved O2, with oxalic acid or methanol as the sacrificial agent. The H2 evolution rates proved to be strongly dependent on Au particle size: the highest H2 production rate was achieved when the Au particles measured ~6 nm.

  6. Comment on "Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Fuli; Hill, R Sean; Schaffner, Stephen F; Sabeti, Pardis C; Wang, Eric T; Mignault, Andre A; Ferland, Russell J; Moyzis, Robert K; Walsh, Christopher A; Reich, David

    2007-04-20

    Mekel-Bobrov et al. (Reports, 9 September 2005, p. 1720) suggested that ASPM, a gene associated with microcephaly, underwent natural selection within the last 500 to 14,100 years. Their analyses based on comparison with computer simulations indicated that ASPM had an unusual pattern of variation. However, when we compare ASPM empirically to a large number of other loci, its variation is not unusual and does not support selection.

  7. Why mammalian lineages respond differently to sexual selection: metabolic rate constrains the evolution of sperm size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomendio, Montserrat; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2011-10-22

    The hypothesis that sperm competition should favour increases in sperm size, because it results in faster swimming speeds, has received support from studies on many taxa, but remains contentious for mammals. We suggest that this may be because mammalian lineages respond differently to sexual selection, owing to major differences in body size, which are associated with differences in mass-specific metabolic rate. Recent evidence suggests that cellular metabolic rate also scales with body size, so that small mammals have cells that process energy and resources from the environment at a faster rate. We develop the 'metabolic rate constraint hypothesis' which proposes that low mass-specific metabolic rate among large mammals may limit their ability to respond to sexual selection by increasing sperm size, while this constraint does not exist among small mammals. Here we show that among rodents, which have high mass-specific metabolic rates, sperm size increases under sperm competition, reaching the longest sperm sizes found in eutherian mammals. By contrast, mammalian lineages with large body sizes have small sperm, and while metabolic rate (corrected for body size) influences sperm size, sperm competition levels do not. When all eutherian mammals are analysed jointly, our results suggest that as mass-specific metabolic rate increases, so does maximum sperm size. In addition, species with low mass-specific metabolic rates produce uniformly small sperm, while species with high mass-specific metabolic rates produce a wide range of sperm sizes. These findings support the hypothesis that mass-specific metabolic rates determine the budget available for sperm production: at high levels, sperm size increases in response to sexual selection, while low levels constrain the ability to respond to sexual selection by increasing sperm size. Thus, adaptive and costly traits, such as sperm size, may only evolve under sexual selection when metabolic rate does not constrain cellular

  8. Automatic segmentation of different-sized leukoaraiosis regions in brain MR images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Yoshikazu; Kunieda, Takuya; Hara, Takeshi; Fujita, Hiroshi; Ando, Hiromichi; Yamakawa, Hiroyasu; Asano, Takahiko; Kato, Hiroki; Iwama, Toru; Kanematsu, Masayuki; Hoshi, Hiroaki

    2008-03-01

    Cerebrovascular diseases are the third leading cause of death in Japan. Therefore, a screening system for the early detection of asymptomatic brain diseases is widely used. In this screening system, leukoaraiosis is often detected in magnetic resonance (MR) images. The quantitative analysis of leukoaraiosis is important because its presence and extension is associated with an increased risk of severe stroke. However, thus far, the diagnosis of leukoaraiosis has generally been limited to subjective judgments by radiologists. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a computerized method for the segmentation of leukoaraiosis, and provide an objective measurement of the lesion volume. Our database comprised of T1- and T2-weighted images obtained from 73 patients. The locations of leukoaraiosis regions were determined by an experienced neuroradiologist. We first segment cerebral parenchymal regions in T1-weighted images by using a region growing technique. For determining the initial candidate regions for leukoaraiosis, the k-means clustering of pixel values in the T1- and T2-weighted images was applied to the segmented cerebral region. For the elimination of false positives (FPs), we determined features such as the location, size, and circularity from each of the initial candidates. Finally, rule-based schemes and a quadratic discriminant analysis with these features were employed for distinguishing between the leukoaraiosis regions and the FPs. The results indicated that the sensitivity for the detection of leukoaraiosis was 100% with 5.84 FPs per image. Our computerized scheme can be useful in assisting radiologists for the quantitative analysis of leukoaraiosis in T1- and T2-weighted images.

  9. What can volumes reveal about human brain evolution? A framework for bridging behavioral, histometric and volumetric perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra A de Sousa

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available An overall relationship between brain size and cognitive ability exists across primates. Can more specific information about neural function be gleaned from cortical area volumes? Numerous studies have found significant relationships between brain structures and behaviors. However, few studies have speculated about brain structure-function relationships from the microanatomical to the macroanatomical level. Here we address this problem in comparative neuroanatomy, where the functional relevance of overall brain size and the sizes of cortical regions have been poorly understood, by considering comparative psychology, with measures of visual acuity and the perception of visual illusions. We outline a model where the macroscopic size (volume or surface area of a cortical region (such as the primary visual cortex, V1 is related to the microstructure of discrete brain regions. The hypothesis developed here is that a larger absolute V1 can process more information with greater fidelity due to having more neurons to represent a field of space. This is the first time that the necessary comparative neuroanatomical research at the microstructural level has been brought to bear on the issue. The evidence suggests that as the size of V1 increases: the number of neurons increases, the neuron density decreases, and the density of neuronal connections increases. Thus, we describe how information about gross neuromorphology, using V1 as a model for the study of other cortical areas, may permit interpretations of cortical function.

  10. Costs of reproduction can explain the correlated evolution of semelparity and egg size: theory and a test with salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindsvater, Holly K; Braun, Douglas C; Otto, Sarah P; Reynolds, John D

    2016-06-01

    Species' life history traits, including maturation age, number of reproductive bouts, offspring size and number, reflect adaptations to diverse biotic and abiotic selection pressures. A striking example of divergent life histories is the evolution of either iteroparity (breeding multiple times) or semelparity (breed once and die). We analysed published data on salmonid fishes and found that semelparous species produce larger eggs, that egg size and number increase with salmonid body size among populations and species and that migratory behaviour and parity interact. We developed three hypotheses that might explain the patterns in our data and evaluated them in a stage-structured modelling framework accounting for different growth and survival scenarios. Our models predict the observation of small eggs in iteroparous species when egg size is costly to maternal survival or egg number is constrained. By exploring trait co-variation in salmonids, we generate new hypotheses for the evolution of trade-offs among life history traits. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  11. Mimomys savini size evolution in the Early Pleistocene of south-western Europe and possible biochronological implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Fernández, Iván; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; López-García, Juan Manuel; Agustí, Jordi

    2013-09-01

    Over the course of their evolutionary history, some species of mammals have undergone variations in size, with a general trend towards increased morphometry. This effect can be seen very clearly in the fossil record of rodents because their high rate of reproduction that generates a high fossil record, which allows this phenomenon to be studied in detail. Furthermore, the rapid geographic distribution of rodents means that their evolution can be studied on a continental scale. If a relationship can be established between the size of individuals and their chronology, and the trend that governs a species' increase in size can be determined, then the chronologies of different sites can be estimated based on the size of the individuals of that species recovered at those particular sites. The correlation between morphometric data of micromammal fossils and age was already used by other authors. This article studies the rate at which the length of the first lower molar (m1) of Mimomys savini (a species of Palearctic arvicoline present in Europe between approximately 1.8 and 0.6 Ma ago) increased over the course of its evolution in Iberian Peninsula (south-western Europe). Because this increase in length occurred at a constant rate, a direct relationship can be established between average length of m1 and chronology, which allows us to set numerical dates to Pleistocene sites containing Mimomys savini remains.

  12. Phylogenetic correlograms and the evolution of body size in South American owls (Strigiformes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available During the last few years, many models have been proposed to link microevolutionary processes to macroevolutionary patterns, defined by comparative data analysis. Among these, Brownian motion and Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (O-U processes have been used to model, respectively, genetic drift or directional selection and stabilizing selection. These models produce different curves of pairwise variance between species against time since divergence, in such a way that different profiles appear in phylogenetic correlograms. We analyzed variation in body length among 19 species of South American owls, by means of phylogenetic correlograms constructed using Moran's I coefficient in four distance classes. Phylogeny among species was based on DNA hybridization. The observed correlogram was then compared with 500 correlograms obtained by simulations of Brownian motion and O-U over the same phylogeny, using discriminant analysis. The observed correlogram indicates a phylogenetic gradient up to 45 mya, when coefficients tend to stabilize, and it is similar to the correlograms produced by the O-U process. This is expected when we consider that body size of organisms is correlated with many ecological and life-history traits and subjected to many constraints that can be modeled by the O-U process, which has been used to describe evolution under stabilizing selection.Nos últimos anos diversos modelos têm sido propostos a fim de realizar inferências sobre processos microevolutivos com base em padrões macroevolutivos obtidos a partir de dados comparativos. Dentre esses, o movimento Browniano e o processo Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (O-U têm sido utilizados para modelar principalmente deriva genética e seleção estabilizadora, respectivamente. Esses modelos produzem curvas diferentes de relação entre variância interespecífica e distância no tempo, de modo que eles podem ser distingüidos com base em correlogramas filogenéticos. Neste trabalho, nós analisamos a varia

  13. Evolution of technetium-99m-HMPAO SPECT and brain mapping in a patient presenting with echolalia and palilalia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierckx, R A; Saerens, J; De Deyn, P P; Verslegers, W; Marien, P; Vandevivere, J

    1991-08-01

    A 78-yr-old woman presented with transient echolalia and palilalia. She had suffered from Parkinson's disease for 2 yr. Routine laboratory examination showed hypotonic hyponatremia, but was otherwise unremarkable. Brain mapping revealed a bifrontal delta focus, more pronounced on the right. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) of the brain with technetium-99m labeled d,l hexamethylpropylene-amine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO), performed during the acute episode showed relative frontoparietal hypoactivity. Brain mapping performed after disappearance of the echolalia and palilalia, which persisted only for 1 day, was normal. By contrast, SPECT findings persisted for more than 3 wk. Features of particular interest in the presented patient are the extensive defects seen on brain SPECT despite the absence of morphologic lesions, the congruent electrophysiologic changes and their temporal relationship with the clinical evolution.

  14. The stellar mass-size evolution of galaxies from z=7 to z=0

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mosleh, Moein

    2013-01-01

    One of the important properties of galaxies is their sizes which correlate with their stellar masses. Evidence is provided by many recent studies that the sizes of galaxies were smaller at higher redshifts compared to galaxies of similar mass in the local Universe. It is essential to understand

  15. Speciation and extinction drive the appearance of directional range size evolution in phylogenies and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigot, Alex L; Owens, Ian P F; Orme, C David L

    2012-01-01

    While the geographic range of a species is a fundamental unit of macroecology and a leading predictor of extinction risk, the evolutionary dynamics of species' ranges remain poorly understood. Based on statistical associations between range size and species age, many studies have claimed support for general models of range evolution in which the area occupied by a species varies predictably over the course of its life. Such claims have been made using both paleontological data and molecular estimates of the age of extant species. However, using a stochastic model, we show that the appearance of trends in range size with species' age can arise even when range sizes have evolved at random through time. This occurs because the samples of species used in existing studies are likely to be biased with respect to range size: for example, only those species that happened to have large or expanding ranges are likely to survive to the present, while extinct species will tend to be those whose ranges, by chance, declined through time. We compared the relationship between the age and range size of species arising under our stochastic model to those observed across 1,269 species of extant birds and mammals and 140 species of extinct Cenozoic marine mollusks. We find that the stochastic model is able to generate the full spectrum of empirical age-area relationships, implying that such trends cannot be simply interpreted as evidence for models of directional range size evolution. Our results therefore challenge the theory that species undergo predictable phases of geographic expansion and contraction through time.

  16. Speciation and Extinction Drive the Appearance of Directional Range Size Evolution in Phylogenies and the Fossil Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigot, Alex L.; Owens, Ian P. F.; Orme, C. David L.

    2012-01-01

    While the geographic range of a species is a fundamental unit of macroecology and a leading predictor of extinction risk, the evolutionary dynamics of species' ranges remain poorly understood. Based on statistical associations between range size and species age, many studies have claimed support for general models of range evolution in which the area occupied by a species varies predictably over the course of its life. Such claims have been made using both paleontological data and molecular estimates of the age of extant species. However, using a stochastic model, we show that the appearance of trends in range size with species' age can arise even when range sizes have evolved at random through time. This occurs because the samples of species used in existing studies are likely to be biased with respect to range size: for example, only those species that happened to have large or expanding ranges are likely to survive to the present, while extinct species will tend to be those whose ranges, by chance, declined through time. We compared the relationship between the age and range size of species arising under our stochastic model to those observed across 1,269 species of extant birds and mammals and 140 species of extinct Cenozoic marine mollusks. We find that the stochastic model is able to generate the full spectrum of empirical age–area relationships, implying that such trends cannot be simply interpreted as evidence for models of directional range size evolution. Our results therefore challenge the theory that species undergo predictable phases of geographic expansion and contraction through time. PMID:22371689

  17. Speciation and extinction drive the appearance of directional range size evolution in phylogenies and the fossil record.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex L Pigot

    Full Text Available While the geographic range of a species is a fundamental unit of macroecology and a leading predictor of extinction risk, the evolutionary dynamics of species' ranges remain poorly understood. Based on statistical associations between range size and species age, many studies have claimed support for general models of range evolution in which the area occupied by a species varies predictably over the course of its life. Such claims have been made using both paleontological data and molecular estimates of the age of extant species. However, using a stochastic model, we show that the appearance of trends in range size with species' age can arise even when range sizes have evolved at random through time. This occurs because the samples of species used in existing studies are likely to be biased with respect to range size: for example, only those species that happened to have large or expanding ranges are likely to survive to the present, while extinct species will tend to be those whose ranges, by chance, declined through time. We compared the relationship between the age and range size of species arising under our stochastic model to those observed across 1,269 species of extant birds and mammals and 140 species of extinct Cenozoic marine mollusks. We find that the stochastic model is able to generate the full spectrum of empirical age-area relationships, implying that such trends cannot be simply interpreted as evidence for models of directional range size evolution. Our results therefore challenge the theory that species undergo predictable phases of geographic expansion and contraction through time.

  18. Big cat, small cat: reconstructing body size evolution in living and extinct Felidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuff, A R; Randau, M; Head, J; Hutchinson, J R; Pierce, S E; Goswami, A

    2015-08-01

    The evolution of body mass is a fundamental topic in evolutionary biology, because it is closely linked to manifold life history and ecological traits and is readily estimable for many extinct taxa. In this study, we examine patterns of body mass evolution in Felidae (Placentalia, Carnivora) to assess the effects of phylogeny, mode of evolution, and the relationship between body mass and prey choice in this charismatic mammalian clade. Our data set includes 39 extant and 26 extinct taxa, with published body mass data supplemented by estimates based on condylobasal length. These data were run through 'SURFACE' and 'bayou' to test for patterns of body mass evolution and convergence between taxa. Body masses of felids are significantly different among prey choice groupings (small, mixed and large). We find that body mass evolution in cats is strongly influenced by phylogeny, but different patterns emerged depending on inclusion of extinct taxa and assumptions about branch lengths. A single Ornstein-Uhlenbeck optimum best explains the distribution of body masses when first-occurrence data were used for the fossil taxa. However, when mean occurrence dates or last known occurrence dates were used, two selective optima for felid body mass were recovered in most analyses: a small optimum around 5 kg and a large one around 100 kg. Across living and extinct cats, we infer repeated evolutionary convergences towards both of these optima, but, likely due to biased extinction of large taxa, our results shift to supporting a Brownian motion model when only extant taxa are included in analyses. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Brain size is not correlated with forelimb dexterity in fissiped carnivores (Carnivora): A comparative test of the principle of proper mass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwaniuk, A N; Pellis, S M; Whishaw, I Q

    1999-09-01

    To test the hypothesis that brain size and forelimb dexterity are positively correlated, the relative brain size of 41 species of fissiped (terrestrial) carnivores (Order: Carnivora) was examined with respect to their forelimb use during feeding. With the use of a newly derived dexterity index, the forelimb dexterity executed by each of the species was calculated as a single, continuous variable which was then regressed against the residuals of brain size. To account for confounding effects of phylogenetic inertia, the analysis was performed with independent contrasts analysis using a speciational model of evolutionary change (i.e. equal branch lengths). The results suggest that relative brain size and isocortex size are not correlated with the dexterity of the proximal or distal segments or a combination of the two (total forelimb dexterity). The presence of species with widely different brain sizes and similar dexterities, and vice versa, suggests that an increase in the amount of neural substrate might not be necessary for the production of finely coordinated forelimb movements. It is suggested that this outcome is representative of the plasticity of both mammalian brain size and behavior and that variations in brain size and forelimb dexterity could be linked to disparate ecological and phylogenetic factors which act in concert to promote or constrain neural development and behavior in different species.

  20. Evolution of intense laser pulse spot size propagating in collisional plasma embedded in magnetic field with variable direction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malekshahi, Moslem

    2018-01-01

    In this study, propagation of an intense laser pulse through collisional, homogenous, magnetized plasma has been investigated. The plasma is embedded in an external magnetic field with the amplitude and variable direction being constant. The complex dispersion relation of the plasma medium has been obtained that predicates the Faraday rotation effect. The paraxial wave equation has been used for the study of propagation of laser pulse in plasma. The nonlinear current density vector as a source of wave equation is obtained by motion equation and continuity equation of plasma free electrons. Using the source dependent expansion method, the evolution of laser pulse spot size has been investigated. It is shown that the spot size of the laser pulse is dependent on the strength and direction of the external magnetic field significantly. The effect of collision frequency on the evolution of spot size has been studied. The space damping rate of laser pulse power along the propagation length due to collision is obtained. Results show that the increase in the external magnetic field strength increases the rate of laser energy loss.

  1. Co-Evolution of Language-Size and the Critical Period

    OpenAIRE

    Hurford, James R; Kirby, Simon

    1998-01-01

    Species evolve, very slowly, through selection of genes which give rise to phenotypes well adapted to their environments. The cultures, including the languages, of human communities evolve, much faster, maintaining at least a minimum level of adaptedness to the external, non- cultural environment. In the phylogenetic evolution of species, the transmission of information across generations is via copying of molecules, and innovation is by mutation and sexual recombination. In cultural evol...

  2. Exploring Diversification and Genome Size Evolution in Extant Gymnosperms through Phylogenetic Synthesis

    OpenAIRE

    Burleigh, J. Gordon; Barbazuk, W. Brad; Davis, John M.; Morse, Alison M.; Soltis, Pamela S.

    2012-01-01

    Gymnosperms, comprising cycads, Ginkgo, Gnetales, and conifers, represent one of the major groups of extant seed plants. Yet compared to angiosperms, little is known about the patterns of diversification and genome evolution in gymnosperms. We assembled a phylogenetic supermatrix containing over 4.5 million nucleotides from 739 gymnosperm taxa. Although 93.6% of the cells in the supermatrix are empty, the data reveal many strongly supported nodes that are generally consistent with previous ph...

  3. The evolution of environmental tolerance and range size: a comparison of geographically restricted and widespread Mimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheth, Seema N; Angert, Amy L

    2014-10-01

    The geographic ranges of closely related species can vary dramatically, yet we do not fully grasp the mechanisms underlying such variation. The niche breadth hypothesis posits that species that have evolved broad environmental tolerances can achieve larger geographic ranges than species with narrow environmental tolerances. In turn, plasticity and genetic variation in ecologically important traits and adaptation to environmentally variable areas can facilitate the evolution of broad environmental tolerance. We used five pairs of western North American monkeyflowers to experimentally test these ideas by quantifying performance across eight temperature regimes. In four species pairs, species with broader thermal tolerances had larger geographic ranges, supporting the niche breadth hypothesis. As predicted, species with broader thermal tolerances also had more within-population genetic variation in thermal reaction norms and experienced greater thermal variation across their geographic ranges than species with narrow thermal tolerances. Species with narrow thermal tolerance may be particularly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions due to lack of plasticity and insufficient genetic variation to respond to novel selection pressures. Conversely, species experiencing high variation in temperature across their ranges may be buffered against extinction due to climatic changes because they have evolved tolerance to a broad range of temperatures. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Evolution of electrical distribution grid sizing considering self-consumption of local renewable production

    OpenAIRE

    Rogeau, Antoine; Barbier, Thibaut; Girard, Robin; Kong, Nicolas

    2017-01-01

    International audience; In the last decades, renewable energy sources have been increasing their shares in the world energy market. In addition to the ecological benefits, this trend can have adjunct benefits, for example for distribution system operators: a gain in their grid sizing. Indeed, installation of decentralized production, when used in a self-consumption approach, can lead to reduction of the consumption peaks. This work is willing to quantify what grid sizing reduction a distribut...

  5. Quantification of the evolution of firm size distributions due to mergers and acquisitions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandro Claudio Lera

    Full Text Available The distribution of firm sizes is known to be heavy tailed. In order to account for this stylized fact, previous economic models have focused mainly on growth through investments in a company's own operations (internal growth. Thereby, the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&A on the firm size (external growth is often not taken into consideration, notwithstanding its potential large impact. In this article, we make a first step into accounting for M&A. Specifically, we describe the effect of mergers and acquisitions on the firm size distribution in terms of an integro-differential equation. This equation is subsequently solved both analytically and numerically for various initial conditions, which allows us to account for different observations of previous empirical studies. In particular, it rationalises shortcomings of past work by quantifying that mergers and acquisitions develop a significant influence on the firm size distribution only over time scales much longer than a few decades. This explains why M&A has apparently little impact on the firm size distributions in existing data sets. Our approach is very flexible and can be extended to account for other sources of external growth, thus contributing towards a holistic understanding of the distribution of firm sizes.

