WorldWideScience

Sample records for brain size evolution

  1. Comparative genomics of brain size evolution

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Which genetic changes took place during mammalian, primate and human evolution to build a larger brain? To answer this question, one has to correlate genetic changes with brain size changes across a phylogeny. Such a comparative genomics approach provides unique information to better understand brain evolution and brain development. However, its statistical power is limited for example due to the limited number of species, the presumably complex genetics of brain size evolution and the large ...

  2. Thinking in water : Brain size evolution in Cichlidae and Syngnathidae

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Brain size varies greatly among vertebrates. It has been proposed that the diversity of brain size is produced and maintained through a balance of adaptations to different types and levels of cognitive ability and constraints for adaptive evolution. Phylogenetic comparative studies have made major contributions to our understanding of brain size evolution. However, previous studies have nearly exclusively focused on mammalian and avian taxa and almost no attempts have been made to investigate...

  3. Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Brain Size in Primates

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    Reproductive competition among males has long been considered a powerful force in the evolution of primates. The evolution of brain size and complexity in the Order Primates has been widely regarded as the hallmark of primate evolutionary history. Despite their importance to our understanding of primate evolution, the relationship between sexual selection and the evolutionary development of brain size is not well studied. The present research examines the evolutionary relationship between bra...

  4. Sperm competition and brain size evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemaître, J-F; Ramm, S A; Barton, R A; Stockley, P

    2009-11-01

    The 'expensive tissue hypothesis' predicts a size trade-off between the brain and other energetically costly organs. A specific version of this hypothesis, the 'expensive sexual tissue hypothesis', argues that selection for larger testes under sperm competition constrains brain size evolution. We show here that there is no general evolutionary trade-off between brain and testis mass in mammals. The predicted negative relationship between these traits is not found for rodents, ungulates, primates, carnivores, or across combined mammalian orders, and neither does total brain mass vary according to the level of sperm competition as determined by mating system classifications. Although we are able to confirm previous reports of a negative relationship between brain and testis mass in echolocating bats, our results suggest that mating system may be a better predictor of brain size in this group. We conclude that the expensive sexual tissue hypothesis accounts for little or none of the variance in brain size in mammals, and suggest that a broader framework is required to understand the costs of brain size evolution and how these are met.

  5. Energetics and the evolution of human brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Ana; van Schaik, Carel P; Isler, Karin

    2011-11-09

    The human brain stands out among mammals by being unusually large. The expensive-tissue hypothesis explains its evolution by proposing a trade-off between the size of the brain and that of the digestive tract, which is smaller than expected for a primate of our body size. Although this hypothesis is widely accepted, empirical support so far has been equivocal. Here we test it in a sample of 100 mammalian species, including 23 primates, by analysing brain size and organ mass data. We found that, controlling for fat-free body mass, brain size is not negatively correlated with the mass of the digestive tract or any other expensive organ, thus refuting the expensive-tissue hypothesis. Nonetheless, consistent with the existence of energy trade-offs with brain size, we find that the size of brains and adipose depots are negatively correlated in mammals, indicating that encephalization and fat storage are compensatory strategies to buffer against starvation. However, these two strategies can be combined if fat storage does not unduly hamper locomotor efficiency. We propose that human encephalization was made possible by a combination of stabilization of energy inputs and a redirection of energy from locomotion, growth and reproduction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain consists of distinct parts that fulfil different functions. Finlay and Darlington have argued that evolution of the mammalian brain is constrained by developmental programs, suggesting that different brain parts are not free to respond individually 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. Here we test these hypotheses using a quantitative genetic approach involving over 10,000 mice. We identify independent loci for size variation in seven key parts of the brain, and observe that brain parts show low or no phenotypic correlation, as is predicted by a mosaic scenario. We also demonstrate that variation in brain size is independently regulated from body size. The allometric relations seen at higher phylogenetic levels are thus unlikely to be the product of strong developmental constraints.

  7. Adaptive evolution of four microcephaly genes and the evolution of brain size in anthropoid primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Capellini, Isabella; Venditti, Chris; Barton, Robert A; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2011-01-01