  6. A microRNA allele that emerged prior to apple domestication may underlie fruit size evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Jia-Long; Xu, Juan; Cornille, Amandine; Tomes, Sumathi; Karunairetnam, Sakuntala; Luo, Zhiwei; Bassett, Heather; Whitworth, Claire; Rees-George, Jonathan; Ranatunga, Chandra; Snirc, Alodie; Crowhurst, Ross; de Silva, Nihal; Warren, Ben; Deng, Cecilia; Kumar, Satish; Chagné, David; Bus, Vincent G M; Volz, Richard K; Rikkerink, Erik H A; Gardiner, Susan E; Giraud, Tatiana; MacDiarmid, Robin; Gleave, Andrew P

    2015-10-01

    The molecular genetic mechanisms underlying fruit size remain poorly understood in perennial crops, despite size being an important agronomic trait. Here we show that the expression level of a microRNA gene (miRNA172) influences fruit size in apple. A transposon insertional allele of miRNA172 showing reduced expression associates with large fruit in an apple breeding population, whereas over-expression of miRNA172 in transgenic apple significantly reduces fruit size. The transposon insertional allele was found to be co-located with a major fruit size quantitative trait locus, fixed in cultivated apples and their wild progenitor species with relatively large fruit. This finding supports the view that the selection for large size in apple fruit was initiated prior to apple domestication, likely by large mammals, before being subsequently strengthened by humans, and also helps to explain why signatures of genetic bottlenecks and selective sweeps are normally weaker in perennial crops than in annual crops. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Quantification of the evolution of firm size distributions due to mergers and acquisitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sornette, Didier

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of firm sizes is known to be heavy tailed. In order to account for this stylized fact, previous economic models have focused mainly on growth through investments in a company’s own operations (internal growth). Thereby, the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on the firm size (external growth) is often not taken into consideration, notwithstanding its potential large impact. In this article, we make a first step into accounting for M&A. Specifically, we describe the effect of mergers and acquisitions on the firm size distribution in terms of an integro-differential equation. This equation is subsequently solved both analytically and numerically for various initial conditions, which allows us to account for different observations of previous empirical studies. In particular, it rationalises shortcomings of past work by quantifying that mergers and acquisitions develop a significant influence on the firm size distribution only over time scales much longer than a few decades. This explains why M&A has apparently little impact on the firm size distributions in existing data sets. Our approach is very flexible and can be extended to account for other sources of external growth, thus contributing towards a holistic understanding of the distribution of firm sizes. PMID:28841683

  8. Evolution of the size and shape of 2D nanosheets during ultrasonic fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liscio, Andrea; Kouroupis-Agalou, Konstantinos; Diez Betriu, Xavier; Kovtun, Alessandro; Treossi, Emanuele; Pugno, Nicola Maria; De Luca, Giovanna; Giorgini, Loris; Palermo, Vincenzo

    2017-06-01

    2-dimensional (2D) nanosheets such as graphene, graphene oxide, boron nitride or transition metal dichalcogenides can be produced on a large scale by exfoliation techniques. The lateral shape of these 2D materials is typically considered random and irregular, and their average size is often estimated using techniques characterized by strong approximations or poor statistical significance. Here we measure in a quantitative, objective way the size and shape of 2D monoatomic nanosheets using a combination of optical, electronic and scanning probe techniques. We measure, one by one, the size and shape of thousands of sheets of graphene oxide as they undergo a standard ultrasonication treatment. Using automatic image processing and statistical modelling we identify two different fragmentation processes in 2D at the nanoscale, related to two populations of nanosheets described by gamma and exponential size distributions respectively. The two populations of sheets coexist during the fragmentation process, each one retaining its average size and shape. Our results explain the size reduction commonly observed in nanosheets upon sonication as an effect of changes in the respective weights of the two populations of nanosheets present in the material.

  9. Quantification of the evolution of firm size distributions due to mergers and acquisitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lera, Sandro Claudio; Sornette, Didier

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of firm sizes is known to be heavy tailed. In order to account for this stylized fact, previous economic models have focused mainly on growth through investments in a company's own operations (internal growth). Thereby, the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on the firm size (external growth) is often not taken into consideration, notwithstanding its potential large impact. In this article, we make a first step into accounting for M&A. Specifically, we describe the effect of mergers and acquisitions on the firm size distribution in terms of an integro-differential equation. This equation is subsequently solved both analytically and numerically for various initial conditions, which allows us to account for different observations of previous empirical studies. In particular, it rationalises shortcomings of past work by quantifying that mergers and acquisitions develop a significant influence on the firm size distribution only over time scales much longer than a few decades. This explains why M&A has apparently little impact on the firm size distributions in existing data sets. Our approach is very flexible and can be extended to account for other sources of external growth, thus contributing towards a holistic understanding of the distribution of firm sizes.

  10. Four types of interference competition and their impacts on the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations and communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lai; Andersen, Ken H; Dieckmann, Ulf; Brännström, Åke

    2015-09-07

    We investigate how four types of interference competition - which alternatively affect foraging, metabolism, survival, and reproduction - impact the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations. Even though all four types of interference competition reduce population biomass, interference competition at intermediate intensity sometimes significantly increases the abundance of adult individuals and the population׳s reproduction rate. We find that foraging and metabolic interference evolutionarily favor smaller maturation size when interference is weak and larger maturation size when interference is strong. The evolutionary response to survival interference and reproductive interference is always larger maturation size. We also investigate how the four types of interference competition impact the evolutionary dynamics and resultant diversity and trophic structure of size-structured communities. Like other types of trait-mediated competition, all four types of interference competition can induce disruptive selection and thus promote initial diversification. Even though foraging interference and reproductive interference are more potent in promoting initial diversification, they catalyze the formation of diverse communities with complex trophic structure only at high levels of interference intensity. By contrast, survival interference does so already at intermediate levels, while reproductive interference can only support relatively smaller communities with simpler trophic structure. Taken together, our results show how the type and intensity of interference competition jointly affect coexistence patterns in structured population models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Evolution of avian clutch size along latitudinal gradients: do seasonality, nest predation or breeding season length matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebeler, E M; Caprano, T; Böhning-Gaese, K

    2010-05-01

    Birds display a latitudinal gradient in clutch size with smaller clutches in the tropics and larger in the temperate region. Three factors have been proposed to affect this pattern: seasonality of resources (SR), nest predation and length of the breeding season (LBS). Here, we test the importance of these factors by modelling clutch size evolution within bird populations under different environmental settings. We use an individual-based ecogenetic simulation model that combines principles from population ecology and life history theory. Results suggest that increasing SR from the tropics to the poles by itself or in combination with a decreasing predation rate and LBS can generate the latitudinal gradient in clutch size. Annual fecundity increases and annual adult survival rate decreases from the tropics to the poles. We further show that the annual number of breeding attempts that (together with clutch size) determines total annual egg production is an important trait to understand latitudinal patterns in these life history characteristics. Field experiments that manipulate environmental factors have to record effects not only on clutch size, but also on annual number of breeding attempts. We use our model to predict the outcome of such experiments under different environmental settings.

  12. Synthesis of nanocrystalline barium-hexaferrite from nanocrystalline goethite using the hydrothermal method: Particle size evolution and magnetic properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penn, R.L.; Banfield, J.F. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Voigt, J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States). Ceramic Synthesis and Inorganic Chemistry Dept.

    1997-03-01

    To characterize particle size/magnetic property relationships, 9 to 50 nm in diameter barium hexaferrite, BaFe{sub 12}O{sub 19} (BHF), particles were prepared using a new synthesis route. By replacing the conventional 50 to 100 nm particles of goethite with nanocrystalline goethite produced via the microwave anneal method of Knight and Sylva, nanocrystalline BHF was synthesized using the hydrothermal method. Evolution of particle size and morphology with respect to concentration and heat treatment time is reported. Hysteresis properties, including coercivity (0.2--1.0 kOe), magnetization saturation (0.1--33.4 emu/g), and magnetization remanence (0.004--22.5 emu/g) are discussed as a function of particle size. The magnetization saturation and remanence of the 7 nm particles is nearly zero, suggesting the superparamagnetic threshold size for BHF is around this size. In addition, the equilibrium morphology of BHF crystals was calculated to be truncated hexagonal prisms which was verified by experiment, and the isoelectric point, pH of 4.1, was measured for 18 nm BHF particles.

  13. Brain vs behavior: an effect size comparison of neuroimaging and cognitive studies of genetic risk for schizophrenia.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Rose, Emma Jane

    2013-05-01

    Genetic variants associated with increased risk for schizophrenia (SZ) are hypothesized to be more penetrant at the level of brain structure and function than at the level of behavior. However, to date the relative sensitivity of imaging vs cognitive measures of these variants has not been quantified. We considered effect sizes associated with cognitive and imaging studies of 9 robust SZ risk genes (DAOA, DISC1, DTNBP1, NRG1, RGS4, NRGN, CACNA1C, TCF4, and ZNF804A) published between January 2005-November 2011. Summary data was used to calculate estimates of effect size for each significant finding. The mean effect size for each study was categorized as small, medium, or large and the relative frequency of each category was compared between modalities and across genes. Random effects meta-analysis was used to consider the impact of experimental methodology on effect size. Imaging studies reported mostly medium or large effects, whereas cognitive investigations commonly reported small effects. Meta-analysis confirmed that imaging studies were associated with larger effects. Effect size estimates were negatively correlated with sample size but did not differ as a function of gene nor imaging modality. These observations support the notion that SZ risk variants show larger effects, and hence greater penetrance, when characterized using indices of brain structure and function than when indexed by cognitive measures. However, it remains to be established whether this holds true for individual risk variants, imaging modalities, or cognitive functions, and how such effects may be mediated by a relationship with sample size and other aspects of experimental variability.

  14. Evolution of science I: Evolution of Mind

    CERN Document Server

    Vahia, M N

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system and particularly the brain was designed to control the life cycle of a living being. With increasing size and sophistication, in mammals, the brain became capable of exercising significant control over life. In Homo Sapiens the brain became significantly powerful and capable of comprehension beyond survival needs with visualisation, formal thought and long term memory. Here we trace the rise of the powers of the brains of the Homo Sapiens and its capability of three comprehending the three spatial dimensions as well as time. By tracing the evolution of technology over the last millennium and particularly the late arrival of astronomy to discuss the evolution of the formal thinking process in humans. In a follow up paper we will trace the extensive use of this new faculty by humans to comprehend the working of the universe.

  15. Tradeoffs in the evolution of caste and body size in the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGlynn, Terrence P; Diamond, Sarah E; Dunn, Robert R

    2012-01-01

    The efficient investment of resources is often the route to ecological success, and the adaptability of resource investment may play a critical role in promoting biodiversity. The ants of the "hyperdiverse" genus Pheidole produce two discrete sterile castes, soldiers and minor workers. Within Pheidole, there is tremendous interspecific variation in proportion of soldiers. The causes and correlates of caste ratio variation among species of Pheidole remain enigmatic. Here we test whether a body size threshold model accounts for interspecific variation in caste ratio in Pheidole, such that species with larger body sizes produce relatively fewer soldiers within their colonies. We evaluated the caste ratio of 26 species of Pheidole and found that the body size of workers accounts for interspecific variation in the production of soldiers as we predicted. Twelve species sampled from one forest in Costa Rica yielded the same relationship as found in previously published data from many localities. We conclude that production of soldiers in the most species-rich group of ants is regulated by a body size threshold mechanism, and that the great variation in body size and caste ratio in Pheidole plays a role in niche divergence in this rapidly evolving taxon.

  16. Tradeoffs in the evolution of caste and body size in the hyperdiverse ant genus Pheidole.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terrence P McGlynn

    Full Text Available The efficient investment of resources is often the route to ecological success, and the adaptability of resource investment may play a critical role in promoting biodiversity. The ants of the "hyperdiverse" genus Pheidole produce two discrete sterile castes, soldiers and minor workers. Within Pheidole, there is tremendous interspecific variation in proportion of soldiers. The causes and correlates of caste ratio variation among species of Pheidole remain enigmatic. Here we test whether a body size threshold model accounts for interspecific variation in caste ratio in Pheidole, such that species with larger body sizes produce relatively fewer soldiers within their colonies. We evaluated the caste ratio of 26 species of Pheidole and found that the body size of workers accounts for interspecific variation in the production of soldiers as we predicted. Twelve species sampled from one forest in Costa Rica yielded the same relationship as found in previously published data from many localities. We conclude that production of soldiers in the most species-rich group of ants is regulated by a body size threshold mechanism, and that the great variation in body size and caste ratio in Pheidole plays a role in niche divergence in this rapidly evolving taxon.

  17. Lifespan, growth rate, and body size across latitude in marine Bivalvia, with implications for Phanerozoic evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, David K; Ivany, Linda C; Judd, Emily J; Cummings, Patrick W; Bearden, Claire E; Kim, Woo-Jun; Artruc, Emily G; Driscoll, Jeremy R

    2016-08-17

    Mean body size in marine animals has increased more than 100-fold since the Cambrian, a discovery that brings to attention the key life-history parameters of lifespan and growth rate that ultimately determine size. Variation in these parameters is not well understood on the planet today, much less in deep time. Here, we present a new global database of maximum reported lifespan and shell growth coupled with body size data for 1 148 populations of marine bivalves and show that (i) lifespan increases, and growth rate decreases, with latitude, both across the group as a whole and within well-sampled species, (ii) growth rate, and hence metabolic rate, correlates inversely with lifespan, and (iii) opposing trends in lifespan and growth combined with high variance obviate any demonstrable pattern in body size with latitude. Our observations suggest that the proposed increase in metabolic activity and demonstrated increase in body size of organisms over the Phanerozoic should be accompanied by a concomitant shift towards faster growth and/or shorter lifespan in marine bivalves. This prediction, testable from the fossil record, may help to explain one of the more fundamental patterns in the evolutionary and ecological history of animal life on this planet. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. Evolution of the electronic and ionic structure of Mg clusters with increase in cluster size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyalin, Andrey G.; Solov'yov, Ilia; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    2003-01-01

    . We have systematically calculated the optimized geometries of neutral and singly charged magnesium clusters consisting of up to 21 atoms, electronic shell closures, binding energies per atom, ionization potentials, and the gap between the highest occupied and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals....... We have investigated the appearance of the elements of the hcp structure and metallic evolution of the magnesium clusters, as well as the stability of linear chains and rings of magnesium atoms. The results obtained are compared with the available experimental data and the results of other...

  19. Ccr2 deletion dissociates cavity size and tau pathology after mild traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyoneva, Stefka; Kim, Daniel; Katsumoto, Atsuko; Kokiko-Cochran, O Nicole; Lamb, Bruce T; Ransohoff, Richard M

    2015-12-03

    Millions of people experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of falls, car accidents, sports injury, and blast. TBI has been associated with the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In the initial hours and days, the pathology of TBI comprises neuronal injury, breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, and inflammation. At the cellular level, the inflammatory reaction consists of responses by brain-resident microglia, astrocytes, and vascular elements as well as infiltration of peripheral cells. After TBI, signaling by chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) to the chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2) is a key regulator of brain infiltration by monocytes. We utilized mice with one or both copies of Ccr2 disrupted by red fluorescent protein (RFP, Ccr2 (RFP/+) and Ccr2 (RFP/RFP) ). We subjected these mice to the mild lateral fluid percussion model of TBI and examined several pathological outcomes 3 days later in order to determine the effects of altered monocyte entry into the brain. Ccr2 deletion reduced monocyte infiltration, diminished lesion cavity volume, and lessened axonal damage after mild TBI, but the microglial reaction to the lesion was not affected. We further examined phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau, which aggregates in brains of people with TBI, AD, and CTE. Surprisingly, Ccr2 deletion was associated with increased tau mislocalization to the cell body in the cortex and hippocampus by tissue staining and increased levels of phosphorylated tau in the hippocampus by Western blot. Disruption of CCR2 enhanced tau pathology and reduced cavity volume in the context of TBI. The data reveal a complex role for CCR2(+) monocytes in TBI, as monitored by cavity volume, axonal damage, and tau phosphorylation.

  20. Cranial shape and size variation in human evolution: structural and functional perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano

    2007-12-01

    A GLIMPSE INTO MODERN PALEOANTHROPOLOGY: In the last decades, paleoanthropology has been deeply modified, changing from a descriptive and historical science to a more quantitative and analytical discipline. The covariation of multiple traits is investigated to study the evolutionary changes of the underlying anatomical models, mostly through the introduction of digital biomedical imaging procedures and of computed geometrical analyses supported by multivariate statistics. FUNCTIONAL CRANIOLOGY: The evolution of the human cranium is consequently considered in terms of functional and structural relationships between its components, largely influenced by the allometric variations associated with the increase in the relative cranial capacity. In the human genus, the changes in the face, base, and neurocranium are characterised by a mosaic variation, in which adaptations, secondary consequences, and stochastic factors concur to generate a set of anatomical possibilities and constraints. SYSTEMIC PERSPECTIVES TO THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN CRANIAL MORPHOLOGY: Concepts like morphological modularity, anatomical integration, and heterochrony represent key issues in the development of the current human evolutionary studies.

  1. Evolution of Anode Porosity under Air Oxidation: The Unveiling of the Active Pore Size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francois Chevarin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The carbon anode, used in aluminum electrolysis (Hall–Héroult process, is over-consumed by air oxidation and carboxy-reaction (with CO2. Several anode features may affect this over-consumption, such as impurity content, graphitization level and anode porosity features (e.g., porosity volume fraction or pore size distribution. The two first parameters are basically related to the quality of raw materials and coke calcination conditions. Anode porosity is, however, greatly affected by anode manufacturing conditions, and is possible to be modified, to some extent, by adjusting the anode recipe and the processing parameters. This work aims to investigate the effect of anode porosity on its air reactivity. Baked anode samples were prepared in laboratory scale and then crushed into powder form (−4760 + 4000 µm. The recipe for anode preparation was similar to a typical industrial recipe, except that in the lab scale no butt particles were used in the recipe. Anode particles were then gasified at six different conversion levels (0, 5, 15, 25, 35 and 50 wt % under air at 525 °C. The porosity was characterized in several pore size ranges, measured by nitrogen adsorption and mercury intrusion (0.0014–0.020, 0.002–0.025, 0.025–0.100, 0.1–40.0 and superior at 40 µm. The volume variation of each pore range, as a function of carbon conversion, was assessed and used to determine the size of the most active pores for air oxidation. The most active pore size was found to be the pores inferior at 40 µm before 15 wt % of gasification and pores superior at 40 µm between 15 and 50 wt % of carbon conversion. Limitation of pore size range could be used as an additional guideline, along with other targets such as high homogeneity and density, to set the optimum anode manufacturing parameters.

  2. Simultaneous topology, shape and size optimization of truss structures by fully stressed design based on evolution strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrari, Ali; Atai, Ali A.; Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2015-08-01

    The most effective scheme of truss optimization considers the combined effect of topology, shape and size (TSS); however, most available studies on truss optimization by metaheuristics concentrated on one or two of the above aspects. The presence of diverse design variables and constraints in TSS optimization may account for such limited applicability of metaheuristics to this field. In this article, a recently proposed algorithm for simultaneous shape and size optimization, fully stressed design based on evolution strategy (FSD-ES), is enhanced to handle TSS optimization problems. FSD-ES combines advantages of the well-known deterministic approach of fully stressed design with potential global search of the state-of-the-art evolution strategy. A comparison of results demonstrates that the proposed optimizer reaches the same or similar solutions faster and/or is able to find lighter designs than those previously reported in the literature. Moreover, the proposed variant of FSD-ES requires no user-based tuning effort, which is desired in a practical application. The proposed methodology has been tested on a number of problems and is now ready to be applied to more complex TSS problems.

  3. Patterns of maximum body size evolution in Cenozoic land mammals: eco-evolutionary processes and abiotic forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saarinen, Juha J.; Boyer, Alison G.; Brown, James H.; Costa, Daniel P.; Ernest, S. K. Morgan; Evans, Alistair R.; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L.; Hamilton, Marcus J.; Harding, Larisa E.; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S. Kathleen; Okie, Jordan G.; Sibly, Richard M.; Stephens, Patrick R.; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D.; Smith, Felisa A.

    2014-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence that macroevolutionary patterns of mammal evolution during the Cenozoic follow similar trajectories on different continents. This would suggest that such patterns are strongly determined by global abiotic factors, such as climate, or by basic eco-evolutionary processes such as filling of niches by specialization. The similarity of pattern would be expected to extend to the history of individual clades. Here, we investigate the temporal distribution of maximum size observed within individual orders globally and on separate continents. While the maximum size of individual orders of large land mammals show differences and comprise several families, the times at which orders reach their maximum size over time show strong congruence, peaking in the Middle Eocene, the Oligocene and the Plio-Pleistocene. The Eocene peak occurs when global temperature and land mammal diversity are high and is best explained as a result of niche expansion rather than abiotic forcing. Since the Eocene, there is a significant correlation between maximum size frequency and global temperature proxy. The Oligocene peak is not statistically significant and may in part be due to sampling issues. The peak in the Plio-Pleistocene occurs when global temperature and land mammal diversity are low, it is statistically the most robust one and it is best explained by global cooling. We conclude that the macroevolutionary patterns observed are a result of the interplay between eco-evolutionary processes and abiotic forcing. PMID:24741007

  4. Protein-truncating mutations in ASPM cause variable reduction in brain size

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bond, Jacquelyn; Scott, Sheila; Hampshire, Daniel J.; Springell, Kelly; Corry, Peter; Abramowicz, Marc J.; Mochida, Ganesh H.; Hennekam, Raoul C. M.; Maher, Eamonn R.; Fryns, Jean-Pierre; Alswaid, Abdulrahman; Jafri, Hussain; Rashid, Yasmin; Mubaidin, Ammar; Walsh, Christopher A.; Roberts, Emma; Woods, C. Geoffrey

    2003-01-01

    Mutations in the ASPM gene at the MCPH5 locus are expected to be the most common cause of human autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH), a condition in which there is a failure of normal fetal brain development, resulting in congenital microcephaly and mental retardation. We have performed

  5. A model of posttraumatic epilepsy after penetrating brain injuries: Effect of lesion size and metal fragments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kendirli, M. Tansel; Rose, Dominique T; Bertram, Edward H

    2014-01-01

    ..., and foreign fragments in the brain, including metal, are asso‐ciated with the highest risk (about 60% will develop epilepsy). The risks may increase with more detectable metal fragments, but it is not known if the fragments have a role in epileptogenesis or whether they are markers for a more extensive injury, which is also a risk factor. Identifying ...