    The anatomical basis and adaptive function of the expansion in primate brain size have long been studied; however, we are only beginning to understand the genetic basis of these evolutionary changes. Genes linked to human primary microcephaly have received much attention as they have accelerated evolutionary rates along lineages leading to humans. However, these studies focus narrowly on apes, and the link between microcephaly gene evolution and brain evolution is disputed. We analyzed the molecular evolution of four genes associated with microcephaly (ASPM, CDK5RAP2, CENPJ, MCPH1) across 21 species representing all major clades of anthropoid primates. Contrary to prevailing assumptions, positive selection was not limited to or intensified along the lineage leading to humans. In fact we show that all four loci were subject to positive selection across the anthropoid primate phylogeny. We developed clearly defined hypotheses to explicitly test if selection on these loci was associated with the evolution of brain size. We found positive relationships between both CDK5RAP2 and ASPM and neonatal brain mass and somewhat weaker relationships between these genes and adult brain size. In contrast, there is no evidence linking CENPJ and MCPH1 to brain size evolution. The stronger association of ASPM and CDK5RAP2 evolution with neonatal brain size than with adult brain size is consistent with these loci having a direct effect on prenatal neuronal proliferation. These results suggest that primate brain size may have at least a partially conserved genetic basis. Our results contradict a previous study that linked adaptive evolution of ASPM to changes in relative cortex size; however, our analysis indicates that this conclusion is not robust. Our finding that the coding regions of two widely expressed loci has experienced pervasive positive selection in relation to a complex, quantitative developmental phenotype provides a notable counterexample to the commonly asserted

  8. Relative brain size, gut size, and evolution in New World monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwig, Walter; Rosenberger, Alfred L; Norconk, Marilyn A; Owl, Marcus Young

    2011-12-01

    The dynamics of brain evolution in New World monkeys are poorly understood. New data on brain weight and body weight from 162 necropsied adult individuals, and a second series on body weight and gut size from 59 individuals, are compared with previously published reports based on smaller samples as well as large databases derived from museum records. We confirm elevated brain sizes for Cebus and Saimiri and also report that Cacajao and Chiropotes have relatively large brains. From more limited data we show that gut size and brain mass have a strongly inverse relationship at the low end of the relative brain size scale but a more diffuse interaction at the upper end, where platyrrhines with relatively high encephalization quotients may have either relatively undifferentiated guts or similar within-gut proportions to low-EQ species. Three of the four main platyrrhine clades exhibit a wide range of relative brain sizes, suggesting each may have differentiated while brains were relatively small and a multiplicity of forces acting to maintain or drive encephalization. Alouatta is a likely candidate for de-encephalization, although its "starting point" is difficult to establish. Factors that may have compelled parallel evolution of relatively large brains in cebids, atelids and pitheciids may involve large social group sizes as well as complex foraging strategies, with both aspects exaggerated in the hyper-encephalized Cebus. With diet playing an important role selecting for digestive strategies among the seed-eating pitheciins, comparable in ways to folivores, Chiropotes evolved a relatively larger brain in conjunction with a moderately large and differentiated gut.

  9. Genetic architecture supports mosaic brain evolution and independent brain–body size regulation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain consists of distinct parts that fulfil different functions. Finlay and Darlington have argued that evolution of the mammalian brain is constrained by developmental programs, suggesting that different brain parts are not free to respond individually 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 co...

  10. 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.

  11. Allomaternal care, life history and brain size evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isler, Karin; van Schaik, Carel P

    2012-07-01

    Humans stand out among the apes by having both an extremely large brain and a relatively high reproductive output, which has been proposed to be a consequence of cooperative breeding. Here, we test for general correlates of allomaternal care in a broad sample of 445 mammal species, by examining life history traits, brain size, and different helping behaviors, such as provisioning, carrying, huddling or protecting the offspring and the mother. As predicted from an energetic-cost perspective, a positive correlation between brain size and the amount of help by non-mothers is found among mammalian clades as a whole and within most groups, especially carnivores, with the notable exception of primates. In the latter group, the presence of energy subsidies during breeding instead resulted in increased fertility, up to the extreme of twinning in callitrichids, as well as a more altricial state at birth. In conclusion, humans exhibit a combination of the pattern found in provisioning carnivores, and the enhanced fertility shown by cooperatively breeding primates. Our comparative results provide support for the notion that cooperative breeding allowed early humans to sidestep the generally existing trade-off between brain size and reproductive output, and suggest an alternative explanation to the controversial 'obstetrical dilemma'-argument for the relatively altricial state of human neonates at birth.

  12. Evolution of brain size in the Palaeognath lineage, with an emphasis on new zealand ratites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Wild, J Martin; Hauber, Mark E; Parsons, Stuart; Kubke, M Fabiana

    2008-01-01

    Brain size in vertebrates varies principally with body size. Although many studies have examined the variation of brain size in birds, there is little information on Palaeognaths, which include the ratite lineage of kiwi, emu, ostrich and extinct moa, as well as the tinamous. Therefore, we set out to determine to what extent the evolution of brain size in Palaeognaths parallels that of other birds, i.e., Neognaths, by analyzing the variation in the relative sizes of the brain and cerebral hemispheres of several species of ratites and tinamous. Our results indicate that the Palaeognaths possess relatively smaller brains and cerebral hemispheres than the Neognaths, with the exception of the kiwi radiation (Apteryx spp.). The external morphology and relatively large size of the brain of Apteryx, as well as the relatively large size of its telencephalon, contrast with other Palaeognaths, including two species of historically sympatric moa, suggesting that unique selective pressures towards increasing brain size accompanied the evolution of kiwi. Indeed, the size of the cerebral hemispheres with respect to total brain size of kiwi is rivaled only by a handful of parrots and songbirds, despite a lack of evidence of any advanced behavioral/cognitive abilities such as those reported for parrots and crows. In addition, the enlargement in brain and telencephalon size of the kiwi occurs despite the fact that this is a precocial bird. These findings form an exception to, and hence challenge, the current rules that govern changes in relative brain size in birds.