  6. Characterizing the roles of changing population size and selection on the evolution of flux control in metabolic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlenko, Alena; Chi, Peter B; Liberles, David A

    2017-05-25

    Understanding the genotype-phenotype map is fundamental to our understanding of genomes. Genes do not function independently, but rather as part of networks or pathways. In the case of metabolic pathways, flux through the pathway is an important next layer of biological organization up from the individual gene or protein. Flux control in metabolic pathways, reflecting the importance of mutation to individual enzyme genes, may be evolutionarily variable due to the role of mutation-selection-drift balance. The evolutionary stability of rate limiting steps and the patterns of inter-molecular co-evolution were evaluated in a simulated pathway with a system out of equilibrium due to fluctuating selection, population size, or positive directional selection, to contrast with those under stabilizing selection. Depending upon the underlying population genetic regime, fluctuating population size was found to increase the evolutionary stability of rate limiting steps in some scenarios. This result was linked to patterns of local adaptation of the population. Further, during positive directional selection, as with more complex mutational scenarios, an increase in the observation of inter-molecular co-evolution was observed. Differences in patterns of evolution when systems are in and out of equilibrium, including during positive directional selection may lead to predictable differences in observed patterns for divergent evolutionary scenarios. In particular, this result might be harnessed to detect differences between compensatory processes and directional processes at the pathway level based upon evolutionary observations in individual proteins. Detecting functional shifts in pathways reflects an important milestone in predicting when changes in genotypes result in changes in phenotypes.

  7. Testing the grain-size model for the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollander, Johan

    2008-06-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to modify its phenotypic characteristics in response to different environments. Theory predicts that adaptive plasticity should primarily evolve in organisms that experience heterogeneous environments. An organism's dispersal rate is a key component in these models, because the degree of dispersal partly determines the extent of environmental heterogeneity. Here, I provide the first large-scale test of the theoretical prediction that phenotypic plasticity evolves in association with dispersal rate using meta-analysis of data from 258 experiments from the literature on plasticity in marine invertebrates. In line with predictions, phenotypic plasticity is generally greater in species with higher dispersal rates, suggesting that dispersal and environmental heterogeneity are important selective agents for evolution of plasticity in marine habitats.

  8. Computational study of deformation mechanisms and grain size evolution in granulites - Implications for the rheology of the lower crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maierová, Petra; Lexa, Ondrej; Jeřábek, Petr; Schulmann, Karel; Franěk, Jan

    2017-05-01

    Most of granulite terrains worldwide are characterized by large mean grain sizes of 1 mm or more. An important exception are the high-pressure felsic granulites in the Bohemian Massif, the European Variscan belt. There, recrystallization of original coarse-grained ternary feldspar led to formation of a fine-grained (∼100 μm) mixed matrix dominated by plagioclase and K-feldspar. This change occurred at temperatures of ∼850 °C and was probably caused by chemically induced decomposition related to slight cooling and enhanced by deformation during continental collision. The resulting microstructure shows indications of diffusion creep assisted by melt-enhanced grain-boundary sliding. Further on, minor coarsening occurred associated with deformation by dislocation creep and aggregation of mineral phases. Using a thermodynamics-based model of grain size evolution we show that stability of the fine-grained microstructure crucially depends on Zener pinning in the two-phase mineral matrix. Pinning efficiently hinders grain growth, and the small grain size that resulted from the ternary feldspar decomposition can be stable even at high temperatures. The late switch from the grain-size-sensitive creep to dislocation creep is rather difficult to explain by temperature and strain rate (or stress) changes only. However, a simple incorporation of melt solidification can successfully simulate this behavior. Alternatively, the switch and the associated grain size growth can be related to mineral phase aggregation at lower pressure-temperature conditions resulting into a decrease of pinning efficiency. This study suggests that the fine grain size of the Bohemian granulites, in contrast to the common coarse-grained type, stems from abrupt recrystallization during the high-pressure high-temperature conditions, and pinning in the fine-grained matrix. Such a process may in some cases significantly and suddenly reduce the strength of the lower continental crust and allow for its

  9. Genome size and karyotype evolution in the slipper orchids (Cypripedioideae: Orchidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, A; Abdelnour, G; Bennett, M; Leitch, I

    1998-05-01

    Nuclear DNA contents (4C) were estimated by Feulgen microdensitometry in 27 species of slipper orchids. These data and recent information concerning the molecular systematics of Cypripedioideae allow an interesting re-evaluation of karyotype and genome size variation among slipper orchids in a phylogenetic context. DNA amounts differed 5.7-fold, from 24.4 pg in Phragmipedium longifolium to 138.1 pg in Paphiopedilum wardii. The most derived clades of the conduplicate-leaved slipper orchids have undergone a radical process of genome fragmentation that is most parsimoniously explained by Robertsonian changes involving centric fission. This process seems to have occurred independently of genome size variation. However, it may reflect environmental or selective pressures favoring higher numbers of linkage groups in the karyotype.

  10. The neural processing of musical instrument size information in the brain investigated by magnetoencephalography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupp, Andre; van Dinther, Ralph; Patterson, Roy D.

    2005-04-01

    The specific cortical representation of size was investigated by recording auditory evoked fields (AEFs) elicited by changes of instrument size and pitch. In Experiment 1, a French horn and one scaled to double the size played a three note melody around F3 or its octave, F4. Many copies of these four melodies were played in random order and the AEF was measured continuously. A similar procedure was applied to saxophone sounds in a separate run. In Experiment 2, the size and type of instrument (French horn and saxophone) were varied without changing the octave. AEFs were recorded in five subjects using magnetoencephalography and evaluated by spatio-temporal source analysis with one equivalent dipole in each hemisphere. The morphology of the source waveforms revealed that each note within the melody elicits a well-defined P1-N1-P2 AEF-complex with adaptation for the 2nd and 3rd note. At the transition of size, pitch, or both, a larger AEF-complex was evoked. However, size changes elicited a stronger N1 than pitch changes. Furthermore, this size-related N1 enhancement was larger for French horn than saxophone. The results indicate that the N1 plays an important role in the specific representation of instrument size.

  11. Seed size and its rate of evolution correlate with species diversification across angiosperms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Igea

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Species diversity varies greatly across the different taxonomic groups that comprise the Tree of Life (ToL. This imbalance is particularly conspicuous within angiosperms, but is largely unexplained. Seed mass is one trait that may help clarify why some lineages diversify more than others because it confers adaptation to different environments, which can subsequently influence speciation and extinction. The rate at which seed mass changes across the angiosperm phylogeny may also be linked to diversification by increasing reproductive isolation and allowing access to novel ecological niches. However, the magnitude and direction of the association between seed mass and diversification has not been assessed across the angiosperm phylogeny. Here, we show that absolute seed size and the rate of change in seed size are both associated with variation in diversification rates. Based on the largest available angiosperm phylogenetic tree, we found that smaller-seeded plants had higher rates of diversification, possibly due to improved colonisation potential. The rate of phenotypic change in seed size was also strongly positively correlated with speciation rates, providing rare, large-scale evidence that rapid morphological change is associated with species divergence. Our study now reveals that variation in morphological traits and, importantly, the rate at which they evolve can contribute to explaining the extremely uneven distribution of diversity across the ToL.

  12. The Time Evolution of Aerosol Size Distribution Over the Mexico City Plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kleinman, Lawrence I.; Springston, Stephen R.; Wang, J. X.; Daum, Peter H.; Lee, Y.- N.; Nunnermacker, L. J.; Senum, Gunar; Weinstein-Lloyd, Judy; Alexander, M. L.; Hubbe, John M.; Ortega, John V.; Zaveri, Rahul A.; Canagaratna, Manjula R.; Jayne, J. T.

    2009-07-03

    As part of the MILAGRO field campaign, the DOE G-1 aircraft was used to make measurements over and downwind of Mexico City with the objective of determining growth characteristics of aerosols from a megacity urban source. This study focuses on number concentration and size distributions. It is found that a 5-fold increase in aerosol volume is accompanied by about a 5-fold increase in accumulation mode number concentration. There is growth in aerosol volume because there are more accumulation mode particles, not because particles are larger. Condensation and volume growth laws were examined to see whether either is consistent with observations. Condensation calculations show that the growth of Aitken mode particles into the accumulation mode size range gives the required increase in number concentration. There are minimal changes in the accumulation mode size distribution with age, consistent with observations. Volume-growth in contrast yields a population of large particles, distinctly different from what is observed. Detailed model calculations are required to translate our observations into specific information on the volatility and properties of secondary organic aerosol.

  13. Trends in the evolution of particle morphology with size in colluvial deposits overlying channel iron deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linero, Sandra; Fityus, Stephen; Simmons, John; Lizcano, Arcesio; Cassidy, Jessica

    2017-06-01

    Size limitations of testing equipment often impliy that samples of coarse granular materials must be scalped or scaled, to reduce the size of the constitutive particles, before they can be tested either by triaxial or direct shear in the laboratory. The objective of the investigation is to evaluate the particle shapes in a natural sample of colluvial sediments, to identify potential correlation(s) between shape and size, that could impact shear strength of scaled samples. The material investigated is derived from eroded ancient sedimentary rocks from the Pilbara region of Australia. The fragments have a particle shape ranging from slabs to sub-equant blocks. The observation indicates that there is an increase in the tendency for slabshapes in larger particles. Therefore, scaling inevitably alters the characteristic shapes of the material particles as it implies substituting larger (slabs) particles by smaller (sub-equant) particles. Changes in particle shape distribution may induce changes in material fabric and shear strength and therefore may need to be considered when scaling samples.

  14. Trends in the evolution of particle morphology with size in colluvial deposits overlying channel iron deposits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linero Sandra

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Size limitations of testing equipment often impliy that samples of coarse granular materials must be scalped or scaled, to reduce the size of the constitutive particles, before they can be tested either by triaxial or direct shear in the laboratory. The objective of the investigation is to evaluate the particle shapes in a natural sample of colluvial sediments, to identify potential correlation(s between shape and size, that could impact shear strength of scaled samples. The material investigated is derived from eroded ancient sedimentary rocks from the Pilbara region of Australia. The fragments have a particle shape ranging from slabs to sub-equant blocks. The observation indicates that there is an increase in the tendency for slabshapes in larger particles. Therefore, scaling inevitably alters the characteristic shapes of the material particles as it implies substituting larger (slabs particles by smaller (sub-equant particles. Changes in particle shape distribution may induce changes in material fabric and shear strength and therefore may need to be considered when scaling samples.

  15. Sexual orientation and the size of the anterior commissure in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, L S; Gorski, R A

    1992-08-01

    The anterior commissure, a fiber tract that is larger in its midsagittal area in women than in men, was examined in 90 postmortem brains from homosexual men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual women. The midsagittal plane of the anterior commissure in homosexual men was 18% larger than in heterosexual women and 34% larger than in heterosexual men. This anatomical difference, which correlates with gender and sexual orientation, may, in part, underlie differences in cognitive function and cerebral lateralization among homosexual men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual women. Moreover, this finding of a difference in a structure not known to be related to reproductive functions supports the hypothesis that factors operating early in development differentiate sexually dimorphic structures and functions of the brain, including the anterior commissure and sexual orientation, in a global fashion.

  16. Permian-Triassic Osteichthyes (bony fishes): diversity dynamics and body size evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Carlo; Koot, Martha B; Kogan, Ilja; Brayard, Arnaud; Minikh, Alla V; Brinkmann, Winand; Bucher, Hugo; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2016-02-01

    The Permian and Triassic were key time intervals in the history of life on Earth. Both periods are marked by a series of biotic crises including the most catastrophic of such events, the end-Permian mass extinction, which eventually led to a major turnover from typical Palaeozoic faunas and floras to those that are emblematic for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Here we review patterns in Permian-Triassic bony fishes, a group whose evolutionary dynamics are understudied. Based on data from primary literature, we analyse changes in their taxonomic diversity and body size (as a proxy for trophic position) and explore their response to Permian-Triassic events. Diversity and body size are investigated separately for different groups of Osteichthyes (Dipnoi, Actinistia, 'Palaeopterygii', 'Subholostei', Holostei, Teleosteomorpha), within the marine and freshwater realms and on a global scale (total diversity) as well as across palaeolatitudinal belts. Diversity is also measured for different palaeogeographical provinces. Our results suggest a general trend from low osteichthyan diversity in the Permian to higher levels in the Triassic. Diversity dynamics in the Permian are marked by a decline in freshwater taxa during the Cisuralian. An extinction event during the end-Guadalupian crisis is not evident from our data, but 'palaeopterygians' experienced a significant body size increase across the Guadalupian-Lopingian boundary and these fishes upheld their position as large, top predators from the Late Permian to the Late Triassic. Elevated turnover rates are documented at the Permian-Triassic boundary, and two distinct diversification events are noted in the wake of this biotic crisis, a first one during the Early Triassic (dipnoans, actinistians, 'palaeopterygians', 'subholosteans') and a second one during the Middle Triassic ('subholosteans', neopterygians). The origination of new, small taxa predominantly among these groups during the Middle Triassic event caused a

  17. Lagrangian evolution of deformation of finite-size bubbles in turbulent multiphase flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuk, Ashik Ullah Mohammad; Salibindla, Ashwanth; Ni, Rui

    2017-11-01

    Finite-size bubbles tend to deform in a strong turbulent environment because of the complex interfacial momentum transfer between them. We have utilized the new V-ONSET turbulence multiphase flow facility to track the deformation and the couplings between two phases in a 3D Lagrangian framework. This rich dataset allows us to understand the roles played by the dynamic pressure and viscous stress, as well as different forces that contribute to the interfacial momentum transfer. Financial support for this project was provided by National Science Foundation under Grant Number: 1653389 and 1705246.

  18. Sexual orientation and the size of the anterior commissure in the human brain.

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, L S; Gorski, R A

    1992-01-01

    The anterior commissure, a fiber tract that is larger in its midsagittal area in women than in men, was examined in 90 postmortem brains from homosexual men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual women. The midsagittal plane of the anterior commissure in homosexual men was 18% larger than in heterosexual women and 34% larger than in heterosexual men. This anatomical difference, which correlates with gender and sexual orientation, may, in part, underlie differences in cognitive function and cereb...

  19. Fossil shrews from Honduras and their significance for late glacial evolution in body size (Mammalia: Soricidae: Cryptotis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, N.; Croft, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    failure to obtain reliable radiometric dates on remains restrict our opportunities to place the site in a firm temporal context. However, the morphometrical differences we document for fossil C. orophila and C. goodwini show them to be distinct from modern populations of these shrews. Some other species of fossil mammals from McGrew Cave exhibit distinct size changes of the magnitudes experienced by many northern North American and some Mexican mammals during the transition from late glacial to Holocene environmental conditions, and it is likely that at least some of the remains from the cave are late Pleistocene in age. One curious factor is that, whereas most mainland mammals that exhibit large-scale size shifts during the late glacial/postglacial transition experienced dwarfing, C. goodwini increased in size. The lack of clinal variation in modern C. goodwini supports the hypothesis that size evolution can result from local selection rather than from cline translocation. Models of size change in mammals indicate that increased size, such as that observed for C. goodwini, are a likely consequence of increased availability of resources and, thereby, a relaxation of selection during critical times of the year.

  20. The Effect of Time to International Normalized Ratio Reversal on Intracranial Hemorrhage Evolution in Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Hans; Rittenhouse, Katelyn; Gross, Brian; Rogers, Frederick B

    The incidence of geriatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasing throughout the United States, with many of these patients taking anticoagulation (AC) medication. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of time to international normalized ratio (INR) reversal on intracranial hemorrhage evolution in TBI patients taking prehospital AC medication. We hypothesized that rapid reversal of INR improves outcomes of head-injured patients taking AC medication. Admissions to a Level II trauma center between February 2011 and December 2013 were reviewed. Patients presenting with an initial INR of 2.0 or more, computed tomographic scan positive for intracranial hemorrhage, and INR reversal to less than 1.5 in hospital were included. Patients with nontraumatic intracranial hemorrhage were excluded. Reversal of INR was achieved using some combination of fresh frozen plasma, prothrombin complex concentrate, and vitamin K. A binary logistic regression model assessed the adjusted impact of rapid INR reversal on intracranial hemorrhage evolution. Significance was defined as p hr was not associated with intracranial hemorrhage evolution; however, reversal of less than 10 hr was found to be associated with a decreased odds ratio for intracranial hemorrhage evolution (p = .043). Rapid reversal of elevated INR levels (hr) may decrease intracranial hemorrhage evolution in TBI patients taking prehospital AC medication.

  1. Brain regions implicated in inhibitory control and appetite regulation are activated in response to food portion size and energy density in children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    English, L.K.; Fearnbach, S.N.; Lasschuijt, M.; Schlegel, A.; Anderson, K.; Harris, S.; Fisher, J.O.; Savage, J.S.; Rolls, B.J.; Keller, K.L.

    2016-01-01

    Objective:Large portions of energy-dense foods drive energy intake but the brain mechanisms underlying this effect are not clear. Our main objective was to investigate brain function in response to food images varied by portion size (PS) and energy density (ED) in children using functional

  2. Impact of grid size on uniform scanning and IMPT plans in XiO treatment planning system for brain cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rana, Suresh; Zheng, Yuanshui

    2015-09-08

    The main purposes of this study are to: 1) evaluate the accuracy of XiO treatment planning system (TPS) for different dose calculation grid size based on head phan-tom measurements in uniform scanning proton therapy (USPT); and 2) compare the dosimetric results for various dose calculation grid sizes based on real computed tomography (CT) dataset of pediatric brain cancer treatment plans generated by USPT and intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) techniques. For phantom study, we have utilized the anthropomorphic head proton phantom provided by Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC). The imaging, treatment planning, and beam delivery were carried out following the guidelines provided by the IROC. The USPT proton plan was generated in the XiO TPS, and dose calculations were performed for grid size ranged from 1 to 3 mm. The phantom containing thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLDs) and films was irradiated using uniform scanning proton beam. The irradiated TLDs were read by the IROC. The calculated doses from the XiO for different grid sizes were compared to the measured TLD doses provided by the IROC. Gamma evaluation was done by comparing calculated planar dose distribution of 3 mm grid size with measured planar dose distribution. Additionally, IMPT plan was generated based on the same CT dataset of the IROC phantom, and IMPT dose calculations were performed for grid size ranged from 1 to 3 mm. For comparative purpose, additional gamma analysis was done by comparing the planar dose distributions of standard grid size (3 mm) with that of other grid sizes (1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 mm) for both the USPT and IMPT plans. For patient study, USPT plans of three pediatric brain cancer cases were selected. IMPT plans were generated for each of three pediatric cases. All patient treatment plans (USPT and IMPT) were generated in the XiO TPS for a total dose of 54 Gy (relative biological effectiveness [RBE]). Treatment plans (USPT and IMPT) of each case was recalculated for grid

  3. Molecular Evidence for Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution of Complex Brains of Cephalopod Molluscs: Insights from Visual Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M A; Ogura, A; Ikeo, K; Shigeno, S; Moritaki, T; Winters, G C; Kohn, A B; Moroz, L L

    2015-12-01

    Coleoid cephalopods show remarkable evolutionary convergence with vertebrates in their neural organization, including (1) eyes and visual system with optic lobes, (2) specialized parts of the brain controlling learning and memory, such as vertical lobes, and (3) unique vasculature supporting such complexity of the central nervous system. We performed deep sequencing of eye transcriptomes of pygmy squids (Idiosepius paradoxus) and chambered nautiluses (Nautilus pompilius) to decipher the molecular basis of convergent evolution in cephalopods. RNA-seq was complemented by in situ hybridization to localize the expression of selected genes. We found three types of genomic innovations in the evolution of complex brains: (1) recruitment of novel genes into morphogenetic pathways, (2) recombination of various coding and regulatory regions of different genes, often called "evolutionary tinkering" or "co-option", and (3) duplication and divergence of genes. Massive recruitment of novel genes occurred in the evolution of the "camera" eye from nautilus' "pinhole" eye. We also showed that the type-2 co-option of transcription factors played important roles in the evolution of the lens and visual neurons. In summary, the cephalopod convergent morphological evolution of the camera eyes was driven by a mosaic of all types of gene recruitments. In addition, our analysis revealed unexpected variations of squids' opsins, retinochromes, and arrestins, providing more detailed information, valuable for further research on intra-ocular and extra-ocular photoreception of the cephalopods. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. The comparison of species longevity and size evolution in fossilized dinosaurs vs. fossilized mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeza, E.; Srinath, A.; Hernandez, A.; Heim, N.; Payne, J.

    2016-12-01

    For over 200 million years, two animal groups have been competing for dominance over Earth: the reptiles, (in this case, dinosaurs), and the mammals. At the beginning of the Triassic, mammals were small, rat-like creatures that were dwarfed by the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs progressively continued to grow larger throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, thus outweighing and outliving the current mammals. But at the end of the Cretaceous, the K-T mass extinction occurred, and that wiped out the dinosaurs from the face of the Earth. After the disappearance of dinosaurs, mammals started to grow larger to fill the niches that the dinosaurs left open. With this evolution in mammals, would they be able to match or even beat the dinosaur's previous records? To judge that, we need to utilize two significant factors to help judge our answer. The two factors that set them apart were body mass and longevity. Documenting the body mass shows us how much the animal weighed compared to other species. The heaviest animal in our data set weighed 77 tons. The other factor is longevity, which indicates how long a certain species has existed on a geologic time scale. The longest living animal species in our data set lived for over 20 million years. With all the data we have analyzed, we have conducted research on this subject to find out how terrestrial mammals contrasted dinosaurs in the terms of body mass and species longevity. Our research brought us to the conclusion that mammals could not overtake the body mass and longevity of dinosaurs. Although mammals came pretty close to overlapping the dinosaurs' body masses, they were just below them marginally. We had a similar pattern in longevity, where we found out that heavier animals tended to have longer longevity, therefore the dinosaurs came out on top. Additionally, we did another contrast between Mesozoic and Cenozoic mammals, where Cenozoic mammals were larger, but both had similar longevities.

  5. Plantain starch granules morphology, crystallinity, structure transition, and size evolution upon acid hydrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Jaimes, C; Bello-Pérez, L A; Vernon-Carter, E J; Alvarez-Ramirez, J

    2013-06-05

    Plantain native starch was hydrolysed with sulphuric acid for twenty days. Hydrolysis kinetics was described by a logistic function, with a zero-order rate during the first seven days, followed by a slower kinetics dynamics at longer times. X-ray diffraction results revealed a that gradual increase in crystallinity occurred during the first seven days, followed by a decrease to values similar to those found in the native starch. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis suggested a sharp structure transition by the seventh day probably due to a molecular rearrangement of the starch blocklets and inhomogeneous erosion of the amorphous regions and semi crystalline lamellae. Scanning electron micrographs showed that starch granules morphology was continually degraded from an initial oval-like shape to irregular shapes due to aggregation effects. Granule size distribution broadened as hydrolysis time proceeded probably due to fragmentation and agglomeration phenomena of the hydrolysed starch granules. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Automatic Evolution of Multimodal Behavior with Multi-Brain HyperNEAT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrum, Jacob; Lehman, Joel; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    An important challenge in neuroevolution is to evolve multimodal behavior. Indirect network encodings can potentially answer this challenge. Yet in practice, indirect encodings do not yield effective multimodal controllers. This paper introduces novel multimodal extensions to HyperNEAT, a popular...... indirect encoding. A previous multimodal approach called situational policy geometry assumes that multiple brains benefit from being embedded within an explicit geometric space. However, this paper introduces HyperNEAT extensions for evolving many brains without assuming geometric relationships between...... them. The resulting Multi-Brain HyperNEAT can exploit human-specified task divisions, or can automatically discover when brains should be used, and how many to use. Experiments show that multi-brain approaches are more effective than HyperNEAT without multimodal extensions, and that brains without...

  7. Micro-Structural Evolution and Size-Effects in Plastically Deformed Single Crystals: Strain Gradient Continuum Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    El-Naaman, Salim Abdallah

    the macroscopic effects related to strain gradients, most predict smooth micro-structures. The evolution of dislocation micro-structures, during plastic straining of ductile crystalline materials, is highly complex and nonuniform. Published experimental measurements on deformed metal crystals show distinct...... pattern formation, in which dislocations, of the geometrically necessary kind, are arranged in wall and cell structures. This particular subset of signed dislocations, which have a net Burg-ers vector, are the main source for the observed size-effects and are directly linked to the gradients in plastic...... strain. It is clear that many challenges are associated with modeling dislocation structures, within a framework based on continuum fields, however, since the strain gradient effects are attributed to the dislocation micro-structure, it is a natural step, in the further development of gradient theories...

  8. Grain size and microhardness evolution during annealing of a magnesium alloy processed by high-pressure torsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Livia Raquel C. Malheiros

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available High-pressure torsion (HPT was used to impose severe plastic deformation on a magnesium alloy AZ31. The material was processed for 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 turns at room temperature under a pressure of 6.0 GPa. Samples were annealed for 1800 s at temperatures of 373 K, 423 K, 473 K, 573 K and 673 K. Microhardness tests and metallography were used to determine the evolution of strength and grain size as a function of the annealing temperature. The results show that recrystallization takes place at temperatures higher than 423 K. The annealing behavior is independent of the number of turns in HPT.

  9. Drosophila as a Developmental Paradigm of Regressive Brain Evolution: Proof of Principle in the Visual System

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Friedrich, Markus

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology focuses heavily on the constructive evolution of body plan components, but there are many instances such as parasitism, cave adaptation, or postembryonic growth rate...

  10. Evolution of sexual size dimorphism and its relationship with sex ratio in carabid beetles of Genus Ceroglossus Solier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo A. BENÍTEZ, Jorge AVARIA-LLAUTUREO, Cristian B. CANALES-AGUIRRE, Viviane JEREZ, Luis E. PARRA, Cristián E. HERNÁNDEZ

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Although the degree of mate competition, given extreme differences in sex ratio, explains much of the pattern of male-biased size dimorphism among diverse taxa, it fails for some species which have potential for intense male competition for mates and yet exhibit little or no sexual size dimorphism (SSD. This fact suggest that species with low SSD should be express the effect of evolutionary pressure in non-obvious geometrical shape promoted by sex ratio in an evolutionary time scale. To evaluate this hypothesis we used phylogenetic comparative method in a Bayesian framework to investigate the evolution of SSD and the role of sex ratio at inter-specific level in the species of Ceroglossus (Coleoptera: Carabidae. In our results the proportion farthest from 1:1 is associated with more disparate body shape, even though the entire group has minimum variation in sex ratio, which is an intrinsic life history character of this group considering its phylogenetic conservatism or phylogenetic signal. We suggest that the sex ratio has determined the dimorphism degree during evolution of this group, since both traits have increased or decreased together during the species divergence (i.e. positive phylogenetic correlation: r2≈0.85. We suggest that morphological studies of SSD will benefit from using comparative method with Bayesian approaches to assess the effect of phylogenetic history and its uncertainty. Finally, this will be allow to researchers to quantify the uncertainty of specific evolutionary hypotheses accounting for observed sexual dimorphism patterns [Current Zoology 59 (6: 769–777, 2013].

  11. EVOLUTION OF THE SIZES OF GALAXIES OVER 7 < z < 12 REVEALED BY THE 2012 HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD CAMPAIGN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ono, Yoshiaki; Ouchi, Masami [Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa 277-8582 (Japan); Curtis-Lake, Emma; McLure, Ross J.; Dunlop, James S.; Bowler, Rebecca A. A.; Rogers, Alexander B.; Cirasuolo, Michele [Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom); Schenker, Matthew A.; Ellis, Richard S. [Department of Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, MS 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Robertson, Brant E.; Schneider, Evan; Stark, Daniel P. [Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Koekemoer, Anton M. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Charlot, Stephane [UPMC-CNRS, UMR7095, Institut d' Astrophysique, F-75014 Paris (France); Shimasaku, Kazuhiro [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Furlanetto, Steven R., E-mail: ono@icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2013-11-10

    We analyze the redshift- and luminosity-dependent sizes of dropout galaxy candidates in the redshift range z ∼ 7-12 using deep images from the 2012 Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF12) campaign, which offers two advantages over that used in earlier work. First, we utilize the increased signal-to-noise ratio offered by the UDF12 imaging to provide improved measurements for known galaxies at z ≅ 6.5-8 in the HUDF. Second, because the UDF12 data have allowed the construction of the first robust galaxy sample in the HUDF at z > 8, we have been able to extend the measurement of average galaxy size out to higher redshifts. Restricting our measurements to sources detected at >15σ, we confirm earlier indications that the average half-light radii of z ∼ 7-12 galaxies are extremely small, 0.3-0.4 kpc, comparable to the sizes of giant molecular associations in local star-forming galaxies. We also confirm that there is a clear trend of decreasing half-light radius with increasing redshift, and provide the first evidence that this trend continues beyond z ≅ 8. Modeling the evolution of the average half-light radius as a power law, ∝(1 + z) {sup s}, we obtain a best-fit index of s=-1.30{sup +0.12}{sub -0.14} over z ∼ 4-12. A clear size-luminosity relation is evident in our dropout samples. This relation can be interpreted in terms of a constant surface density of star formation over a range in luminosity of 0.05-1.0 L{sub z=3}. The average star formation surface density in dropout galaxies is 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than that found in extreme starburst galaxies, but is comparable to that seen today in the centers of normal disk galaxies.

  12. The cultural evolution of human communication systems in different sized populations: usability trumps learnability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Nicolas; Ellison, T Mark

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the intergenerational transfer of human communication systems. It tests if human communication systems evolve to be easy to learn or easy to use (or both), and how population size affects learnability and usability. Using an experimental-semiotic task, we find that human communication systems evolve to be easier to use (production efficiency and reproduction fidelity), but harder to learn (identification accuracy) for a second generation of naïve participants. Thus, usability trumps learnability. In addition, the communication systems that evolve in larger populations exhibit distinct advantages over those that evolve in smaller populations: the learnability loss (from the Initial signs) is more muted and the usability benefits are more pronounced. The usability benefits for human communication systems that evolve in a small and large population is explained through guided variation reducing sign complexity. The enhanced performance of the communication systems that evolve in larger populations is explained by the operation of a content bias acting on the larger pool of competing signs. The content bias selects for information-efficient iconic signs that aid learnability and enhance usability.

  13. The cultural evolution of human communication systems in different sized populations: usability trumps learnability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Fay

    Full Text Available This study examines the intergenerational transfer of human communication systems. It tests if human communication systems evolve to be easy to learn or easy to use (or both, and how population size affects learnability and usability. Using an experimental-semiotic task, we find that human communication systems evolve to be easier to use (production efficiency and reproduction fidelity, but harder to learn (identification accuracy for a second generation of naïve participants. Thus, usability trumps learnability. In addition, the communication systems that evolve in larger populations exhibit distinct advantages over those that evolve in smaller populations: the learnability loss (from the Initial signs is more muted and the usability benefits are more pronounced. The usability benefits for human communication systems that evolve in a small and large population is explained through guided variation reducing sign complexity. The enhanced performance of the communication systems that evolve in larger populations is explained by the operation of a content bias acting on the larger pool of competing signs. The content bias selects for information-efficient iconic signs that aid learnability and enhance usability.

  14. The roles of ecology, behaviour and effective population size in the evolution of a community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Chih-Ming; Drovetski, Sergei V; Zink, Robert M

    2017-07-01

    Organismal traits such as ecological specialization and migratory behaviour may affect colonization potential, population persistence and degree of isolation, factors that determine the composition and genetic structure of communities. However, studies focusing on community assembly rarely consider these factors jointly. We sequenced 16 nuclear genes and one mitochondrial gene from Caucasian and European populations of 30 forest-dwelling avian species that represent diverse ecological (specialist-generalist) and behavioural (migratory-resident) backgrounds. We tested the effects of organismal traits on population divergence and community assembly in the Caucasus forest, a continental mountain island setting. We found that (i) there is no concordance in divergence times between the Caucasus forest bird populations and their European counterparts, (ii) habitat specialists tend to be more divergent than generalists and (iii) residents tend to be more divergent than migrants. Thus, specialists and residents contribute to the high level of endemism of Caucasus forest avifauna more than do generalists and migrants. Patterns of genetic differentiation are better explained by differences in effective population sizes, an often overlooked factor in comparative studies of phylogeography and speciation, than by divergence times or levels of gene flow. Our results suggest that the Caucasus forest avifauna was assembled through time via dispersal and/or multiple vicariant events, rather than originating simultaneously via a single isolation event. Our study is one of the first multilocus, multispecies analyses revealing how ecological and migratory traits impact the evolutionary history of community formation on a continental island. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Detecting lineage-specific adaptive evolution of brain-expressed genes in human using rhesus macaque as outgroup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yu, Xiao-Jing; Zheng, Hong-Kun; Wang, Jun

    2006-01-01

    Comparative genetic analysis between human and chimpanzee may detect genetic divergences responsible for human-specific characteristics. Previous studies have identified a series of genes that potentially underwent Darwinian positive selection during human evolution. However, without a closely...... related species as outgroup, it is difficult to identify human-lineage-specific changes, which is critical in delineating the biological uniqueness of humans. In this study, we conducted phylogeny-based analyses of 2633 human brain-expressed genes using rhesus macaque as the outgroup. We identified 47...... candidate genes showing strong evidence of positive selection in the human lineage. Genes with maximal expression in the brain showed a higher evolutionary rate in human than in chimpanzee. We observed that many immune-defense-related genes were under strong positive selection, and this trend was more...

  16. Does absolute brain size really predict self-control? Hand-tracking training improves performance on the A-not-B task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelbert, S A; Taylor, A H; Gray, R D

    2016-02-01

    Large-scale, comparative cognition studies are set to revolutionize the way we investigate and understand the evolution of intelligence. However, the conclusions reached by such work have a key limitation: the cognitive tests themselves. If factors other than cognition can systematically affect the performance of a subset of animals on these tests, we risk drawing the wrong conclusions about how intelligence evolves. Here, we examined whether this is the case for the A-not-B task, recently used by MacLean and co-workers to study self-control among 36 different species. Non-primates performed poorly on this task; possibly because they have difficulty tracking the movements of a human demonstrator, and not because they lack self-control. To test this, we assessed the performance of New Caledonian crows on the A-not-B task before and after two types of training. New Caledonian crows trained to track rewards moved by a human demonstrator were more likely to pass the A-not-B test than birds trained on an unrelated choice task involving inhibitory control. Our findings demonstrate that overlooked task demands can affect performance on a cognitive task, and so bring into question MacLean's conclusion that absolute brain size best predicts self-control. © 2016 The Author(s).

  17. Protein-truncating mutations in ASPM cause variable reduction in brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Jacquelyn; Scott, Sheila; Hampshire, Daniel J; Springell, Kelly; Corry, Peter; Abramowicz, Marc J; Mochida, Ganesh H; Hennekam, Raoul C M; Maher, Eamonn R; Fryns, Jean-Pierre; Alswaid, Abdulrahman; Jafri, Hussain; Rashid, Yasmin; Mubaidin, Ammar; Walsh, Christopher A; Roberts, Emma; Woods, C Geoffrey

    2003-11-01

    Mutations in the ASPM gene at the MCPH5 locus are expected to be the most common cause of human autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH), a condition in which there is a failure of normal fetal brain development, resulting in congenital microcephaly and mental retardation. We have performed the first comprehensive mutation screen of the 10.4-kb ASPM gene, identifying all 19 mutations in a cohort of 23 consanguineous families. Mutations occurred throughout the ASPM gene and were all predicted to be protein truncating. Phenotypic variation in the 51 affected individuals occurred in the degree of microcephaly (5-11 SDs below normal) and of mental retardation (mild to severe) but appeared independent of mutation position.

  18. Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    When we are looking for intelligent life outside the Earth, there is a fundamental question: Assuming that life has formed on an extraterrestrial planet, will it also develop toward intelligence? As this is hotly debated, we will now describe the development of life on Earth in more detail in order to show that there are good reasons why evolution should culminate in intelligent beings.

  19. The evolution of body size under environmental gradients in ectotherms: why should Bergmann's rule apply to lizards?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tregenza Tom

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The impact of environmental gradients on the evolution of life history traits is a central issue in macroecology and evolutionary biology. A number of hypotheses have been formulated to explain factors shaping patterns of variation in animal mass. One such example is Bergmann's rule, which predicts that body size will be positively correlated with latitude and elevation, and hence, with decreasing environmental temperatures. A generally accepted explanation for this phenotypic response is that as body mass increases, body surface area gets proportionally smaller, which contributes to reduced rates of heat-loss. Phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic evidence reveals that endotherms follow Bergmann's rule. In contrast, while previous non-phylogenetic studies supported this prediction in up to 75% of ectotherms, recent phylogenetic comparative analyses suggest that its validity for these organisms is controversial and less understood. Moreover, little attention has been paid to why some ectotherms conform to this rule, while others do not. Here, we investigate Bergmann's rule in the six main clades forming the Liolaemus genus, one of the largest and most environmentally diverse genera of terrestrial vertebrates. A recent study conducted on some species belonging to four of these six clades concluded that Liolaemus species follow Bergmann's rule, representing the only known phylogenetic support for this model in lizards. However, a later reassessment of this evidence, performed on one of the four analysed clades, produced contrasting conclusions. Results Our results fail to support Bergmann's rule in Liolaemus lizards. Non-phylogenetic and phylogenetic analyses showed that none of the studied clades experience increasing body size with increasing latitude and elevation. Conclusion Most physiological and behavioural processes in ectotherms depend directly upon their body temperature. In cold environments, adaptations to gain heat

  20. Can fat explain the human brain's big bang evolution?-Horrobin's leads for comparative and functional genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erren, T C; Erren, M

    2004-04-01

    When David Horrobin suggested that phospholipid and fatty acid metabolism played a major role in human evolution, his 'fat utilization hypothesis' unified intriguing work from paleoanthropology, evolutionary biology, genetic and nervous system research in a novel and coherent lipid-related context. Interestingly, unlike most other evolutionary concepts, the hypothesis allows specific predictions which can be empirically tested in the near future. This paper summarizes some of Horrobin's intriguing propositions and suggests as to how approaches of comparative genomics published in Cell, Nature, Science and elsewhere since 1997 may be used to examine his evolutionary hypothesis. Indeed, systematic investigations of the genomic clock in the species' mitochondrial DNA, the Y and autosomal chromosomes as evidence of evolutionary relationships and distinctions can help to scrutinize associated predictions for their validity, namely that key mutations which differentiate us from Neanderthals and from great apes are in the genes coding for proteins which regulate fat metabolism, and particularly the phospholipid metabolism of the synapses of the brain. It is concluded that beyond clues to humans' relationships with living primates and to the Neanderthals' cognitive performance and their disappearance, the suggested molecular clock analyses may provide crucial insights into the biochemical evolution-and means of possible manipulation-of our brain.

  1. A Model of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy After Penetrating Brain Injuries: Effect of Lesion Size and Metal Fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendirli, M. Tansel; Rose, Dominique T.; Bertram, Edward H.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Penetrating brain injury (PBI) has the highest risk for inducing post-traumatic epilepsy and retained foreign materials such as bullet fragments carry the greatest risk. This study examines the potential contribution of copper, a major component of bullets, to the development of epilepsy following PBI. Methods Anesthetized adult male rats received a penetrating injury from the dorsal cortex to the ventral hippocampus from a high speed small bit drill. In one group of animals, copper wire was inserted into the lesion. Control animals had only the lesion or the lesion plus stainless steel wire (biologically inert foreign body). From 6 to up to 11 months following the injury the rats were monitored intermittently for the development of epilepsy with video-EEG. A separate set of animals was examined for possible acute seizures in the week following the injury. Results 22 of the 23 animals with copper wire developed chronic epilepsy compared to 3 of the 20 control rats (lesion and lesion with stainless steel). Copper was associated with more extensive injury. The control rats with epilepsy had larger lesions. In the acute injury group, there was no difference in the incidence of seizures (83% lesion plus stainless steel, 70% lesion plus copper). Conclusions Copper increases the risk for epilepsy and may increase damage over time, but there were no differences between the groups in the incidence of acute post-injury seizures. Lesion size may contribute to epilepsy development in lesion only animals. Copper maybe an independent risk factor for the development of epilepsy and possible secondary injury, but lesion size also contributes to the development of epilepsy. The consequences of prolonged exposure of the brain to copper observed in these animals may have clinical implications that require further evaluation. PMID:25470332

  2. The intriguing evolution of effect sizes in biomedical research over time: smaller but more often statistically significant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsarrat, Paul; Vergnes, Jean-Noel

    2017-12-06

    In medicine, effect sizes (ESs) allow the effects of independent variables (including risk/protective factors, or treatment interventions) on dependent variables (e.g., health outcomes) to be quantified. Given that many public health decisions and health care policies are based on ES estimates, it is important to assess how ESs are used in the biomedical literature and to investigate potential trends in their reporting over time. Through a big data approach, the text mining process automatically extracted 814 120 ESs from 13 322 754 PubMed abstracts. Eligible ESs were risk ratio, odds ratio and hazard ratio, along with their confidence intervals. Here we show a remarkable decrease of ES values in PubMed abstracts between 1990 and 2015 while, concomitantly, results become more often statistically significant. Medians of ES values have decreased over time for both "risk" and "protective" values. This trend was found in nearly all fields of biomedical research, with the most marked downward tendency in genetics. Over the same period, the proportion of statistically significant ESs increased regularly: among the abstracts with at least one ES, 74% were statistically significant in 1990-1995, vs. 85% in 2010-2015. Whereas decreasing ESs could be an intrinsic evolution in biomedical research, the concomitant increase of statistically significant results is more intriguing. Although it is likely that growing sample sizes in biomedical research could explain these results, another explanation may lie in the "publish or perish" context of scientific research, with the probability of a growing orientation towards sensationalism in research reports. Important provisions must be made to improve the credibility of biomedical research and limit waste of resources.

  3. Phylogeny, Histology and Inferred Body Size Evolution in a New Rhabdodontid Dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ősi, Attila; Prondvai, Edina; Butler, Richard; Weishampel, David B.

    2012-01-01

    Background Rhabdodontid ornithopod dinosaurs are characteristic elements of Late Cretaceous European vertebrate faunas and were previously collected from lower Campanian to Maastrichtian continental deposits. Phylogenetic analyses have placed rhabdodontids among basal ornithopods as the sister taxon to the clade consisting of Tenontosaurus, Dryosaurus, Camptosaurus, and Iguanodon. Recent studies considered Zalmoxes, the best known representative of the clade, to be significantly smaller than closely related ornithopods such as Tenontosaurus, Camptosaurus, or Rhabdodon, and concluded that it was probably an island dwarf that inhabited the Maastrichtian Haţeg Island. Methodology/Principal Findings Rhabdodontid remains from the Santonian of western Hungary provide evidence for a new, small-bodied form, which we assign to Mochlodon vorosi n. sp. The new species is most similar to the early Campanian M. suessi from Austria, and the close affinities of the two species is further supported by the results of a global phylogenetic analysis of ornithischian dinosaurs. Bone histological studies of representatives of all rhabdodontids indicate a similar adult body length of 1.6–1.8 m in the Hungarian and Austrian species, 2.4–2.5 m in the subadults of both Zalmoxes robustus and Z. shqiperorum and a much larger, 5–6 m adult body length in Rhabdodon. Phylogenetic mapping of femoral lengths onto the results of the phylogenetic analysis suggests a femoral length of around 340 mm as the ancestral state for Rhabdodontidae, close to the adult femoral lengths known for Zalmoxes (320–333 mm). Conclusions/Significance Our analysis of body size evolution does not support the hypothesis of autapomorhic nanism for Zalmoxes. However, Rhabdodon is reconstructed as having undergone autapomorphic giantism and the reconstructed small femoral length (245 mm) of Mochlodon is consistent with a reduction in size relative to the ancestral rhabdodontid condition. Our results imply a pre

  4. Brain intersections of aesthetics and morals: perspectives from biology, neuroscience, and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, D W; Nadal, M

    2011-01-01

    For centuries, only philosophers debated the relationship between aesthetics and morality. Recently, with advances in neuroscience, the debate has moved to include the brain and an evolved neural underpinning linking aesthetic reactions and moral judgment. Biological survival emphasizes mate selection strategies, and the ritual displays have been linked to human aesthetics in the arts, in faces, and in various daily decision making. In parallel, cultural human practices have evolved to emphasize altruism and morality. This article explores the biological background and discusses the neuroscientific evidence for shared brain pathways for aesthetics and morals.