  13. Sexual selection uncouples the evolution of brain and body size in pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Almbro, M; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Hamada, S; Pennington, C; Scanlan, J; Kolm, N

    2012-07-01

    The size of the vertebrate brain is shaped by a variety of selective forces. Although larger brains (correcting for body size) are thought to confer fitness advantages, energetic limitations of this costly organ may lead to trade-offs, for example as recently suggested between sexual traits and neural tissue. Here, we examine the patterns of selection on male and female brain size in pinnipeds, a group where the strength of sexual selection differs markedly among species and between the sexes. Relative brain size was negatively associated with the intensity of sexual selection in males but not females. However, analyses of the rates of body and brain size evolution showed that this apparent trade-off between sexual selection and brain mass is driven by selection for increasing body mass rather than by an actual reduction in male brain size. Our results suggest that sexual selection has important effects on the allometric relationships of neural development.

  14. Predator-driven brain size evolution in natural populations of Trinidadian killifish (Rivulus hartii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Matthew R; Broyles, Whitnee; Beston, Shannon M; Munch, Stephan B

    2016-07-13

    Vertebrates exhibit extensive variation in relative brain size. It has long been assumed that this variation is the product of ecologically driven natural selection. Yet, despite more than 100 years of research, the ecological conditions that select for changes in brain size are unclear. Recent laboratory selection experiments showed that selection for larger brains is associated with increased survival in risky environments. Such results lead to the prediction that increased predation should favour increased brain size. Work on natural populations, however, foreshadows the opposite trajectory of evolution; increased predation favours increased boldness, slower learning, and may thereby select for a smaller brain. We tested the influence of predator-induced mortality on brain size evolution by quantifying brain size variation in a Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, from communities that differ in predation intensity. We observed strong genetic differences in male (but not female) brain size between fish communities; second generation laboratory-reared males from sites with predators exhibited smaller brains than Rivulus from sites in which they are the only fish present. Such trends oppose the results of recent laboratory selection experiments and are not explained by trade-offs with other components of fitness. Our results suggest that increased male brain size is favoured in less risky environments because of the fitness benefits associated with faster rates of learning and problem-solving behaviour.

  15. 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.

  16. Quantitative genetic analysis of brain size variation in sticklebacks: support for the mosaic model of brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreikiene, Kristina; Herczeg, Gábor; Gonda, Abigél; Balázs, Gergely; Husby, Arild; Merilä, Juha

    2015-07-07

    The mosaic model of brain evolution postulates that different brain regions are relatively free to evolve independently from each other. Such independent evolution is possible only if genetic correlations among the different brain regions are less than unity. We estimated heritabilities, evolvabilities and genetic correlations of relative size of the brain, and its different regions in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We found that heritabilities were low (average h(2) = 0.24), suggesting a large plastic component to brain architecture. However, evolvabilities of different brain parts were moderate, suggesting the presence of additive genetic variance to sustain a response to selection in the long term. Genetic correlations among different brain regions were low (average rG = 0.40) and significantly less than unity. These results, along with those from analyses of phenotypic and genetic integration, indicate a high degree of independence between different brain regions, suggesting that responses to selection are unlikely to be severely constrained by genetic and phenotypic correlations. Hence, the results give strong support for the mosaic model of brain evolution. However, the genetic correlation between brain and body size was high (rG = 0.89), suggesting a constraint for independent evolution of brain and body size in sticklebacks.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The effect of brain size evolution on feeding propensity, digestive efficiency, and juvenile growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Corral-Lopez, Alberto; Szidat, Sönke; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-11-01

    One key hypothesis in the study of brain size evolution is the expensive tissue hypothesis; the idea that increased investment into the brain should be compensated by decreased investment into other costly organs, for instance the gut. Although the hypothesis is supported by both comparative and experimental evidence, little is known about the potential changes in energetic requirements or digestive traits following such evolutionary shifts in brain and gut size. Organisms may meet the greater metabolic requirements of larger brains despite smaller guts via increased food intake or better digestion. But increased investment in the brain may also hamper somatic growth. To test these hypotheses we here used guppy (Poecilia reticulata) brain size selection lines with a pronounced negative association between brain and gut size and investigated feeding propensity, digestive efficiency (DE), and juvenile growth rate. We did not find any difference in feeding propensity or DE between large- and small-brained individuals. Instead, we found that large-brained females had slower growth during the first 10 weeks after birth. Our study provides experimental support that investment into larger brains at the expense of gut tissue carries costs that are not necessarily compensated by a more efficient digestive system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2012-11-06

    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 foods impose a tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons, which explains the small brain size of great apes compared with their large body size. This limitation was probably overcome in Homo erectus with the shift to a cooked diet. Absent the requirement to spend most available hours of the day feeding, the combination of newly freed time and a large number of brain neurons affordable on a cooked diet may thus have been a major positive driving force to the rapid increased in brain size in human evolution.

  2. The evolution of relative brain size in marsupials is energetically constrained but not driven by behavioral complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbecker, Vera; Blomberg, Simon; Goldizen, Anne W; Brown, Meredeth; Fisher, Diana

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary increases in mammalian brain size relative to body size are energetically costly but are also thought to confer selective advantages by permitting the evolution of cognitively complex behaviors. However, many suggested associations between brain size and specific behaviors - particularly related to social complexity - are possibly confounded by the reproductive diversity of placental mammals, whose brain size evolution is the most frequently studied. Based on a phylogenetic generalized least squares analysis of a data set on the reproductively homogenous clade of marsupials, we provide the first quantitative comparison of two hypotheses based on energetic constraints (maternal investment and seasonality) with two hypotheses that posit behavioral selection on relative brain size (social complexity and environmental interactions). We show that the two behavioral hypotheses have far less support than the constraint hypotheses. The only unambiguous associates of brain size are the constraint variables of litter size and seasonality. We also found no association between brain size and specific behavioral complexity categories within kangaroos, dasyurids, and possums. The largest-brained marsupials after phylogenetic correction are from low-seasonality New Guinea, supporting the notion that low seasonality represents greater nutrition safety for brain maintenance. Alternatively, low seasonality might improve the maternal support of offspring brain growth. The lack of behavioral brain size associates, found here and elsewhere, supports the general 'cognitive buffer hypothesis' as the best explanatory framework of mammalian brain size evolution. However, it is possible that brain size alone simply does not provide sufficient resolution on the question of how brain morphology and cognitive capacities coevolve.

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

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    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.

  4. Metabolic acceleration and the evolution of human brain size and life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontzer, Herman; Brown, Mary H; Raichlen, David A; Dunsworth, Holly; Hare, Brian; Walker, Kara; Luke, Amy; Dugas, Lara R; Durazo-Arvizu, Ramon; Schoeller, Dale; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Bovet, Pascal; Forrester, Terrence E; Lambert, Estelle V; Thompson, Melissa Emery; Shumaker, Robert W; Ross, Stephen R

    2016-05-19

    Humans are distinguished from the other living apes in having larger brains and an unusual life history that combines high reproductive output with slow childhood growth and exceptional longevity. This suite of derived traits suggests major changes in energy expenditure and allocation in the human lineage, but direct measures of human and ape metabolism are needed to compare evolved energy strategies among hominoids. Here we used doubly labelled water measurements of total energy expenditure (TEE; kcal day(-1)) in humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans to test the hypothesis that the human lineage has experienced an acceleration in metabolic rate, providing energy for larger brains and faster reproduction without sacrificing maintenance and longevity. In multivariate regressions including body size and physical activity, human TEE exceeded that of chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas and orangutans by approximately 400, 635 and 820 kcal day(-1), respectively, readily accommodating the cost of humans' greater brain size and reproductive output. Much of the increase in TEE is attributable to humans' greater basal metabolic rate (kcal day(-1)), indicating increased organ metabolic activity. Humans also had the greatest body fat percentage. An increased metabolic rate, along with changes in energy allocation, was crucial in the evolution of human brain size and life history.

  5. DUF1220-domain copy number implicated in human brain-size pathology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, Laura J; O'Bleness, Majesta S; Davis, Jonathan M; Dickens, C Michael; Anderson, Nathan; Keeney, J G; Jackson, Jay; Sikela, Megan; Raznahan, Armin; Giedd, Jay; Rapoport, Judith; Nagamani, Sandesh S C; Erez, Ayelet; Brunetti-Pierri, Nicola; Sugalski, Rachel; Lupski, James R; Fingerlin, Tasha; Cheung, Sau Wai; Sikela, James M