  5. Size distribution of air bubbles entering the brain during cardiac surgery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma M L Chung

    Full Text Available Thousands of air bubbles enter the cerebral circulation during cardiac surgery, but whether high numbers of bubbles explain post-operative cognitive decline is currently controversial. This study estimates the size distribution of air bubbles and volume of air entering the cerebral arteries intra-operatively based on analysis of transcranial Doppler ultrasound data.Transcranial Doppler ultrasound recordings from ten patients undergoing heart surgery were analysed for the presence of embolic signals. The backscattered intensity of each embolic signal was modelled based on ultrasound scattering theory to provide an estimate of bubble diameter. The impact of showers of bubbles on cerebral blood-flow was then investigated using patient-specific Monte-Carlo simulations to model the accumulation and clearance of bubbles within a model vasculature.Analysis of Doppler ultrasound recordings revealed a minimum of 371 and maximum of 6476 bubbles entering the middle cerebral artery territories during surgery. This was estimated to correspond to a total volume of air ranging between 0.003 and 0.12 mL. Based on analysis of a total of 18667 embolic signals, the median diameter of bubbles entering the cerebral arteries was 33 μm (IQR: 18 to 69 μm. Although bubble diameters ranged from ~5 μm to 3.5 mm, the majority (85% were less than 100 μm. Numerous small bubbles detected during cardiopulmonary bypass were estimated by Monte-Carlo simulation to be benign. However, during weaning from bypass, showers containing large macro-bubbles were observed, which were estimated to transiently affect up to 2.2% of arterioles.Detailed analysis of Doppler ultrasound data can be used to provide an estimate of bubble diameter, total volume of air, and the likely impact of embolic showers on cerebral blood flow. Although bubbles are alarmingly numerous during surgery, our simulations suggest that the majority of bubbles are too small to be harmful.

  6. Metopic suture and RUNX2, a key transcription factor in osseous morphogenesis with possible important implications for human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magherini, Stefano; Fiore, Maria Giulia; Chiarelli, Brunetto; Serrao, Antonio; Paternostro, Ferdinando; Morucci, Gabriele; Branca, Jacopo J V; Ruggiero, Marco; Pacini, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Overall, the comparative data available on the timing of metopic suture closure in present-day and fossil members of human lineage, as well as great apes, seem to indicate that human brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns, involving delayed fusion of the metopic suture. It is very interesting that the recent sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed signs of positive selection in the modern human variant of the RUNX2 gene, which is known to affect metopic suture fusion in addition to being essential for osteoblast development and proper bone formation. It is possible that an evolutionary change in RUNX2, affecting aspects of the morphology of the upper body and cranium, was of importance in the origin of modern humans. Thus, to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular evolution of this gene probably implicated in human evolution, we performed a comparative bioinformatic analysis of the coding sequences of RUNX2 in Homo sapiens and other non-human Primates. We found amino-acid sequence differences between RUNX2 protein isoforms of Homo sapiens and the other Primates examined, that might have important implications for the timing of metopic suture closure. Further studies are needed to clear the potential distinct developmental roles of different species-specific RUNX2 N-terminal isoforms. Meantime, our bioinformatic analysis, regarding expression of the RUNX2 gene in Homo sapiens and other non-human Primates, has provided a contribution to this important issue of human evolution.

  7. Evolution of the Brain Computing Interface (BCI and Proposed Electroencephalography (EEG Signals Based Authentication Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramzan Qaseem

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available With current advancements in the field of Brain Computer interface it is required to study how it will affect the other technologies currently in use. In this paper, the authors motivate the need of Brain Computing Interface in the era of IoT (Internet of Things, and analyze how BCI in the presence of IoT could have serious privacy breach if not protected by new kind of more secure protocols. Security breach and hacking has been around for a long time but now we are sensitive towards data as our lives depend on it. When everything is interconnected through IoT and considering that we control all interconnected things by means of our brain using BCI (Brain Computer Interface, the meaning of security breach becomes much more sensitive than in the past. This paper describes the old security methods being used for authentication and how they can be compromised. Considering the sensitivity of data in the era of IoT, a new form of authentication is required, which should incorporate BCI rather than usual authentication techniques.

  8. Permutation and parametric tests for effect sizes in voxel-based morphometry of gray matter volume in brain structural MRI.

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    Dickie, David A; Mikhael, Shadia; Job, Dominic E; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Laidlaw, David H; Bastin, Mark E

    2015-12-01

    Permutation testing has been widely implemented in voxel-based morphometry (VBM) tools. However, this type of non-parametric inference has yet to be thoroughly compared with traditional parametric inference in VBM studies of brain structure. Here we compare both types of inference and investigate what influence the number of permutations in permutation testing has on results in an exemplar study of how gray matter proportion changes with age in a group of working age adults. High resolution T1-weighted volume scans were acquired from 80 healthy adults aged 25-64years. Using a validated VBM procedure and voxel-based permutation testing for Pearson product-moment coefficient, the effect sizes of changes in gray matter proportion with age were assessed using traditional parametric and permutation testing inference with 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000 and 20000 permutations. The statistical significance was set at Pparametric inference (N=3221voxels). Permutation testing with 10000 (N=6251voxels) and 20000 (N=6233voxels) permutations produced clusters that were generally consistent with each other. However, with 1000 permutations there were approximately 20% more statistically significant voxels (N=7117voxels) than with ≥10000 permutations. Permutation testing inference may provide a more sensitive method than traditional parametric inference for identifying age-related differences in gray matter proportion. Based on the results reported here, at least 10000 permutations should be used in future univariate VBM studies investigating age related changes in gray matter to avoid potential false findings. Additional studies using permutation testing in large imaging databanks are required to address the impact of model complexity, multivariate analysis, number of observations, sampling bias and data quality on the accuracy with which subtle differences in brain structure associated with normal aging can be identified. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Brain and cognitive evolution: forms of modularity and functions of mind.

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    Geary, David C; Huffman, Kelly J

    2002-09-01

    Genetic and neurobiological research is reviewed as related to controversy over the extent to which neocortical organization and associated cognitive functions are genetically constrained or emerge through patterns of developmental experience. An evolutionary framework that accommodates genetic constraint and experiential modification of brain organization and cognitive function is then proposed. The authors argue that 4 forms of modularity and 3 forms of neural and cognitive plasticity define the relation between genetic constraint and the influence of developmental experience. For humans, the result is the ontogenetic emergence of functional modules in the domains of folk psychology, folk biology, and folk physics. The authors present a taxonomy of these modules and review associated research relating to brain and cognitive plasticity in these domains.

  10. A role for nautilus in studies of the evolution of brain and behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Crook, Robyn J.; Basil, Jennifer A

    2008-01-01

    Nautilus is an ancient remnant of a largely extinct cephalopod lineage.1 Its status within its clade is the subject of ongoing debate—its morphology, behavior and neuroanatomy may or may not be representative of an ancestral condition, and therefore its value as a model for ancestral cephalopods is uncertain. While the nautilus brain is simpler than that of more derived cephalopods2 (coleoids), it is plausible that this is a secondary simplification related to ecology, and not a precursor to ...

  11. The evolution of sensory and neurosecretory cell types in bilaterian brains

    OpenAIRE

    Teßmar-Raible, Karla Gisela Kristin

    2004-01-01

    This thesis deals with the origin of the photosensory and neurosecretory cell types in the bilaterian brain. As the main experimental system, I used the annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Platynereis is an emerging protostomian model organism that is ideally suited for comparisons with vertebrates because it has retained many ancestral cell types, yet has a relatively simple morphology and mode of development. In the first section, I ...

  12. Big brains, small worlds: material culture and the evolution of the mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coward, Fiona; Gamble, Clive

    2008-06-12

    New developments in neuroimaging have demonstrated that the basic capacities underpinning human social skills are shared by our closest extant primate relatives. The challenge for archaeologists is to explain how complex human societies evolved from this shared pattern of face-to-face social interaction. We argue that a key process was the gradual incorporation of material culture into social networks over the course of hominin evolution. Here we use three long-term processes in hominin evolution-encephalization, the global human diaspora and sedentism/agriculture-to illustrate how the cultural transmission of material culture allowed the 'scaling up' of face-to-face social interactions to the global societies known today. We conclude that future research by neuroimagers and archaeologists will need to investigate the cognitive mechanisms behind human engagement with material culture as well as other persons.

  13. Evolution of oceanic molybdenum and uranium reservoir size around the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition: Evidence from western Zhejiang, South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Lei; Schoepfer, Shane D.; Shen, Shu-zhong; Cao, Chang-qun; Zhang, Hua

    2017-04-01

    The "Cambrian explosion" is one of the most fascinating episodes of diversification in the history of life; however, its relationship to the oxygenation of the oceans and atmosphere around the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition is not fully understood. Marine inventories of redox-sensitive trace elements reflect the relative balance of oxidative weathering on land and deposition in anoxic water masses, and can be used to explore the evolution of oceanic and atmospheric redox conditions. For this study, we conducted a series of geochemical analyses on the upper Lantian, Piyuancun, and Hetang formations in the Chunye-1 well, part of the lower Yangtze Block in western Zhejiang. Iron speciation results indicate that the entire studied interval was deposited under anoxic conditions, with three intervals of persistent euxinia occurring in the uppermost Lantian Fm., the lower Hetang Formation (Fm.), and the upper Hetang Fm. Molybdenum (Mo) and uranium (U) contents and Mo/TOC and U/TOC ratios from the anoxic/euxinic intervals of the Chunye-1 well, combined with published data from the sections in the middle and upper Yangtze Block, suggest that the oceanic Mo reservoir declined consistently from the Ediacaran to Cambrian Stage 3, while the size of the oceanic U reservoir remained relatively constant. Both metals were depleted in the ocean in lower Cambrian Stage 4, before increasing markedly at the end of Stage 4. The lack of an apparent increase in the size of the marine Mo and U reservoir from the upper Ediacaran to Cambrian Stage 3 suggests that oxic water masses did not expand until Cambrian Stage 4. The increase in marine Mo and U availability in the upper Hetang Fm. may have been due to the expansion of oxic water masses in the oceans, associated with oxygenation of the atmosphere during Cambrian Stage 4. This expansion of oxic waters in the global ocean postdates the main phase of Cambrian diversification, suggesting that pervasive oxygenation of the ocean on a large

  14. Evolution of growth habit, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type in Rubiaceae: its ecological and evolutionary implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvain G Razafimandimbison

    Full Text Available During angiosperm evolution, innovations in vegetative and reproductive organs have resulted in tremendous morphological diversity, which has played a crucial role in the ecological success of flowering plants. Morindeae (Rubiaceae display considerable diversity in growth form, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, small flower, and multiple fruit are the predominant states, but arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, large flower, and simple fruit states occur in various genera. This makes Morindeae an ideal model for exploring the evolutionary appearances and transitions between the states of these characters. We reconstructed ancestral states for these four traits using a bayesian approach and combined nuclear/chloroplast data for 61 Morindeae species. The aim was to test three hypotheses: 1 self-supporting habit is generally ancestral in clades comprising both lianescent and arborescent species; 2 changes from lianescent to arborescent habit are uncommon due to "a high degree of specialization and developmental burden"; 3 head inflorescences and multiple fruits in Morindeae evolved from non-headed inflorescences and simple fruits, respectively. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, large flower, and multiple fruit are inferred for Morindeae, making arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, small flower, and simple fruit derived within the tribe. The rate of change from lianescent to arborescent habit is much higher than the reverse change. Therefore, evolutionary changes between lianescent and arborescent forms can be reversible, and their frequency and trends vary between groups. Moreover, these changes are partly attributed to a scarcity of host trees for climbing plants in more open habitats. Changes from large to small flowers might have been driven by shifts to pollinators with progressively shorter proboscis, which are associated with shifts in breeding systems towards

  15. Evolution of growth habit, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type in Rubiaceae: its ecological and evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razafimandimbison, Sylvain G; Ekman, Stefan; McDowell, Timothy D; Bremer, Birgitta

    2012-01-01

    During angiosperm evolution, innovations in vegetative and reproductive organs have resulted in tremendous morphological diversity, which has played a crucial role in the ecological success of flowering plants. Morindeae (Rubiaceae) display considerable diversity in growth form, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, small flower, and multiple fruit are the predominant states, but arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, large flower, and simple fruit states occur in various genera. This makes Morindeae an ideal model for exploring the evolutionary appearances and transitions between the states of these characters. We reconstructed ancestral states for these four traits using a bayesian approach and combined nuclear/chloroplast data for 61 Morindeae species. The aim was to test three hypotheses: 1) self-supporting habit is generally ancestral in clades comprising both lianescent and arborescent species; 2) changes from lianescent to arborescent habit are uncommon due to "a high degree of specialization and developmental burden"; 3) head inflorescences and multiple fruits in Morindeae evolved from non-headed inflorescences and simple fruits, respectively. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, large flower, and multiple fruit are inferred for Morindeae, making arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, small flower, and simple fruit derived within the tribe. The rate of change from lianescent to arborescent habit is much higher than the reverse change. Therefore, evolutionary changes between lianescent and arborescent forms can be reversible, and their frequency and trends vary between groups. Moreover, these changes are partly attributed to a scarcity of host trees for climbing plants in more open habitats. Changes from large to small flowers might have been driven by shifts to pollinators with progressively shorter proboscis, which are associated with shifts in breeding systems towards dioecy. A single

  16. The rationale driving the evolution of deep brain stimulation to constant-current devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronstein, Jeff M; Tagliati, Michele; McIntyre, Cameron; Chen, Robert; Cheung, Tyler; Hargreaves, Eric L; Israel, Zvi; Moffitt, Michael; Montgomery, Erwin B; Stypulkowski, Paul; Shils, Jay; Denison, Timothy; Vitek, Jerrold; Volkman, Jens; Wertheimer, Jeffrey; Okun, Michael S

    2015-02-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy for the treatment of a number of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. The effectiveness of DBS is dependent on the density and location of stimulation in a given brain area. Adjustments are made to optimize clinical benefits and minimize side effects. Until recently, clinicians would adjust DBS settings using a voltage mode, where the delivered voltage remained constant. More recently, a constant-current mode has become available where the programmer sets the current and the stimulator automatically adjusts the voltage as impedance changes. We held an expert consensus meeting to evaluate the current state of the literature and field on constant-current mode versus voltage mode in clinical brain-related applications. There has been little reporting of the use of constant-current DBS devices in movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, as impedance varies considerably between patients and over time, it makes sense that all new devices will likely use constant current. © 2014 International Neuromodulation Society.

  17. In search of genetic constraints limiting the evolution of egg size: direct and correlated responses to artificial selection on a prenatal maternal effector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pick, J L; Hutter, P; Tschirren, B

    2016-06-01

    Maternal effects are an important force in nature, but the evolutionary dynamics of the traits that cause them are not well understood. Egg size is known to be a key mediator of prenatal maternal effects with an established genetic basis. In contrast to theoretical expectations for fitness-related traits, there is a large amount of additive genetic variation in egg size observed in natural populations. One possible mechanism for the maintenance of this variation is through genetic constraints caused by a shared genetic basis among traits. Here we created replicated, divergent selection lines for maternal egg investment in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) to quantify the role of genetic constraints in the evolution of egg size. We found that egg size responds rapidly to selection, accompanied by a strong response in all egg components. Initially, we observed a correlated response in body size, but this response declined over time, showing that egg size and body size can evolve independently. Furthermore, no correlated response in fecundity (measured as the proportion of days on which a female laid an egg) was observed. However, the response to selection was asymmetrical, with egg size plateauing after one generation of selection in the high but not the low investment lines. We attribute this pattern to the presence of genetic asymmetries, caused by directional dominance or unequal allele frequencies. Such asymmetries may contribute to the evolutionary stasis in egg size observed in natural populations, despite a positive association between egg size and fitness.

  18. Physics and Size in Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, George

    1989-01-01

    Described is the subject of biological scaling for physics teachers including examples and in-depth reading. Topics are elements of scaling, terminal velocities, Lilliputian and Brobdingnagian, brain evolution, dolphin echolocation, surface tension, gravity change, food and oxygen, and seeing. Ten references on physics and size, and ten questions…

  19. Ablation of the mTORC2 component rictor in brain or Purkinje cells affects size and neuron morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomanetz, Venus; Angliker, Nico; Cloëtta, Dimitri; Lustenberger, Regula M; Schweighauser, Manuel; Oliveri, Filippo; Suzuki, Noboru; Rüegg, Markus A

    2013-04-15

    The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) assembles into two distinct multi-protein complexes called mTORC1 and mTORC2. Whereas mTORC1 is known to regulate cell and organismal growth, the role of mTORC2 is less understood. We describe two mouse lines that are devoid of the mTORC2 component rictor in the entire central nervous system or in Purkinje cells. In both lines neurons were smaller and their morphology and function were strongly affected. The phenotypes were accompanied by loss of activation of Akt, PKC, and SGK1 without effects on mTORC1 activity. The striking decrease in the activation and expression of several PKC isoforms, the subsequent loss of activation of GAP-43 and MARCKS, and the established role of PKCs in spinocerebellar ataxia and in shaping the actin cytoskeleton strongly suggest that the morphological deficits observed in rictor-deficient neurons are mediated by PKCs. Together our experiments show that mTORC2 has a particularly important role in the brain and that it affects size, morphology, and function of neurons.

  20. Molecular evolution of the human SRPX2 gene that causes brain disorders of the Rolandic and Sylvian speech areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levasseur Anthony

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The X-linked SRPX2 gene encodes a Sushi Repeat-containing Protein of unknown function and is mutated in two disorders of the Rolandic/Sylvian speech areas. Since it is linked to defects in the functioning and the development of brain areas for speech production, SRPX2 may thus have participated in the adaptive organization of such brain regions. To address this issue, we have examined the recent molecular evolution of the SRPX2 gene. Results The complete coding region was sequenced in 24 human X chromosomes from worldwide populations and in six representative nonhuman primate species. One single, fixed amino acid change (R75K has been specifically incorporated in human SRPX2 since the human-chimpanzee split. The R75K substitution occurred in the first sushi domain of SRPX2, only three amino acid residues away from a previously reported disease-causing mutation (Y72S. Three-dimensional structural modeling of the first sushi domain revealed that Y72 and K75 are both situated in the hypervariable loop that is usually implicated in protein-protein interactions. The side-chain of residue 75 is exposed, and is located within an unusual and SRPX-specific protruding extension to the hypervariable loop. The analysis of non-synonymous/synonymous substitution rate (Ka/Ks ratio in primates was performed in order to test for positive selection during recent evolution. Using the branch models, the Ka/Ks ratio for the human branch was significantly different (p = 0.027 from that of the other branches. In contrast, the branch-site tests did not reach significance. Genetic analysis was also performed by sequencing 9,908 kilobases (kb of intronic SRPX2 sequences. Despite low nucleotide diversity, neither the HKA (Hudson-Kreitman-Aguadé test nor the Tajima's D test reached significance. Conclusion The R75K human-specific variation occurred in an important functional loop of the first sushi domain of SRPX2, indicating that this evolutionary

  1. The Future Vocation of Neural Stem Cells: Lineage Commitment in Brain Development and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Gotoh, Hitoshi; Ono, Katsuhiko

    2017-08-24

    Understanding the fate commitment of neural stem cells is critical to identify the regulatory mechanisms in developing brains. Genetic lineage-tracing has provided a powerful strategy to unveil the heterogeneous nature of stem cells and their descendants. However, recent studies have reported controversial data regarding the heterogeneity of neural stem cells in the developing mouse neocortex, which prevents a decisive conclusion on this issue. Here, we review the progress that has been made using lineage-tracing analyses of the developing neocortex and discuss stem cell heterogeneity from the viewpoint of comparative and evolutionary biology.

  2. Adaptations to vision-for-action in primate brain evolution: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Erin

    2016-03-01

    As Arbib [1] notes, the two-streams hypothesis [5] has provided a powerful explanatory framework for understanding visual processing. The inferotemporal ventral stream recognizes objects and agents - ;what; one is seeing. The dorsal ;how; or ;where; stream through parietal cortex processes motion, spatial location, and visuo-proprioceptive relationships - ;vision for action.; Hickock and Poeppel's [3] extension of this model to the auditory system raises the question of deeper, multi- or supra-sensory themes in dorsal vs. ventral processing. Petrides and Pandya [10] postulate that the evolution of language may have been influenced by the fact that the dorsal stream terminates in posterior Broca's area (BA44) while the ventral stream terminates in anterior Broca's area (BA45). In an intriguing potential parallel, a recent ALE metanalysis of 54 fMRI studies found that semantic processing is located more anteriorly and superiorly than syntactic processing in Broca's area [13]. But clearly, macaques do not have language, nor other likely pre- or co-adaptations to language, such as complex imitation and tool use. What changed in the brain that enabled these functions to evolve?

  3. The evolution of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis miRNA targeting genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunbin, Konstantin V; Afonnikov, Dmitry A; Kolchanov, Nikolay A; Derevianko, Anatoly P; Rogaev, Eugeny I

    2015-01-01

    As the evolution of miRNA genes has been found to be one of the important factors in formation of the modern type of man, we performed a comparative analysis of the evolution of miRNA genes in two archaic hominines, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova, and elucidated the expression of their target mRNAs in bain. A comparative analysis of the genomes of primates, including species in the genus Homo, identified a group of miRNA genes having fixed substitutions with important implications for the evolution of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova. The mRNAs targeted by miRNAs with mutations specific for Homo sapiens denisova exhibited enhanced expression during postnatal brain development in modern humans. By contrast, the expression of mRNAs targeted by miRNAs bearing variations specific for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was shown to be enhanced in prenatal brain development. Our results highlight the importance of changes in miRNA gene sequences in the course of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis evolution. The genetic alterations of miRNAs regulating the spatiotemporal expression of multiple genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain may contribute to the progressive evolution of brain function, which is consistent with the observations of fine technical and typological properties of tools and decorative items reported from archaeological Denisovan sites. The data also suggest that differential spatial-temporal regulation of gene products promoted by the subspecies-specific mutations in the miRNA genes might have occurred in the brains of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, potentially contributing to the cultural differences between these two archaic hominines.