    2012-09-07

    DUF1220 domains show the largest human-lineage-specific increase in copy number of any protein-coding region in the human genome and map primarily to 1q21, where deletions and reciprocal duplications have been associated with microcephaly and macrocephaly, respectively. Given these findings and the high correlation between DUF1220 copy number and brain size across primate lineages (R(2) = 0.98; p = 1.8 × 10(-6)), DUF1220 sequences represent plausible candidates for underlying 1q21-associated brain-size pathologies. To investigate this possibility, we used specialized bioinformatics tools developed for scoring highly duplicated DUF1220 sequences to implement targeted 1q21 array comparative genomic hybridization on individuals (n = 42) with 1q21-associated microcephaly and macrocephaly. We show that of all the 1q21 genes examined (n = 53), DUF1220 copy number shows the strongest association with brain size among individuals with 1q21-associated microcephaly, particularly with respect to the three evolutionarily conserved DUF1220 clades CON1(p = 0.0079), CON2 (p = 0.0134), and CON3 (p = 0.0116). Interestingly, all 1q21 DUF1220-encoding genes belonging to the NBPF family show significant correlations with frontal-occipital-circumference Z scores in the deletion group. In a similar survey of a nondisease population, we show that DUF1220 copy number exhibits the strongest correlation with brain gray-matter volume (CON1, p = 0.0246; and CON2, p = 0.0334). Notably, only DUF1220 sequences are consistently significant in both disease and nondisease populations. Taken together, these data strongly implicate the loss of DUF1220 copy number in the etiology of 1q21-associated microcephaly and support the view that DUF1220 domains function as general effectors of evolutionary, pathological, and normal variation in brain size.

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Genetic basis of human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallender, Eric J; Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Lahn, Bruce T

    2008-12-01

    Human evolution is characterized by a rapid increase in brain size and complexity. Decades of research have made important strides in identifying anatomical and physiological substrates underlying the unique features of the human brain. By contrast, it has become possible only very recently to examine the genetic basis of human brain evolution. Through comparative genomics, tantalizing insights regarding human brain evolution have emerged. The genetic changes that potentially underlie human brain evolution span a wide range from single-nucleotide substitutions to large-scale structural alterations of the genome. Similarly, the functional consequences of these genetic changes vary greatly, including protein-sequence alterations, cis-regulatory changes and even the emergence of new genes and the extinction of existing ones. Here, we provide a general review of recent findings into the genetic basis of human brain evolution, highlight the most notable trends that have emerged and caution against over-interpretation of current data.

  12. Brain size, sex, and the aging brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäncke, Lutz; Mérillat, Susan; Liem, Franziskus; Hänggi, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted to examine the statistical influence of brain size on cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar compartmental volumes. This brain size influence was especially studied to delineate interactions with Sex and Age. Here, we studied 856 healthy subjects of which 533 are classified as young and 323 as old. Using an automated segmentation procedure cortical (gray and white matter [GM and WM] including the corpus callosum), cerebellar (GM and WM), and subcortical (thalamus, putamen, pallidum, caudatus, hippocampus, amygdala, and accumbens) volumes were measured and subjected to statistical analyses. These analyses revealed that brain size and age exert substantial statistical influences on nearly all compartmental volumes. Analyzing the raw compartmental volumes replicated the frequently reported Sex differences in compartmental volumes with men showing larger volumes. However, when statistically controlling for brain size Sex differences and Sex × Age interactions practically disappear. Thus, brain size is more important than Sex in explaining interindividual differences in compartmental volumes. The influence of brain size is discussed in the context of an allometric scaling of the compartmental volumes.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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 t...

  14. Gregariousness increases brain size in ungulates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Barbería, F Javier; Gordon, Iain J

    2005-08-01

    The brain's main function is to organise the physiological and behavioural responses to environmental and social challenges in order to keep the organism alive. Here, we studied the effects that gregariousness (as a measurement of sociality), dietary habits, gestation length and sex have on brain size of extant ungulates. The analysis controlled for the effects of phylogeny and for random variability implicit in the data set. We tested the following groups of hypotheses: (1) Social brain hypothesis-gregarious species are more likely to have larger brains than non-gregarious species because the former are subjected to demanding and complex social interactions; (2) Ecological hypothesis-dietary habits impose challenging cognitive tasks associated with finding and manipulating food (foraging strategy); (3) Developmental hypotheses (a) energy strategy: selection for larger brains operates, primarily, on maternal metabolic turnover (i.e. gestation length) in relation to food quality because the majority of the brain's growth takes place in utero, and finally (b) sex hypothesis: females are expected to have larger brains than males, relative to body size, because of the differential growth rates of the soma and brain between the sexes. We found that, after adjusting for body mass, gregariousness and gestation length explained most of the variation in brain mass across the ungulate species studied. Larger species had larger brains; gregarious species and those with longer gestation lengths, relative to body mass, had larger brains than non-gregarious species and those with shorter gestation lengths. The effect of diet was negligible and subrogated by gestation length, and sex had no significant effect on brain size. The ultimate cause that could have triggered the co-evolution between gestation length and brain size remains unclear.

  15. Human Brain and Its Size

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邹国如

    2006-01-01

    @@ Two studies suggest that the human brain continues to change through the process of evolution.The findings conflict with a common belief that the brain has evolved about as much as it ever will.Scientists say modern humans developed about two hundred thousand years ago.Bruce Lahn of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Chicago led the studies.The findings appeared in Science magazine.