  4. Histological and Demographic Characteristics of the Distribution of Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors' Sizes: Results from SEER Registries Using Statistical Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokhrel, Keshav P; Vovoras, Dimitrios; Tsokos, Chris P

    2012-09-01

    The examination of brain tumor growth and its variability among cancer patients is an important aspect of epidemiologic and medical data. Several studies for tumors of brain interpreted descriptive data, in this study we perform inference in the extent possible, suggesting possible explanations for the differentiation in the survival rates apparent in the epidemiologic data. Population based information from nine registries in the USA are classified with respect to age, gender, race and tumor histology to study tumor size variation. The Weibull and Dagum distributions are fitted to the highly skewed tumor sizes distributions, the parametric analysis of the tumor sizes showed significant differentiation between sexes, increased skewness for both the male and female populations, as well as decreased kurtosis for the black female population. The effect of population characteristics on the distribution of tumor sizes is estimated by quantile regression model and then compared with the ordinary least squares results. The higher quantiles of the distribution of tumor sizes for whites are significantly higher than those of other races. Our model predicted that the effect of age in the lower quantiles of the tumor sizes distribution is negative given the variables race and sex. We apply probability and regression models to explore the effects of demographic and histology types and observe significant racial and gender differences in the form of the distributions. Efforts are made to link tumor size data with available survival rates in relation to other prognostic variables.

  5. Rates of brain atrophy and clinical decline over 6 and 12-month intervals in PSP: determining sample size for treatment trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitwell, Jennifer L; Xu, Jia; Mandrekar, Jay N; Gunter, Jeffrey L; Jack, Clifford R; Josephs, Keith A

    2012-03-01

    Imaging biomarkers are useful outcome measures in treatment trials. We compared sample size estimates for future treatment trials performed over 6 or 12-months in progressive supranuclear palsy using both imaging and clinical measures. We recruited 16 probable progressive supranuclear palsy patients that underwent baseline, 6 and 12-month brain scans, and 16 age-matched controls with serial scans. Disease severity was measured at each time-point using the progressive supranuclear palsy rating scale. Rates of ventricular expansion and rates of atrophy of the whole brain, superior frontal lobe, thalamus, caudate and midbrain were calculated. Rates of atrophy and clinical decline were used to calculate sample sizes required to power placebo-controlled treatment trials over 6 and 12-months. Rates of whole brain, thalamus and midbrain atrophy, and ventricular expansion, were increased over 6 and 12-months in progressive supranuclear palsy compared to controls. The progressive supranuclear palsy rating scale increased by 9 points over 6-months, and 18 points over 12-months. The smallest sample size estimates for treatment trials over 6-months were achieved using rate of midbrain atrophy, followed by rate of whole brain atrophy and ventricular expansion. Sample size estimates were further reduced over 12-month intervals. Sample size estimates for the progressive supranuclear palsy rating scale were worse than imaging measures over 6-months, but comparable over 12-months. Atrophy and clinical decline can be detected over 6-months in progressive supranuclear palsy. Sample size estimates suggest that treatment trials could be performed over this interval, with rate of midbrain atrophy providing the best outcome measure. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Further statistical analysis for genome-wide expression evolution in primate brain/liver/fibroblast tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Jianying

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In spite of only a 1-2 per cent genomic DNA sequence difference, humans and chimpanzees differ considerably in behaviour and cognition. Affymetrix microarray technology provides a novel approach to addressing a long-term debate on whether the difference between humans and chimpanzees results from the alteration of gene expressions. Here, we used several statistical methods (distance method, two-sample t-tests, regularised t-tests, ANOVA and bootstrapping to detect the differential expression pattern between humans and great apes. Our analysis shows that the pattern we observed before is robust against various statistical methods; that is, the pronounced expression changes occurred on the human lineage after the split from chimpanzees, and that the dramatic brain expression alterations in humans may be mainly driven by a set of genes with increased expression (up-regulated rather than decreased expression (down-regulated.

  7. CrystalMom: a new model for the evolution of crystal size distributions in magmas with the quadrature-based method of moments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone, Colucci; Mattia, de'Michieli Vitturi; Patrizia, Landi

    2017-12-01

    Nucleation and growth of crystals, and the resulting crystal size distribution, play a fundamental role in controlling the physical properties of magmas and consequently the dynamics of the eruptions. In the past decades, laboratory experiments demonstrated that size and shape of crystals strongly control the physical properties of magma and lava. Additionally, natural and experimental samples are usually characterized in terms of their crystal size distribution to link it with physical processes that are not directly observable, such as cooling or decompression mechanisms. In this paper, we present CrystalMoM, a new predictive model, based on the quadrature-based method of moments, developed for studying the kinetic of crystallization in volcanic systems. The quadrature-based method of moments, well established in the field of chemical engineering, represents a mesoscale modelling approach that rigorously simulates the space-time evolution of a distribution of particles, by considering its moments. The method is applied here, for the first time, for studying the equilibrium/disequilibrium crystallization in magma, modelling the temporal evolution of the moments of a crystal size distribution. The model, verified against numerical and experimental data, represents a valuable tool to infer the cooling and decompression rates from the crystal size distribution observed in natural samples.

  8. Analysis of the Grain Size Evolution for Ferrite Formation in Fe-C-Mn Steels Using a 3D Model Under a Mixed-Mode Interface Condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, H.; Mecozzi, M. G.; Brück, E.; van der Zwaag, S.; van Dijk, N. H.

    2018-01-01

    A 3D model has been developed to predict the average ferrite grain size and grain size distribution for an austenite-to-ferrite phase transformation during continuous cooling of an Fe-C-Mn steel. Using a Voronoi construction to represent the austenite grains, the ferrite is assumed to nucleate at the grain corners and to grow as spheres. Classical nucleation theory is used to estimate the density of ferrite nuclei. By assuming a negligible partition of manganese, the moving ferrite-austenite interface is treated with a mixed-mode model in which the soft impingement of the carbon diffusion fields is considered. The ferrite volume fraction, the average ferrite grain size, and the ferrite grain size distribution are derived as a function of temperature. The results of the present model are compared with those of a published phase-field model simulating the ferritic microstructure evolution during linear cooling of an Fe-0.10C-0.49Mn (wt pct) steel. It turns out that the present model can adequately reproduce the phase-field modeling results as well as the experimental dilatometry data. The model presented here provides a versatile tool to analyze the evolution of the ferrite grain size distribution at low computational costs.

  9. Group Size Predicts Social but Not Nonsocial Cognition in Lemurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maclean, Evan L; Sandel, Aaron A; Bray, Joel; Oldenkamp, Ricki E; Reddy, Rachna B; Hare, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    The social intelligence hypothesis suggests that living in large social networks was the primary selective pressure for the evolution of complex cognition in primates. This hypothesis is supported by comparative studies demonstrating a positive relationship between social group size and relative brain size across primates. However, the relationship between brain size and cognition remains equivocal. Moreover, there have been no experimental studies directly testing the association between group size and cognition across primates. We tested the social intelligence hypothesis by comparing 6 primate species (total N = 96) characterized by different group sizes on two cognitive tasks. Here, we show that a species' typical social group size predicts performance on cognitive measures of social cognition, but not a nonsocial measure of inhibitory control. We also show that a species' mean brain size (in absolute or relative terms) does not predict performance on either task in these species. These data provide evidence for a relationship between group size and social cognition in primates, and reveal the potential for cognitive evolution without concomitant changes in brain size. Furthermore our results underscore the need for more empirical studies of animal cognition, which have the power to reveal species differences in cognition not detectable by proxy variables, such as brain size.

  10. Group Size Predicts Social but Not Nonsocial Cognition in Lemurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan L Maclean

    Full Text Available The social intelligence hypothesis suggests that living in large social networks was the primary selective pressure for the evolution of complex cognition in primates. This hypothesis is supported by comparative studies demonstrating a positive relationship between social group size and relative brain size across primates. However, the relationship between brain size and cognition remains equivocal. Moreover, there have been no experimental studies directly testing the association between group size and cognition across primates. We tested the social intelligence hypothesis by comparing 6 primate species (total N = 96 characterized by different group sizes on two cognitive tasks. Here, we show that a species' typical social group size predicts performance on cognitive measures of social cognition, but not a nonsocial measure of inhibitory control. We also show that a species' mean brain size (in absolute or relative terms does not predict performance on either task in these species. These data provide evidence for a relationship between group size and social cognition in primates, and reveal the potential for cognitive evolution without concomitant changes in brain size. Furthermore our results underscore the need for more empirical studies of animal cognition, which have the power to reveal species differences in cognition not detectable by proxy variables, such as brain size.

  11. A theory of marks and mind: the effect of notational systems on hominid brain evolution and child development with an emphasis on exchanges between mothers and children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Susan Rich

    2005-01-01

    A model of human language requires a theory of meaningful marks. Humans are the only species who use marks to think. A theory of marks identifies children's scribbles as significant behavior, while hypothesizing the importance of rotational systems to hominid brain evolution. By recognizing the importance of children's scribbles and drawings in developmental terms as well as in evolutionary terms, a marks-based rather than a predominantly speech-based theory of the human brain, language, and consciousness emerges. Combined research in anthropology, primatology, art history, neurology, child development (including research with deaf and blind children), gender studies and literacy suggests the importance of notational systems to human language, revealing the importance of mother/child interactions around marks and sounds to the development of an expressive, communicative, symbolic human brain. An understanding of human language is enriched by identifying marks carved on bone 1.9 million years ago as observational lunar calendar-keeping, pushing proto-literacy back dramatically. Neurologically, children recapitulate the meaningful marks of early hominins when they scribble and draw, reminding us that literacy belongs to humankind's earliest history. Even more than speech, such meaningful marks played - and continue to play - decisive roles in human brain evolution. The hominid brain required a model for integrative, transformative neural transfer. The research strongly suggests that humankind's multiple literacies (art, literature, scientific writing, mathematics and music) depended upon dyadic exchanges between hominid mothers and children, and that this exchange and sharing of visuo-spatial information drove the elaboration of human speech in terms of syntax, grammar and vocabulary. The human brain was spatial before it was linguistic. The child scribbles and draws before it speaks or writes. Children babble and scribble within the first two years of life. Hands

  12. Evidence that the adaptive allele of the brain size gene microcephalin introgressed into Homo sapiens from an archaic Homo lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Patrick D; Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Vallender, Eric J; Hudson, Richard R; Lahn, Bruce T

    2006-11-28

    At the center of the debate on the emergence of modern humans and their spread throughout the globe is the question of whether archaic Homo lineages contributed to the modern human gene pool, and more importantly, whether such contributions impacted the evolutionary adaptation of our species. A major obstacle to answering this question is that low levels of admixture with archaic lineages are not expected to leave extensive traces in the modern human gene pool because of genetic drift. Loci that have undergone strong positive selection, however, offer a unique opportunity to identify low-level admixture with archaic lineages, provided that the introgressed archaic allele has risen to high frequency under positive selection. The gene microcephalin (MCPH1) regulates brain size during development and has experienced positive selection in the lineage leading to Homo sapiens. Within modern humans, a group of closely related haplotypes at this locus, known as haplogroup D, rose from a single copy approximately 37,000 years ago and swept to exceptionally high frequency (approximately 70% worldwide today) because of positive selection. Here, we examine the origin of haplogroup D. By using the interhaplogroup divergence test, we show that haplogroup D likely originated from a lineage separated from modern humans approximately 1.1 million years ago and introgressed into humans by approximately 37,000 years ago. This finding supports the possibility of admixture between modern humans and archaic Homo populations (Neanderthals being one possibility). Furthermore, it buttresses the important notion that, through such adminture, our species has benefited evolutionarily by gaining new advantageous alleles. The interhaplogroup divergence test developed here may be broadly applicable to the detection of introgression at other loci in the human genome or in genomes of other species.

  13. Evolution of interspecific variation in size of attachment structures in the large tapeworm genus Acanthobothrium (Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, H S; Poulin, R

    2010-09-01

    Parasites have evolved a myriad of attachment structures closely adapted to their hosts and sites of attachment. Here, using members of the genus Acanthobothrium van Beneden, 1850 (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae), we (i) examined the influence of host body size and phylogeny, in addition to morphological features of these tapeworms, on the size of 3 structures used in attachment (bothridia, accessory suckers and hooks) by means of general linear models and phylogenetic-independent contrasts methods, and (ii) quantified the scaling exponents of relationships between size of attachment structures and tapeworm body size. Our results indicate that there exists a positive relationship, albeit not directly proportional, between size of attachment structures and Acanthobothrium spp. body size, and hook size and size of bothridia and accessory suckers. These results suggest that the resource investment in whole-body growth is greater than that in attachment structures, and that a greater investment in development of bothridia and accessory suckers is required to maintain an equivalent functional efficacy to hooks. In addition, host body size also influences, though less markedly, the size of attachment structures in Acanthobothrium spp. independently of parasite size itself. Acanthobothrium species have evolved a generalized mode of attachment that is successful in maintaining their position on various intestinal mucosal topographies across a variety of hosts exploiting different food resources.

  14. When size makes a difference: allometry, life-history and morphological evolution of capuchins (Cebus) and squirrels (Saimiri) monkeys (Cebinae, Platyrrhini)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marroig, Gabriel

    2007-01-01

    Background How are morphological evolution and developmental changes related? This rather old and intriguing question had a substantial boost after the 70s within the framework of heterochrony (changes in rates or timing of development) and nowadays has the potential to make another major leap forward through the combination of approaches: molecular biology, developmental experimentation, comparative systematic studies, geometric morphometrics and quantitative genetics. Here I take an integrated approach combining life-history comparative analyses, classical and geometric morphometrics applied to ontogenetic series to understand changes in size and shape which happen during the evolution of two New World Monkeys (NWM) sister genera. Results Cebus and Saimiri share the same basic allometric patterns in skull traits, a result robust to sexual and ontogenetic variation. If adults of both genera are compared in the same scale (discounting size differences) most differences are small and not statistically significant. These results are consistent using both approaches, classical and geometric Morphometrics. Cebus is a genus characterized by a number of peramorphic traits (adult-like) while Saimiri is a genus with paedomorphic (child like) traits. Yet, the whole clade Cebinae is characterized by a unique combination of very high pre-natal growth rates and relatively slow post-natal growth rates when compared to the rest of the NWM. Morphologically Cebinae can be considered paedomorphic in relation to the other NWM. Geometric morphometrics allows the precise separation of absolute size, shape variation associated with size (allometry), and shape variation non-associated with size. Interestingly, and despite the fact that they were extracted as independent factors (principal components), evolutionary allometry (those differences in allometric shape associated with intergeneric differences) and ontogenetic allometry (differences in allometric shape associated with

  15. Deep brain stimulation and ablation for obsessive compulsive disorder: evolution of contemporary indications, targets and techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Travis S; Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad M; Stanford, Arielle D; Foote, Kelly D; Okun, Michael S

    2014-06-01

    Surgical therapy for treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) remains an effective option for well-selected patients managed within a multidisciplinary setting. Historically, lesions within the limbic system have been used to control both obsessive thoughts and repetitive compulsions associated with this disease. We discuss classical targets as well as contemporary neuromodulatory approaches that have been shown to provide symptomatic relief. Recently, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the anterior limb of the internal capsule/ventral striatum received Conformité Européene (CE) mark and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for treatment of intractable OCD. Remarkably, this is the first such approval for neurosurgical intervention in a strictly psychiatric indication in modern times. This target is discussed in detail along with alternative targets currently being proposed. We close with a discussion of gamma knife capsulotomy, a modality with deep historical roots. Further directions in the surgical treatment of OCD will require better preoperative predictors of postoperative responses, optimal selection of individualized targets, and rigorous reporting of adverse events and standardized outcomes. To meet these challenges, centers must be equipped with a multidisciplinary team and patient-centered approach to ensure adequate screening and follow up of patients with this difficult-to-treat condition.

  16. New tyrannosaur from the mid-Cretaceous of Uzbekistan clarifies evolution of giant body sizes and advanced senses in tyrant dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Averianov, Alexander; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Muir, Amy; Butler, Ian B.

    2016-03-01

    Tyrannosaurids-the familiar group of carnivorous dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus-were the apex predators in continental ecosystems in Asia and North America during the latest Cretaceous (ca. 80-66 million years ago). Their colossal sizes and keen senses are considered key to their evolutionary and ecological success, but little is known about how these features developed as tyrannosaurids evolved from smaller basal tyrannosauroids that first appeared in the fossil record in the Middle Jurassic (ca. 170 million years ago). This is largely because of a frustrating 20+ million-year gap in the mid-Cretaceous fossil record, when tyrannosauroids transitioned from small-bodied hunters to gigantic apex predators but from which no diagnostic specimens are known. We describe the first distinct tyrannosauroid species from this gap, based on a highly derived braincase and a variety of other skeletal elements from the Turonian (ca. 90-92 million years ago) of Uzbekistan. This taxon is phylogenetically intermediate between the oldest basal tyrannosauroids and the latest Cretaceous forms. It had yet to develop the giant size and extensive cranial pneumaticity of T. rex and kin but does possess the highly derived brain and inner ear characteristic of the latest Cretaceous species. Tyrannosauroids apparently developed huge size rapidly during the latest Cretaceous, and their success in the top predator role may have been enabled by their brain and keen senses that first evolved at smaller body size.

  17. Effects of structural heterogeneity of nanostructured copper on the evolution of the sizes of recrystallized grains during annealing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lin, Fengxiang; Zhang, Yubin; Pantleon, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Recrystallization in copper deformed by dynamic plastic deformation was investigated using electron backscatter diffraction. The recrystallized grains show a broad size distribution. The kinetics of grains of different sizes is observed to be different: In the beginning of recrystallization......, the area fraction of small recrystallized grains increases rapidly. At later stages of recrystallization, the area fraction of small recrystallized grains is stable, while the area fractions of medium and large recrystallized grains increase. Correlation between the broad grain size distribution (and its...

  18. The Evolution of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following Moderate-to-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alway, Yvette; Gould, Kate Rachel; McKay, Adam; Johnston, Lisa; Ponsford, Jennie

    2016-05-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop following traumatic brain injury (TBI), despite most patients having no conscious memory of their accident. This prospective study examined the frequency, timing of onset, symptom profile, and trajectory of PTSD and its psychiatric comorbidities during the first 4 years following moderate-to-severe TBI. Participants were 85 individuals (78.8% male) with moderate or severe TBI recruited following admission to acute rehabilitation between 2005 and 2010. Using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Disorders (SCID-I), participants were evaluated for pre- and post-injury PTSD soon after injury and reassessed at 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years post-injury. Over the first 4 years post-injury, 17.6% developed injury-related PTSD, none of whom had PTSD prior to injury. PTSD onset peaked between 6 and 12 months post-injury. The majority of PTSD cases (66.7%) had a delayed-onset, which for a third was preceded by subsyndromal symptoms in the first 6 months post-injury. PTSD frequency increased over the first year post-injury, remained stable during the second year, and gradually declined thereafter. The majority of subjects with PTSD experienced a chronic symptom course and all developed one or more than one comorbid psychiatric disorder, with mood, other anxiety, and substance-use disorders being the most common. Despite event-related amnesia, post-traumatic stress symptoms, including vivid re-experiencing phenomena, may develop following moderate-to-severe TBI. Onset is typically delayed and symptoms may persist for several years post-injury.

  19. Postradiosurgery hemorrhage rates of arteriovenous malformations of the brain: influencing factors and evolution with time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkhutik, Vera; Lago, Aida; Tembl, José Ignacio; Vázquez, Juan Francisco; Aparici, Fernando; Mainar, Esperanza; Vázquez, Víctor

    2012-05-01

    The long-term benefit of radiosurgery of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM), especially nonhemorrhagic cases, is controversial. We calculated hemorrhage rates pre- and posttreatment and analyzed the risk factors for bleeding based on cases followed at our site. One hundred eight patients, age 36 ± 17 years, 56 men. The mean follow-up was 65 ± 44 months (median, 54; interquartile range, 33-94). Most AVMs were small (74.1% <3 cm in diameter); 48.1% were located in an eloquent area, 27.8% had deep drainage, and 39.8% presented with hemorrhage. The annual hemorrhage rate for any undiagnosed AVM was 1.2%, and 3.3% for AVMs with hemorrhagic presentation. Older patients, cortical or subcortical AVMs, and cases with multiple draining veins were less likely to present with bleeding. During the first 36 months postradiosurgery, hemorrhagic AVMs had a rebleeding rate of 2.1%, and a rate of 1.1% from 3 years onwards. Nonhemorrhagic AVMs had a hemorrhage rate of 1.4% during the first 3 years and 0.3% afterward. Arterial hypertension and nidus volume were independent predictors of bleeding after treatment. Mean nidus obliteration time was 37 ± 18 months (median, 32; interquartile range, 25-40), with hemorrhage rate of 1.3% before and 0.6% after obliteration, and 1.9% for AVMs that were not closed at the end of follow-up. Both hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic AVMs benefit from radiosurgical therapy, with gradual decrease in their bleeding rates over the years. Albeit small, the risk of hemorrhage persists during the entirety of follow-up, being higher for cases with hemorrhagic presentation and nonobliterated AVM.