  16. Evolution of Brain and Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenemann, P. Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of language and the evolution of the brain are tightly interlinked. Language evolution represents a special kind of adaptation, in part because language is a complex behavior (as opposed to a physical feature) but also because changes are adaptive only to the extent that they increase either one's understanding of others, or one's…

  17. Coevolving avian eye size and brain size in relation to prey capture and nocturnality.

    OpenAIRE

    2002-01-01

    Behavioural adaptation to ecological conditions can lead to brain size evolution. Structures involved in behavioural visual information processing are expected to coevolve with enlargement of the brain. Because birds are mainly vision-oriented animals, we tested the predictions that adaptation to different foraging constraints can result in eye size evolution, and that species with large eyes have evolved large brains to cope with the increased amount of visual input. Using a comparative appr...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Human brain evolution writ large and small.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Chet C; Bauernfeind, Amy L; Bianchi, Serena; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R

    2012-01-01

    Human evolution was marked by an extraordinary increase in total brain size relative to body size. While it is certain that increased encephalization is an important factor contributing to the origin of our species-specific cognitive abilities, it is difficult to disentangle which aspects of human neural structure and function are correlated by-products of brain size expansion from those that are specifically related to particular psychological specializations, such as language and enhanced "mentalizing" abilities. In this chapter, we review evidence from allometric scaling studies demonstrating that much of human neocortical organization can be understood as a product of brain enlargement. Defining extra-allometric specializations in humans is often hampered by a severe lack of comparative data from the same neuroanatomical variables across a broad range of primates. When possible, we highlight evidence for features of human neocortical architecture and function that cannot be easily explained as correlates of brain size and, hence, might be more directly associated with the evolution of uniquely human cognitive capacities.

  1. Brain size varies with temperature in vertebrates

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The tremendous variation in brain size among vertebrates has long been thought to be related to differences in species’ metabolic rates. It is thought that species with higher metabolic rates can supply more energy to support the relatively high cost of brain tissue. And yet, while body temperature is known to be a major determinant of metabolic rate, the possible effects of temperature on brain size have scarcely been explored. Thus, here we explore the effects of temperature on brain size a...

  2. Brain size, life history, and metabolism at the marsupial/placental dichotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbecker, Vera; Goswami, Anjali

    2010-09-14

    The evolution of mammalian brain size is directly linked with the evolution of the brain's unique structure and performance. Both maternal life history investment traits and basal metabolic rate (BMR) correlate with relative brain size, but current hypotheses regarding the details of these relationships are based largely on placental mammals. Using encephalization quotients, partial correlation analyses, and bivariate regressions relating brain size to maternal investment times and BMR, we provide a direct quantitative comparison of brain size evolution in marsupials and placentals, whose reproduction and metabolism differ extensively. Our results show that the misconception that marsupials are systematically smaller-brained than placentals is driven by the inclusion of one large-brained placental clade, Primates. Marsupial and placental brain size partial correlations differ in that marsupials lack a partial correlation of BMR with brain size. This contradicts hypotheses stating that the maintenance of relatively larger brains requires higher BMRs. We suggest that a positive BMR-brain size correlation is a placental trait related to the intimate physiological contact between mother and offspring during gestation. Marsupials instead achieve brain sizes comparable to placentals through extended lactation. Comparison with avian brain evolution suggests that placental brain size should be constrained due to placentals' relative precociality, as has been hypothesized for precocial bird hatchlings. We propose that placentals circumvent this constraint because of their focus on gestation, as opposed to the marsupial emphasis on lactation. Marsupials represent a less constrained condition, demonstrating that hypotheses regarding placental brain size evolution cannot be generalized to all mammals.

  3. 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.

  4. Effects of brain evolution on human nutrition and metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, William R; Snodgrass, J Josh; Robertson, Marcia L

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of large human brain size has had important implications for the nutritional biology of our species. Large brains are energetically expensive, and humans expend a larger proportion of their energy budget on brain metabolism than other primates. The high costs of large human brains are supported, in part, by our energy- and nutrient-rich diets. Among primates, relative brain size is positively correlated with dietary quality, and humans fall at the positive end of this relationship. Consistent with an adaptation to a high-quality diet, humans have relatively small gastrointestinal tracts. In addition, humans are relatively "undermuscled" and "over fat" compared with other primates, features that help to offset the high energy demands of our brains. Paleontological evidence indicates that rapid brain evolution occurred with the emergence of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago and was associated with important changes in diet, body size, and foraging behavior.

  5. The evolutionary history of cetacean brain and body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Geisler, Jonathan H; McGowen, Michael R; Fox, Charlotte; Marino, Lori; Gatesy, John

    2013-11-01

    Cetaceans rival primates in brain size relative to body size and include species with the largest brains and biggest bodies to have ever evolved. Cetaceans are remarkably diverse, varying in both phenotypes by several orders of magnitude, with notable differences between the two extant suborders, Mysticeti and Odontoceti. We analyzed the evolutionary history of brain and body mass, and relative brain size measured by the encephalization quotient (EQ), using a data set of extinct and extant taxa to capture temporal variation in the mode and direction of evolution. Our results suggest that cetacean brain and body mass evolved under strong directional trends to increase through time, but decreases in EQ were widespread. Mysticetes have significantly lower EQs than odontocetes due to a shift in brain:body allometry following the divergence of the suborders, caused by rapid increases in body mass in Mysticeti and a period of body mass reduction in Odontoceti. The pattern in Cetacea contrasts with that in primates, which experienced strong trends to increase brain mass and relative brain size, but not body mass. We discuss what these analyses reveal about the convergent evolution of large brains, and highlight that until recently the most encephalized mammals were odontocetes, not primates.

  6. Brain size of Homo floresiensis and its evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubo, Daisuke; Kono, Reiko T; Kaifu, Yousuke

    2013-06-07

    The extremely small endocranial volume (ECV) of LB1, the type specimen of Homo floresiensis, poses a challenge in our understanding of human brain evolution. Some researchers hypothesize dramatic dwarfing of relative brain size from Homo erectus presumably without significant decrease in intellectual function, whereas others expect a lesser degree of brain diminution from a more primitive, small-brained form of hominin currently undocumented in eastern Asia. However, inconsistency in the published ECVs for LB1 (380-430 cc), unclear human intraspecific brain-body size scaling and other uncertainties have hampered elaborative modelling of its brain size reduction. In this study, we accurately determine the ECV of LB1 using high-resolution micro-CT scan. The ECV of LB1 thus measured, 426 cc, is larger than the commonly cited figure in previous studies (400 cc). Coupled with brain-body size correlation in Homo sapiens calculated based on a sample from 20 worldwide modern human populations, we construct new models of the brain size reduction in the evolution of H. floresiensis. The results show a more significant contribution of scaling effect than previously claimed.

  7. "In Vivo" Brain Size and Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willerman, Lee; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging was used to demonstrate that larger brain size (corrected for body size) was associated with higher intelligence quotient (IQ) for 40 right-handed college students grouped by high and average IQ and sex. Results suggest the relevance of brain size to intelligence test performance. (SLD)

  8. 人类大脑容量及语言进化的分子生物学证据与质疑%Controversial Researches on Molecular Evolution of Language and Brain Size

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    俞建梁

    2015-01-01

    Language and larger brain size than other primates are the deifning features of human beings. The evolution of language and brain size has been the research hotspot all the time. Over the past 20 years the research in the evolution of language and brain size through molecular biology, which transcends the disputes between nature and nurture in language aquisition, has made great achievement. But many test results are incongruous or even controversial over the questions whether the evolution of FOXP2 might underlie linguistic behavior and whether the evolution of genes such as MCPH1, ASPM and etc. has undergone positive selection or implicated in the brain size and intelligence. The discussion of these questions allows us to understand the current situation of the molecular evolution of language and brain size, and the developmental trend of biolinguistics.%语言和拥有比其他灵长类动物更大的脑容量是人类的显著特征。语言与大脑的进化一直是人们研究的热点。过去近20年有关人类语言与脑容量进化的分子生物学研究超越了思辨层面的先天论和后天论之争,取得了许多重要的发现。但许多研究结果相左,有的甚至相互矛盾:FOXP2基因的进化是否与语言相关;MCPH1、ASPM等基因的进化是否受到正向选择、是否影响大脑容量以及是否与智力有关等等。这些问题在分子生物学领域引起了诸多争论和质疑。对这些问题的了解有助于认识当前有关语言与大脑容量进化的研究现状和生物语言学的发展动态。

  9. Aging, Brain Size, and IQ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigler, Erin D.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Whether cross-sectional rates of decline for brain volume and the Performance Intellectual Quotient of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised were equivalent over the years 16 to 65 was studied with 196 volunteers. Results indicate remarkably similar rates of decline in perceptual-motor functions and aging brain volume loss. (SLD)

  10. Astrocytes and the evolution of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, James M

    2014-02-01

    Cells within the astroglial lineage are proposed as the origin of human brain evolution. It is now widely accepted that they direct mammalian fetal neurogenesis, gliogenesis, laminar cytoarchitectonics, synaptic connectivity and neuronal network formation. Furthermore, genetic, anatomical and functional studies have recently identified multiple astrocyte exaptations that strongly suggest a direct relation to the increased size and complexity of the human brain.