  20. Cyclic vomiting syndrome: evolution in our understanding of a brain-gut disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, B U; Balint, J P

    2000-01-01

    Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) remains a mysterious disorder despite our increasing knowledge since its classic description by Gee in 1882. Its hallmark feature of recurrent, explosive bouts of vomiting punctuating periods of normal health causes substantial medical morbidity (50% of patients require intravenous therapy), as well as significant time lost from school (20 school absences per year) and work. Limited epidemiologic data indicate that CVS may occur more commonly than previously thought, affecting as many as 1.9% of school-aged children. Besides the relentless vomiting, the child usually has pallor (87%), lethargy (91%), anorexia (74%), nausea (72%), and abdominal pain (80%). There is evidence of clinical and physiologic overlap among CVS, abdominal migraine, and migraine headaches. We propose revised criteria for abdominal migraine that include pain as the predominant and consistent symptom, lack of abnormal screening tests, and in retrospect, either subsequent development of migraines or positive response to antimigraine medication. Besides migraines, other etiologic possibilities include mitochondrial DNA mutations, ion channelopathies, excessive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, and heightened autonomic reactivity. The differential diagnosis includes idiopathic CVS (88%); gastrointestinal disorders (7%), including serious surgical disorders (e.g., malrotation); and extraintestinal disorders (5%), including serious surgical (brain stem neoplasm) and metabolic disorders (e.g., fatty acid oxidation disorder). Within the idiopathic group, there may be migraine, Sato's neuroendocrine, mitochondrial, and other subgroups. Treatment includes avoidance of triggers, prophylactic medication, supportive care, abortive medication, and family support. In the future, investigation into mitochondrial DNA mutations, ion channel defects, corticotropin-releasing factor, and serotonin and tachykinin receptor physiology and pharmacology may help discover the

  1. Mathematical modeling and comparison of protein size distribution in different plant, animal, fungal and microbial species reveals a negative correlation between protein size and protein number, thus providing insight into the evolution of proteomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiessen Axel

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sizes of proteins are relevant to their biochemical structure and for their biological function. The statistical distribution of protein lengths across a diverse set of taxa can provide hints about the evolution of proteomes. Results Using the full genomic sequences of over 1,302 prokaryotic and 140 eukaryotic species two datasets containing 1.2 and 6.1 million proteins were generated and analyzed statistically. The lengthwise distribution of proteins can be roughly described with a gamma type or log-normal model, depending on the species. However the shape parameter of the gamma model has not a fixed value of 2, as previously suggested, but varies between 1.5 and 3 in different species. A gamma model with unrestricted shape parameter described best the distributions in ~48% of the species, whereas the log-normal distribution described better the observed protein sizes in 42% of the species. The gamma restricted function and the sum of exponentials distribution had a better fitting in only ~5% of the species. Eukaryotic proteins have an average size of 472 aa, whereas bacterial (320 aa and archaeal (283 aa proteins are significantly smaller (33-40% on average. Average protein sizes in different phylogenetic groups were: Alveolata (628 aa, Amoebozoa (533 aa, Fornicata (543 aa, Placozoa (453 aa, Eumetazoa (486 aa, Fungi (487 aa, Stramenopila (486 aa, Viridiplantae (392 aa. Amino acid composition is biased according to protein size. Protein length correlated negatively with %C, %M, %K, %F, %R, %W, %Y and positively with %D, %E, %Q, %S and %T. Prokaryotic proteins had a different protein size bias for %E, %G, %K and %M as compared to eukaryotes. Conclusions Mathematical modeling of protein length empirical distributions can be used to asses the quality of small ORFs annotation in genomic releases (detection of too many false positive small ORFs. There is a negative correlation between average protein size and total number of

  2. Evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology after in utero repair of open neural tube defects assessed by MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rethmann, Christin; Scheer, Ianina; Kellenberger, Christian Johannes [University Children' s Hospital Zurich, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Zurich (Switzerland); University of Zurich, The Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Zurich (Switzerland); Children' s Research Center (CRC), Zurich (Switzerland); Meuli, Martin; Mazzone, Luca; Moehrlen, Ueli [University of Zurich, The Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Zurich (Switzerland); Children' s Research Center (CRC), Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital Zurich, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2017-11-15

    To describe characteristics of foetuses undergoing in utero repair of open neural tube defects (ONTD) and assess postoperative evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology. Analysis of pre- and postoperative foetal as well as neonatal MRI of 27 foetuses who underwent in utero repair of ONTD. Type and level of ONTD, hindbrain configuration, posterior fossa and liquor space dimensions, and detection of associated findings were compared between MRI studies and to age-matched controls. Level of bony spinal defect was defined with exactness of ± one vertebral body. Of surgically confirmed 18 myelomeningoceles (MMC) and 9 myeloschisis (MS), 3 MMC were misdiagnosed as MS due to non-visualisation of a flat membrane on MRI. Hindbrain herniation was more severe in MS than MMC (p < 0.001). After repair, hindbrain herniation resolved in 25/27 cases at 4 weeks and liquor spaces increased. While posterior fossa remained small (p < 0.001), its configuration normalised. Lateral ventricle diameter indexed to cerebral width decreased in 48% and increased in 12% of cases, implying a low rate of progressive obstructive hydrocephalus. Neonatally evident subependymal heterotopias were detected in 33% at preoperative and 50% at postoperative foetal MRI. MRI demonstrates change of Chiari malformation type II (CM-II) features. (orig.)

  3. Evolution of lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, David

    2014-10-07

    Present-day evolutionary theory, modern synthesis and evo-devo, appear to explain evolution. There remain however several points of contention. These include: biological time, direction, macroevolution verses microevolution, ageing and the extent of internal as opposed to external mediation. A new theoretical model for the control of biological time in vertebrates/bilaterians is introduced. Rather than biological time being controlled solely by a molecular cascade domino effect, it is suggested there is also an intracellular oscillatory clock. This clock (life's timekeeper) is synchronised across all cells in an organism and runs at a constant frequency throughout life. Slower frequencies extend lifespan, increase body/brain size and advance behaviour. They also create a time void which could aid additional evolutionary change. Faster frequencies shorten lifespan, reduce body/brain size and diminish behaviour. They are therefore less likely to mediate evolution in vertebrates/mammals. It is concluded that in vertebrates, especially mammals, there is a direction in evolution towards longer lifespan/advanced behaviour. Lifespan extension could equate with macroevolution and subsequent modifications with microevolution. As life's timekeeper controls the rate of ageing it constitutes a new genetic theory of ageing. Finally, as lifespan extension is internally mediated, this suggests a major role for internal mediation in evolution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Initial brain aging: heterogeneity of mitochondrial size is associated with decline in complex I-linked respiration in cortex and hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Kirsten; Yokota, Takashi; Hasan-Olive, Md Mahdi; Sherazi, Niloofar; Fakouri, Nima Borhan; Desler, Claus; Regnell, Christine Elisabeth; Larsen, Steen; Rasmussen, Lene Juel; Dela, Flemming; Bergersen, Linda Hildegard; Lauritzen, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Brain aging is accompanied by declining mitochondrial respiration. We hypothesized that mitochondrial morphology and dynamics would reflect this decline. Using hippocampus and frontal cortex of a segmental progeroid mouse model lacking Cockayne syndrome protein B (CSB m/m ) and C57Bl/6 (WT) controls and comparing young (2-5 months) to middle-aged mice (13-14 months), we found that complex I-linked state 3 respiration (CI) was reduced at middle age in CSB m/m hippocampus, but not in CSB m/m cortex or WT brain. In hippocampus of both genotypes, mitochondrial size heterogeneity increased with age. Notably, an inverse correlation between heterogeneity and CI was found in both genotypes, indicating that heterogeneity reflects mitochondrial dysfunction. The ratio between fission and fusion gene expression reflected age-related alterations in mitochondrial morphology but not heterogeneity. Mitochondrial DNA content was lower, and hypoxia-induced factor 1α mRNA was greater at both ages in CSB m/m compared to WT brain. Our findings show that decreased CI and increased mitochondrial size heterogeneity are highly associated and point to declining mitochondrial quality control as an initial event in brain aging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Investigation of optimal display size for viewing T1-weighted MR images of the brain using a digital contrast-detail phantom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Hideki; Kuwahata, Nao; Hattori, Hiroyuki; Kinoshita, Hiroshi; Fukuda, Haruyuki

    2016-01-08

    We clarified the relationship between the display size of MRI images and observer performance using a digital contrast-detail (d-CD) phantom. The d-CD phantom was developed using Microsoft Visual Basic 2010 Express. It had a 512 × 512 matrix in size and a total of 100 holes, whose diameter increased stepwise from 4 to 40 pixels with a 4-pixel interval in the vertical direction; the contrast varied stepwise in the horizontal direction. The digital driving level (DDL) of the back-ground, the width of the DDL, and the contrast were adjustable. These parameters were determined on the basis of the actual T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images of the brain. In this study, the DDL, width, and contrast were set to 85, 20, and 1, respectively. The observer performance study was performed for three different display sizes (30 cm × 30 cm as the enlarged size, 16 cm × 16 cm as the original size, and 10 cm × 10 cm as the reduced size) using a 2-megapixel color liquid crystal display monitor, and it was analyzed using Friedman and Wilcoxon statistical tests. The observer performances for the original display (p < 0.01) and the reduced display sizes (p < 0.01) were superior to that observed for the enlarged size, whereas there was no significant difference between the original display and reduced display sizes (p = 0.31). Evaluation with the digital phantom simulating MR imaging also revealed that the original and reduced display sizes were superior to the enlarged display size in observer performance. The d-CD phantom enables a short-term evaluation of observer performance and is useful in analyzing relation-ship between display size and observer performance.

  6. BEND3 is involved in the human-specific repression of calreticulin: Implication for the evolution of higher brain functions in human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghajanirefah, A; Nguyen, L N; Ohadi, M

    2016-01-15

    Recent emerging evidence indicates that changes in gene expression levels are linked to human evolution. We have previously reported a human-specific nucleotide in the promoter sequence of the calreticulin (CALR) gene at position -220C, which is the site of action of valproic acid. Reversion of this nucleotide to the ancestral A-allele has been detected in patients with degrees of deficit in higher brain cognitive functions. This mutation has since been reported in the 1000 genomes database at an approximate frequency of brain functions. To our knowledge, CALR rs138452745 is the first instance of enormous nucleotide conservation across evolution, except in the human species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Comparative support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: Big brains are correlated with smaller gut and greater parental investment in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Husby, Arild; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-01-01

    The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the energetic requirements of encephalization are suggested to impose considerable constraints on brain size evolution. Three main hypotheses concerning how energetic constraints might affect brain evolution predict covariation between brain investment and (1) investment into other costly tissues, (2) overall metabolic rate, and (3) reproductive investment. To date, these hypotheses have mainly been tested in homeothermic animals and the existing data are inconclusive. However, there are good reasons to believe that energetic limitations might play a role in large-scale patterns of brain size evolution also in ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we test these hypotheses in a group of ectothermic vertebrates, the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and confounding ecological variables, we find a negative association between brain size and gut size. Furthermore, we find that the evolution of a larger brain is accompanied by increased reproductive investment into egg size and parental care. Our results indicate that the energetic costs of encephalization may be an important general factor involved in the evolution of brain size also in ectothermic vertebrates. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. On the relationship between head circumference, brain size, prenatal long-chain PUFA/5-methyltetrahydrofolate supplementation and cognitive abilities during childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catena, Andrés; Martínez-Zaldívar, Cristina; Diaz-Piedra, Carolina; Torres-Espínola, Francisco J; Brandi, Pilar; Pérez-García, Miguel; Decsi, Tamás; Koletzko, Berthold; Campoy, Cristina

    2017-03-29

    Head circumference in infants has been reported to predict brain size, total grey matter volume (GMV) and neurocognitive development. However, it is unknown whether it has predictive value on regional and subcortical brain volumes. We aimed to explore the relationship between several head circumference measurements since birth and distributions of GMV and subcortical volumes at later childhood. We examined seventy-four, Caucasian, singleton, term-born infants born to mothers randomised to receive fish oil and/or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or placebo prenatal supplementation. We assessed head circumference at birth and at 4 and 10 years of age and cognitive abilities at 7 years of age. We obtained brain MRI at 10 years of age, on which we performed voxel-based morphometry, cortical surface extraction and subcortical segmentation. Analyses were controlled for sex, age, height, weight, family status, laterality and total intracranial volume. Prenatal supplementation did not affect head circumference at any age, cognitive abilities or total brain volumes. Head circumference at 4 years presented the highest correlation with total GMV, white matter volume and brain surface area, and was also strongly associated with GMV of frontal, temporal and occipital areas, as well as with caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, putamen and thalamus volumes. As relationships between brain volumes in childhood and several outcomes extend into adulthood, we have found that ages between 0 and 4 years as the optimal time for brain growth; postnatal factors might have the most relevant impact on structural maturation of certain cortical areas and subcortical nuclei, independent of prenatal supplementation.

  9. Body size as a primary determinant of ecomorphological diversification and the evolution of mimicry in the lampropeltinine snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, F T

    2009-10-01

    Evolutionary correlations between functionally related character suites are expected as a consequence of coadaptation due to physiological relationships between traits. However, significant correlations may also exist between putatively unrelated characters due to shared relationships between those traits and underlying variables, such as body size. Although such patterns are often dismissed as simple body size scaling, this presumption may overlook important evolutionary patterns of diversification. If body size is the primary determinant of potential diversity in multiple unrelated characters, the observed differentiation of species may be governed by variability in body size, and any biotic or abiotic constraints on the diversification thereof. Here, we demonstrate that traits related to both predatory specialization (gape and diet preference) and predatory avoidance (the development of Batesian mimicry) are phylogenetically correlated in the North American snake tribe Lampropeltini. This is apparently due to shared relationships between those traits and adult body size, suggesting that size is the primary determinant of ecomorphological differentiation in the lampropeltinines. Diversification in body size is apparently not linked to climatic or environmental factors, and may have been driven by interspecific interactions such as competition. Additionally, we find the presence of a 'key zone' for the development of both rattle- and coral snake mimicry; only small snakes feeding primarily on ectothermic prey develop mimetic colour patterns, in or near the range of venomous model species.

  10. Art and brain: the relationship of biology and evolution to art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, Dahlia W

    2013-01-01

    Visual art, as with all other arts, is spontaneously created only by humans and is ubiquitously present to various extents in all societies today. Exploring the deep roots of art from cognitive, neurological, genetic, evolutionary, archaeological, and biological perspectives is essential for the full understanding of why we have art, and what art is about. The cognitive basis of art is symbolic, abstract, and referential thinking. However, archaeological markers of symbolic activity by early humans are not associated with art production. There is an enormously large time gap between the activity and the appearance of sporadic art by early Homo sapiens, and another large time delay before appearance of enduring practice of art. The aesthetic aspect of art is not considered to be the initial impetus for creating it. Instead, archaeological markers suggest that the early beginnings of art are associated with development of stratified societies where external visual identifiers by way of body ornaments and decorations were used. The major contributing forces for the consistency in art-making are presumed to be the formation of socioculture, intragroup cooperation, increased group size, survival of skillful artisans, and favorable demographic conditions. The biological roots of art are hypothesized to parallel aspects of our ancestry, specifically animal courtship displays, where signals of health and genetic quality are exhibited for inspection by potential mates. Viewers assess displayed art for talent, skill, communicative, and aesthetic-related qualities. Interdisciplinary discussions of art reflect the current approach to full understanding of the nature of art. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The tree balance signature of mass extinction is erased by continued evolution in clades of constrained size with trait-dependent speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guan-Dong; Agapow, Paul-Michael; Yedid, Gabriel

    2017-01-01

    The kind and duration of phylogenetic topological "signatures" left in the wake of macroevolutionary events remain poorly understood. To this end, we examined a broad range of simulated phylogenies generated using trait-biased, heritable speciation probabilities and mass extinction that could be either random or selective on trait value, but also using background extinction and diversity-dependence to constrain clade sizes. In keeping with prior results, random mass extinction increased imbalance of clades that recovered to pre-extinction size, but was a relatively weak effect. Mass extinction that was selective on trait values tended to produce clades of similar or greater balance compared to random extinction or controls. Allowing evolution to continue past the point of clade-size recovery resulted in erosion and eventual erasure of this signal, with all treatments converging on similar values of imbalance, except for very intense extinction regimes targeted at taxa with high speciation rates. Return to a more balanced state with extended post-extinction evolution was also associated with loss of the previous phylogenetic root in most treatments. These results further demonstrate that while a mass extinction event can produce a recognizable phylogenetic signal, its effects become increasingly obscured the further an evolving clade gets from that event, with any sharp imbalance due to unrelated evolutionary factors.

  12. Effect of size, concentration, and type of spherical gold nanoparticles on heat evolution following laser irradiation using tissue-simulating phantoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakaria, Hossam; Abdelaziz, Wessameldin S; Youssef, Tareq

    2016-05-01

    Photothermal therapy has recently gained a considerable attention particularly after the revolution of nanomaterials and nanotechnology. The aim of the present study is to assess the optimal photothermal response through investigating some effective parameters of spherical gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), e.g., type, size, and concentration, as a preclinical study for efficient photothermal treatment. Tissue-simulating phantoms based on agar and water media incorporated with two different types of AuNPs, spherical Au particles capped with citrate or spherical Au core-silica shell NPs, were built. Heat evolution for each NP type was recorded in the phantom matrix with different particle sizes at various concentrations following exposure to low laser power (irradiance 35 mW/cm(2)) and emitting at λ = 532 nm. Our results demonstrated that AuNPs capped with citrate recorded higher temperature elevations than those capped with silica shell. Particles with smaller sizes produced more heating effect than those having larger sizes. Also, higher temperatures were recorded at a critical concentration of NPs. Exponential decay constants based on theoretical calculations demonstrated that laser attenuation increases with the continuous increase of particle size and concentration.

  13. [Content and evolution characteristics of organic carbon associated with particle-size fractions of grey desert soil under long-term fertilization].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hua; Tong, Xiao-Gang; Ma, Xing-Wang; Wang, Xi-He; Zhang, Wen-Ju; Xu, Yong-Mei; Xu, Ming-Gang

    2010-01-01

    Physical fractionation technique was used to analyze the content, distribution, and temporal evolution of organic carbon associated with particle-size fractions of grey desert soil under long-term (1990-2007) fertilization. Compared with no fertilization, a combined application of manure and chemical fertilizers increased the organic carbon associated with particle-size fractions significantly, with the highest increment (0.34 g x kg(-1) x a(-1)) in sand. Following also increased the organic carbon associated with clay and silt significantly. Straw return to cropland only maintained the organic carbon content in different particle-size fractions, while long-term application of chemical fertilizers was not beneficial to the organic carbon increase in particle-size fractions. Coarse silt and coarse clay had the highest distribution rates of organic carbon (27.9% and 27.1%, respectively), being the important fractions in sequestrating organic carbon. When manure was applied with chemical fertilizers, the organic carbon in sand was significantly increased by 119.4%, while that in fine silt and coarse clay was significantly decreased by 40.3% and 37.9%, respectively, which resulted in the increase in the ratio of particulate organic carbon content (W(POC)) to mineral-associated organic carbon content (W(MOC)), and improvd soil carbon property. Long-term application of manure combined with chemical fertilizers was the best mode to increase the organic carbon content in particle-size fractions and improve the fertility of grey desert soil.

  14. Temporal evolution of brain reorganization under cross-modal training: insights into the functional architecture of encoding and retrieval networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likova, Lora T.

    2015-03-01

    This study is based on the recent discovery of massive and well-structured cross-modal memory activation generated in the primary visual cortex (V1) of totally blind people as a result of novel training in drawing without any vision (Likova, 2012). This unexpected functional reorganization of primary visual cortex was obtained after undergoing only a week of training by the novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic Method, and was consistent across pilot groups of different categories of visual deprivation: congenitally blind, late-onset blind and blindfolded (Likova, 2014). These findings led us to implicate V1 as the implementation of the theoretical visuo-spatial 'sketchpad' for working memory in the human brain. Since neither the source nor the subsequent 'recipient' of this non-visual memory information in V1 is known, these results raise a number of important questions about the underlying functional organization of the respective encoding and retrieval networks in the brain. To address these questions, an individual totally blind from birth was given a week of Cognitive-Kinesthetic training, accompanied by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) both before and just after training, and again after a two-month consolidation period. The results revealed a remarkable temporal sequence of training-based response reorganization in both the hippocampal complex and the temporal-lobe object processing hierarchy over the prolonged consolidation period. In particular, a pattern of profound learning-based transformations in the hippocampus was strongly reflected in V1, with the retrieval function showing massive growth as result of the Cognitive-Kinesthetic memory training and consolidation, while the initially strong hippocampal response during tactile exploration and encoding became non-existent. Furthermore, after training, an alternating patch structure in the form of a cascade of discrete ventral regions underwent radical transformations to reach complete functional

  15. Longitudinal evolution of magnetization of ferromagnets following ultrafast demagnetization: Role of finite size and shape of demagnetized region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.A. Yastremsky

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A dependence of a relaxation rate on the shape of the demagnetized region for a longitudinal evolution of total magnetization to its equilibrium value following the ultrafast demagnetization is demonstrated. This shape-dependence is caused by a motion of the wave front inside the demagnetized region. The contribution of the wave front for spherically symmetric shape of the demagnetized region is up to 3 times and for cylindrically symmetric shape up to 2 times stronger than for one dimensional demagnetized region. This effect can be observed after the demagnetization by a tightly focused femtosecond laser pulse.

  16. The cultural evolution of language and brain: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colagè, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Michael A. Arbib's Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH) [1,2] is among the most elaborate attempts at disentangling the issue of language origin. I will focus on the role that cultural evolution, as distinct from biological (genetic) evolution, may have played in the emergence of ;modern; human language (as contrasted with forms of proto-languages).

  17. The maximum size of inflated flood lavas: implications for the origin and evolution of Athabasca Valles, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sori, M. M.; Hamilton, C. W.

    2017-09-01

    We constrain the maximum size that an inflating, cooling-limited basalt flow can obtain using numerical models. We find that the Athabasca Valles flood lava on Mars is too large to represent a single, pāhoehoe-like inflated flow. Our work can be used to characterize putative lava flows throughout the solar system's terrestrial bodies.

  18. Grain growth of ε-iron: Implications to grain size and its evolution in the Earth's inner core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Daisuke; Tsujino, Noriyoshi; Yoneda, Akira; Ito, Eiji; Yoshino, Takashi; Tange, Yoshinori; Higo, Yuji

    2017-02-01

    Knowledge of grain growth rate of ε-iron can put constraint on estimation of the grain size in the inner core. We determined grain growth rate of ε-iron at ∼55 GPa and 1200-1500 K by means of in-situ X-ray diffraction observation to be Gn - G0n = kt, where G (m) is the grain size at time t (s), G0 (m) is the initial grain size, n is growth exponent (fixed to 2) and k is the growth constant expressed as k =k0 exp ⁡ (-H* / RT) with log k0 (mn /s) = - 5.8 (± 2.4) and activation enthalpy H* = 221 (± 61) kJ /mol, and R is the gas constant and T is the absolute temperature. Extrapolation of the grain growth law of ε-iron to the inner core conditions suggests that the grain size in the inner core is in a range from several hundred meters to several kilometers, which is intermediate among the previous estimations, and hence the dominant deformation mechanism is considered to be Harper-Dorn creep rather than diffusion creep as pointed out by the previous work. This indicates the relatively uniform viscosity in the entire inner core.

  19. Global DNA cytosine methylation as an evolving trait: phylogenetic signal and correlated evolution with genome size in Angiosperms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conchita eAlonso

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available DNA cytosine methylation is a widespread epigenetic mechanism in eukaryotes, and plant genomes commonly are densely methylated. Genomic methylation can be associated with functional consequences such as mutational events, genomic instability or altered gene expression, but little is known on interspecific variation in global cytosine methylation in plants. In this paper, we compare global cytosine methylation estimates obtained by HPLC and use a phylogenetically-informed analytical approach to test for significance of evolutionary signatures of this trait across 54 angiosperm species in 25 families. We evaluate whether interspecific variation in global cytosine methylation is statistically related to phylogenetic distance and also whether it is evolutionarily correlated with genome size (C-value. Global cytosine methylation varied widely between species, ranging between 5.3% (Arabidopsis and 39.2% (Narcissus. Differences between species were related to their evolutionary trajectories, as denoted by the strong phylogenetic signal underlying interspecific variation. Global cytosine methylation and genome size were evolutionarily correlated, as revealed by the significant relationship between the corresponding phylogenetically independent contrasts. On average, a ten-fold increase in genome size entailed an increase of about 10% in global cytosine methylation. Results show that global cytosine methylation is an evolving trait in angiosperms whose evolutionary trajectory is significantly linked to changes in genome size, and suggest that the evolutionary implications of epigenetic mechanisms are likely to vary between plant lineages.

  20. Scalloped a member of the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway controls mushroom body size in Drosophila brain by non-canonical regulation of neuroblast proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohith, Basavanahalli Nanjundaiah; Shyamala, Baragur Venkatanarayanasetty

    2017-12-15

    Cell proliferation, growth and survival are three different basic processes which converge at determining a fundamental property -the size of an organism. Scalloped (Sd) is the first characterised transcriptional partner to Yorkie (Yki), the downstream effector of the Hippo pathway which is a highly potential and evolutionarily conserved regulator of organ size. Here we have studied the hypomorphic effect of sd on the development of Mushroom Bodies (MBs) in Drosophila brain. We show that, sd non-function results in an increase in the size of MBs. We demonstrate that, sd regulation on MB size operates through multiple routes. Sd expressed in the differentiated MB neurons, imposes non-cell autonomous repression on the proliferation of MB precursor cells, and Sd expression in the MB neuroblasts (NB) cell autonomously represses mushroom body neuroblast (MBNB) proliferation. Further Sd in Kenyon cells (KCs) imparts a cell autonomous restriction on their growth. Our findings are distinctive because, while the classical sd loss of function phenotypes in eye, wing and lymph gland are reported as loss of tissue or reduced organ size, the present study shows that, Sd inactivation in the developing MB, promotes precursor cell proliferation and results in an increase in the organ size. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Size-exclusion chromatographic reconstitution of the bovine brain benzodiazepine receptor : Effects of lipid environment on the binding characteristics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viel, G.T; Yang, Q; Lundahl, P; Ensing, K; de Zeeuw, R.A

    1997-01-01

    The benzodiazepine receptor from calf brain was solubilized with sodium deoxycholate (2 mg/ml) in the presence of 0.5 M KCl and protease inhibitors, and bound flunitrazepam with an equilibrium dissociation constant (K-d) of 2.7+/-1.2 nM and with 0.40+/-0.04 pmol binding sites per mg protein (B-max).

  2. Rapid evolution in the wild: changes in body size, life-history traits, and behavior in hunted populations of the Japanese mamushi snake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Fox, Stanley F; Duvall, David

    2009-02-01

    Rapid evolution caused by human exploitation of wildlife is not usually addressed in studies of the impacts of such exploitation despite its direct relevance to population persistence. Japanese mamushi (Gloydius blomhoffii), an endemic venomous snake of the Japanese archipelago, has been heavily hunted by humans, and many populations appear to be declining or are already extirpated. We compared local populations that have been hunted regularly with populations that have not been hunted. Mamushi in hunted populations were smaller, had fewer vertebrae, produced more and smaller offspring, had increased reproductive effort among smaller females, and in nature fled at greater distances from an approaching human and were less defensive than mamushi in unhunted populations, as predicted from life-history theory. Heritability estimates for body size, number of vertebrae, and antipredator behavior were statistically significant, and neonates from hunted sites showed the same distribution of altered characters (compared with those from unhunted sites) as adults. Thus, distribution of the divergent trait between hunted and unhunted sites appeared in part to be genetically based, which suggests rapid evolution to human predation pressures. Trait distributions in hunted populations probably deviate from naturally (as opposed to anthropogenically) selected optima and, therefore, may have long-term negative repercussions on population persistence. Because rapid evolution affects a suite of parameters that characterize exploited populations, accurate understanding of the impacts of exploitation and effective resource management and conservation can only be achieved if evolutionary consequences are considered explicitly.

  3. Contemporary brain morphology in ecological and ethological perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirlot, P

    1987-01-01

    The use of ethological, along with morphological data is presented as a general realistic approach to the understanding of the vertebrate nervous system. While the brain/body size relation, either in ontogeny or phylogeny, is still a mandatory method for describing brain evolution, the interpretation of the allometry equation remains subject to difficulties. A mixed quantitative-qualitative relationship between brain and behaviour is defined through the new concept of cociation. Results based on this approach are presented for a number of mammals having a broad variety of sizes and life-habits. The necessity of using brain components, and not only total brains, is emphasized. The functional aspects of relative brain and brain component size, especially with reference to metabolism and behaviour, are commented upon. These aspects require a cautious handling of the causality principle, and a particular conception of progress in brain evolution. The study of brain components in a functional perspective has been characterized, in recent years, by remarkable advances in modular morphology. These are summarized and it is suggested that they might lend themselves to especially significant behavioural correlations. A hypothetical model for a two-level brain, involving both redundancy and configurations, and consistent with a neuroethological approach, is recommended as a potentially promising direction for future progress in brain morphology, in ecological and behavioural perspectives.

  4. Stepwise morphological evolution of the active Yellow River (Huanghe) delta lobe (1976-2013): Dominant roles of riverine discharge and sediment grain size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao; Bi, Naishuang; Xu, Jingping; Nittrouer, Jeffrey A.; Yang, Zuosheng; Saito, Yoshiki; Wang, Houjie

    2017-09-01

    The presently active Yellow River (Huanghe) delta lobe has been formed since 1976 when the river was artificially diverted. The process and driving forces of morphological evolution of the present delta lobe still remain unclear. Here we examined the stepwise morphological evolution of the active Yellow River delta lobe including both the subaerial and the subaqueous components, and illustrated the critical roles of riverine discharge and sediment grain size in dominating the deltaic evolution. The critical sediment loads for maintaining the delta stability were also calculated from water discharge and sediment load measured at station Lijin, the last gauging station approximately 100 km upstream from the river mouth. The results indicated that the development of active delta lobe including both subaerial and subaqueous components has experienced four sequential stages. During the first stage (1976-1981) after the channel migration, the unchannelized river flow enhanced deposition within the channel and floodplain between Lijin station and the river mouth. Therefore, the critical sediment supply calculated by the river inputs obtained from station Lijin was the highest. However, the actual sediment load at this stage (0.84 Gt/yr) was more than twice of the critical sediment load ( 0.35 Gt/yr) for sustaining the active subaerial area, which favored a rapid seaward progradation of the Yellow River subaerial delta. During the second stage (1981-1996), the engineering-facilitated channelized river flow and the increase in median grain size of suspended sediment delivered to the sea resulted in the critical sediment load for keeping the delta stability deceasing to 0.29 Gt/yr. The active delta lobe still gradually prograded seaward at an accretion rate of 11.9 km2/yr at this stage as the annual sediment load at Lijin station was 0.55 Gt/yr. From 1996 to 2002, the critical sediment load further decreased to 0.15 Gt/yr with the sediment grain size increased to 22.5

  5. Evolution of Cometary Dust Particles to the Orbit of the Earth: Particle Size, Shape, and Mutual Collisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hongu; Ishiguro, Masateru

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we numerically investigated the orbital evolution of cometary dust particles, with special consideration of the initial size–frequency distribution (SFD) and different evolutionary tracks according to the initial orbit and particle shape. We found that close encounters with planets (mostly Jupiter) are the dominating factor determining the orbital evolution of dust particles. Therefore, the lifetimes of cometary dust particles (∼250,000 yr) are shorter than the Poynting–Robertson lifetime, and only a small fraction of large cometary dust particles can be transferred into orbits with small semimajor axes. The exceptions are dust particles from 2P/Encke and, potentially, active asteroids that have little interaction with Jupiter. We also found that the effects of dust shape, mass density, and SFD were not critical in the total mass supply rate to the interplanetary dust particle (IDP) cloud complex when these quantities are confined by observations of zodiacal light brightness and SFD around the Earth’s orbit. When we incorporate a population of fluffy aggregates discovered in the Earth’s stratosphere and the coma of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko within the initial ejection, the initial SFD measured at the comae of comets (67P and 81P/Wild 2) can produce the observed SFD around the Earth’s orbit. Considering the above effects, we derived the probability of mutual collisions among dust particles within the IDP cloud for the first time in a direct manner via numerical simulation and concluded that mutual collisions can mostly be ignored.

  6. EVOLUTION OF INNOVATION ACTIVITY IN THE CONTEXT OF SIZE OF ENTERPRISES IN WEST POMERANIAN PROVINCE – SYSTEM APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arkadiusz Świadek

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In transitions countries firms’ size and equity property flown on economy processes, including innovation activity in industry. Driven researches show that the key to accelerate economy development is a technology transfer from foreign countries. Implementing of new solutions depends on medium and large organizations, rather than micro and small. Traditional micro and small regional enterprises feature a low level of taking up risks capability. An innovation activity in industry systems grows up during a time flow, but only in a small domestic enterprises, and it’s similar to their foreign and larger competitors. This paper discusses the problems of size and equity own of enterprises for innovation activity in regional industry systems in West Pomeranian province in the period 2004-2006 and 2009-2011.

  7. Evolution of grain sizes and orientations during phase transitions in hydrous Mg2SiO4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Angelika D.; Hilairet, Nadège; Ghosh, Sujoy; Perrillat, Jean-Philippe; Garbarino, Gaston; Merkel, Sébastien

    2016-10-01

    Transformation microstructures in mantle minerals, such as (Mg,Fe)2SiO4, are critical for predicting the rheological properties of rocks and the interpretation of seismic observations. We present in situ multigrain X-ray diffraction experiments on hydrous Mg2SiO4 at the P/T conditions relevant for deep cold subducting slabs (up to 40 GPa and 850°C) at a low experimental strain rate ( 4 * 10-6s-1). We monitor the orientations of hundreds of grains and grain size variations during the series of α-β-γ (forsterite-wadsleyite-ringwoodite) phase transformations. Microtextural results indicate that the β and an intermediate γ* phase grow incoherently relatively to the host α phase consistent with a nucleation and growth model. The β and γ phases exhibit orientation relationships which are in agreement with previous ex situ observations. The β and intermediate γ* show texturing due to moderate differential stress in the sample. Both the α-β and α-γ transformation induce significant reductions of the mean sample grain size of up to 90% that starts prior to the appearance of the daughter phase. Apart from the γ*, in the newly formed β and γ phases, the nucleation rate is faster than the growth rate, inhibiting the formation of large grains. These results on grain orientations and grain size reductions in relation to transformation kinetics should allow refining existing slab strength models.

  8. Evolution of size distribution and structure of Si and SiO2 nanoparticles: laser-assisted formation and fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eidelman, K.; Gudkov, D.; Segbefia, O.; Ageev, E.; Krivonosov, A.; Matuhina, A.

    2017-11-01

    In this work, Si and SiO2, nanoparticles (NPs) was prepared by pulsed laser ablation (PLA) in distilled water. The radiation of a ytterbium fiber laser (repetition rate f = 50 kHz, wavelength λ = 1064 nm and pulse duration τ = 8 ns and 100 ns) at different laser intensities was utilized to ablate the Si target (99.999%, cubic, 7×7 mm2) under liquid layer to synthesize and to fragment the silicon colloidal NPs. Studies of morphology and size distribution of silica NPs were conducted using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The NPs of crystalline and amorphous phases were founded. Most of the NPs in the nano colloids were found to have dimensions less than 100 nm, and a few of them were between 100 nm and 700 nm. Dependence of average NP size on the number of laser passes was revealed. The average size of the nanoparticles obtained by TEM was confirmed by dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements.

  9. Tracking the Emergence of Host-Specific Simian Immunodeficiency Virus env and nef Populations Reveals nef Early Adaptation and Convergent Evolution in Brain of Naturally Progressing Rhesus Macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Susanna L; Nolan, David J; Rife, Brittany D; Fogel, Gary B; McGrath, Michael S; Burdo, Tricia H; Autissier, Patrick; Williams, Kenneth C; Goodenow, Maureen M; Salemi, Marco

    2015-08-01

    While a clear understanding of the events leading to successful establishment of host-specific viral populations and productive infection in the central nervous system (CNS) has not yet been reached, the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque provides a powerful model for the study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intrahost evolution and neuropathogenesis. The evolution of the gp120 and nef genes, which encode two key proteins required for the establishment and maintenance of infection, was assessed in macaques that were intravenously inoculated with the same viral swarm and allowed to naturally progress to simian AIDS and potential SIV-associated encephalitis (SIVE). Longitudinal plasma samples and immune markers were monitored until terminal illness. Single-genome sequencing was employed to amplify full-length env through nef transcripts from plasma over time and from brain tissues at necropsy. nef sequences diverged from the founder virus faster than gp120 diverged. Host-specific sequence populations were detected in nef (~92 days) before they were detected in gp120 (~182 days). At necropsy, similar brain nef sequences were found in different macaques, indicating convergent evolution, while gp120 brain sequences remained largely host specific. Molecular clock and selection analyses showed weaker clock-like behavior and stronger selection pressure in nef than in gp120, with the strongest nef selection in the macaque with SIVE. Rapid nef diversification, occurring prior to gp120 diversification, indicates that early adaptation of nef in the new host is essential for successful infection. Moreover, the convergent evolution of nef sequences in the CNS suggests a significant role for nef in establishing neurotropic strains. The SIV-infected rhesus macaque model closely resembles HIV-1 immunopathogenesis, neuropathogenesis, and disease progression in humans. Macaques were intravenously infected with identical viral swarms to investigate

  10. Pupil size signals mental effort deployed during multiple object tracking and predicts brain activity in the dorsal attention network and the locus coeruleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alnæs, Dag; Sneve, Markus Handal; Espeseth, Thomas; Endestad, Tor; van de Pavert, Steven Harry Pieter; Laeng, Bruno

    2014-04-01

    Attentional effort relates to the allocation of limited-capacity attentional resources to meet current task demands and involves the activation of top-down attentional systems in the brain. Pupillometry is a sensitive measure of this intensity aspect of top-down attentional control. Studies relate pupillary changes in response to cognitive processing to activity in the locus coeruleus (LC), which is the main hub of the brain's noradrenergic system and it is thought to modulate the operations of the brain's attentional systems. In the present study, participants performed a visual divided attention task known as multiple object tracking (MOT) while their pupil sizes were recorded by use of an infrared eye tracker and then were tested again with the same paradigm while brain activity was recorded using fMRI. We hypothesized that the individual pupil dilations, as an index of individual differences in mental effort, as originally proposed by Kahneman (1973), would be a better predictor of LC activity than the number of tracked objects during MOT. The current results support our hypothesis, since we observed pupil-related activity in the LC. Moreover, the changes in the pupil correlated with activity in the superior colliculus and the right thalamus, as well as cortical activity in the dorsal attention network, which previous studies have shown to be strongly activated during visual tracking of multiple targets. Follow-up pupillometric analyses of the MOT task in the same individuals also revealed that individual differences to cognitive load can be remarkably stable over a lag of several years. To our knowledge this is the first study using pupil dilations as an index of attentional effort in the MOT task and also relating these to functional changes in the brain that directly implicate the LC-NE system in the allocation of processing resources.

  11. Relationships among body mass, brain size, gut length, and blood tryptophan and serotonin in young wild-type mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatevosyan Maggie

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The blood hyperserotonemia of autism is one of the most consistent biological findings in autism research, but its causes remain unclear. A major difficulty in understanding this phenomenon is the lack of information on fundamental interactions among the developing brain, gut, and blood in the mammalian body. We therefore investigated relationships among the body mass, the brain mass, the volume of the hippocampal complex, the gut length, and the whole-blood levels of tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin in young, sexually immature wild-type mice. Results Three-dimensional reconstructions of the hippocampal complex were obtained from serial, Nissl-stained sections and the gut was allowed to attain its maximal relaxed length prior to measurements. The tryptophan and 5-HT concentrations in the blood were assessed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and the sex of mice was confirmed by genotyping. Statistical analysis yielded information about correlative relationships among all studied variables. It revealed a strong negative correlation between blood 5-HT concentration and body mass and a strong negative correlation between the brain mass/body mass ratio and gut length. Also, a negative correlation was found between the volume of the hippocampal complex and blood tryptophan concentration. Conclusion The study provides information on the covariance structure of several central and peripheral variables related to the body serotonin systems. In particular, the results indicate that body mass should be included as a covariate in studies on platelet 5-HT levels and they also suggest a link between brain growth and gut length.

  12. THE SIZE AND SURFACE COATING OF NANOSILVER DIFFERENTIALLY AFFECTS BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER (RBEC4) CELLS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linking the physical properties of nanoparticles with differences in their biological activity is critical for understanding their potential toxicity and mode of action. The influence of aggregate size, surface coating, and surface charge on nanosilver's (nanoAg) movement through...

  13. The Role of Quenching Time in the Evolution of the Mass-size Relation of Passive Galaxies from the Wisp Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanella, A.; Scarlata, C.; Corsini, E. M.; Bedregal, A. G.; Dalla Bontà, E.; Atek, H.; Bunker, A. J.; . Colbert, J.; Dai, Y. S.; Henry, A.; Malkan, M.; Martin, C.; Rafelski, M.; Rutkowski, M. J.; Siana, B.; Teplitz, H.

    2016-06-01

    We analyze how passive galaxies at z ˜ 1.5 populate the mass-size plane as a function of their stellar age, to understand if the observed size growth with time can be explained with the appearance of larger quenched galaxies at lower redshift. We use a sample of 32 passive galaxies extracted from the Wide Field Camera 3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel (WISP) survey with spectroscopic redshift 1.3 ≲ z ≲ 2.05, specific star formation rates lower than 0.01 Gyr-1, and stellar masses above 4.5 × 1010 M ⊙. All galaxies have spectrally determined stellar ages from fitting of their rest-frame optical spectra and photometry with stellar population models. When dividing our sample into young (age ≤2.1 Gyr) and old (age >2.1 Gyr) galaxies we do not find a significant trend in the distributions of the difference between the observed radius and that predicted by the mass-size relation. This result indicates that the relation between the galaxy age and its distance from the mass-size relation, if it exists, is rather shallow, with a slope α ≳ -0.6. At face value, this finding suggests that multiple dry and/or wet minor mergers, rather than the appearance of newly quenched galaxies, are mainly responsible for the observed time evolution of the mass-size relation in passive galaxies. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  14. Brain Aneurysm

    Science.gov (United States)

    A brain aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or "ballooning" in the wall of an artery in the brain. They are sometimes called berry aneurysms because they ... often the size of a small berry. Most brain aneurysms produce no symptoms until they become large, ...

  15. The evolution of size and cost of a hydrogen delivery infrastructure in Europe in the medium and long term

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tzimas, E.; Castello, P.; Peteves, S. [European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, P.O. Box 2, 1755 ZG, Petten (Netherlands)

    2007-07-15

    The successful deployment of a hydrogen delivery (transmission and distribution) infrastructure will be critical for the widespread use of hydrogen. Estimates based on three scenarios that vary in the degree of hydrogen penetration in the European energy system indicate that between 1 and 4 million km of distribution pipelines, and up to 35 000 km of high-pressure transmission and 400 000 km of medium pressure sub-transmission pipelines may be needed by 2050. A truck fleet for the supply of liquefied hydrogen may reach the size of 3000-8000 vehicles. The cumulative capital necessary to build this infrastructure by 2050 may range between 700 and 2200 thousand million euros for the most optimistic scenario and is significantly lower for the other scenarios. Most of this will be needed for the development of the distribution network. These costs however represent a relatively small fraction (7.5-22%) of the annual gross value added of the energy sector. (author)

  16. The tale of the shrinking weapon: seasonal changes in nutrition affect weapon size and sexual dimorphism, but not contemporary evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, C W; McDonald, G C; Moore, A J

    2016-11-01

    Sexually selected traits are often highly variable in size within populations due to their close link with the physical condition of individuals. Nutrition has a large impact on physical condition, and thus, any seasonal changes in nutritional quality are predicted to alter the average size of sexually selected traits as well as the degree of sexual dimorphism in populations. However, although traits affected by mate choice are well studied, we have a surprising lack of knowledge of how natural variation in nutrition affects the expression of sexually selected weapons and sexual dimorphism. Further, few studies explicitly test for differences in the heritability and mean-scaled evolvability of sexually selected traits across conditions. We studied Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae), an insect where males use their hind legs as weapons and the femurs are enlarged, to understand the extent to which weapon expression, sexual dimorphism and evolvability change across the actual range of nutrition available in the wild. We found that insects raised on a poor diet (cactus without fruit) are nearly monomorphic, whereas those raised on a high-quality diet (cactus with ripe fruit) are distinctly sexually dimorphic via the expression of large hind leg weapons in males. Contrary to our expectations, we found little evidence of a potential for evolutionary change for any trait measured. Thus, although we show weapons are highly condition dependent, and changes in weapon expression and dimorphism could alter evolutionary dynamics, our populations are unlikely to experience further evolutionary changes under current conditions. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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