  11. Evolutionary change in the brain size of bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Lu; Brown, J-P; Stampanoni, Marco; Marone, Federica; Isler, Karin; Martin, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    It has been widely recognized that mammal brain size predominantly increases over evolutionary time. Safi et al. [Biol Lett 2005;1:283-286] questioned the generality of this trend, arguing that brain size evolution among bats involved reduction in multiple lineages as well as enlargement in others. Our study explored the direction of change in the evolution of bat brain size by estimating brain volume in fossil bats, using synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy. Virtual endocasts were generated from 2 Hipposideros species: 3 specimens of Oligocene Hipposideros schlosseri (∼35 Ma) and 3 of Miocene Hipposideros bouziguensis (∼20 Ma). Upper molar tooth dimensions (M(2) length × width) collected for 43 extant insectivorous bat species were used to derive empirical formulae to estimate body mass in the fossil bats. Brain size was found to be relatively smaller in the fossil bats than in the average extant bat both with raw data and after allowing for phylogenetic inertia. Phylogenetic modeling of ancestral relative brain size with and without fossil bats confirmed a general trend towards evolutionary increase in this bat lineage.

  12. Brain size, head size and behaviour of a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, A P

    2010-03-01

    A recent increase in comparative studies of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of brain size in birds and primates in particular have suggested that cognitive abilities constitute a central link. Surprisingly, there are hardly any intraspecific studies investigating how individuals differing in brain size behave, how such individuals are distributed and how brain size is related to life history and fitness components. Brain mass of the barn swallow Hirundo rustica was strongly predicted by external head volume, explaining 99.5% of the variance, allowing for repeatable estimates of head volume as a reflection of brain size. Repeatability of head volume within and between years was high, suggesting that measurement errors were small. In a 2 years study of 501 individual adult barn swallows, I showed that head volume differed between sexes and age classes, with yearlings having smaller and more variable heads than older individuals, and females having smaller and more variable heads than males. Large head volume was not a consequence of large body size, which was a poor predictor of head volume. Birds with large heads arrived early from spring migration, independent of sex and age, indicating that migratory performance may have an important cognitive component. Head volume significantly predicted capture date and recapture probability, suggesting that head volume is related to learning ability, although morphological traits such as wing length, aspect ratio and wing area were unimportant predictors. Intensity of defence of offspring increased with head volume in females, but not in males. Barn swallows with large heads aggregated in large colonies, suggesting that individuals with large heads were more common in socially complex environments. These results suggest that brain size is currently under natural and sexual selection, and that micro-evolutionary processes affecting brain size can be studied under field conditions.

  13. Brain size and urbanization in birds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anders Pape Mller; Johannes Erritze

    2015-01-01

    Background:Brain size may affect the probability of invasion of urban habitats if a relatively larger brain entails superior ability to adapt to novel environments. However, once urbanized urban environments may provide poor quality food that has negative consequences for normal brain development resulting in an excess of individuals with small brains. Methods:Here we analyze the independent effects of mean, standard deviation and skewness in brain mass for invasion of urban habitats by 108 species of birds using phylogenetic multiple regression analyses weighted by sample size. Results:There was no significant difference in mean brain mass between urbanized and non-urbanized species or between urban and rural populations of the same species, and mean brain mass was not significantly correlated with time since urbanization. Bird species that became urbanized had a greater standard deviation in brain mass than non-urbanized species, and the standard deviation in brain mass increased with time since urbanization. Brain mass was significantly left skewed in species that remained rural, while there was no significant skew in urbanized species. The degree of left skew was greater in urban than in rural populations of the same species, and successfully urbanized species decreased the degree of left skew with time since urbanization. This is consistent with the hypothesis that sub-optimal brain development was more common in rural habitats resulting in disproportionately many individuals with very smal brains. Conclusions:These findings do not support the hypothesis that large brains promote urbanization, but suggest that skewness has played a role in the initial invasion of urban habitats, and that variance and skew in brain mass have increased as species have become urbanized.

  14. Brain size and urbanization in birds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anders; Pape; M?ller; Johannes; Erritz?e

    2015-01-01

    Background: Brain size may affect the probability of invasion of urban habitats if a relatively larger brain entails superior ability to adapt to novel environments. However, once urbanized urban environments may provide poor quality food that has negative consequences for normal brain development resulting in an excess of individuals with small brains.Methods: Here we analyze the independent effects of mean, standard deviation and skewness in brain mass for invasion of urban habitats by 108 species of birds using phylogenetic multiple regression analyses weighted by sample size.Results: There was no significant difference in mean brain mass between urbanized and non-urbanized species or between urban and rural populations of the same species, and mean brain mass was not significantly correlated with time since urbanization. Bird species that became urbanized had a greater standard deviation in brain mass than non-urbanized species, and the standard deviation in brain mass increased with time since urbanization. Brain mass was significantly left skewed in species that remained rural, while there was no significant skew in urbanized species. The degree of left skew was greater in urban than in rural populations of the same species, and successfully urbanized species decreased the degree of left skew with time since urbanization. This is consistent with the hypothesis that sub-optimal brain development was more common in rural habitats resulting in disproportionately many individuals with very smal brains.Conclusions: These findings do not support the hypothesis that large brains promote urbanization, but suggest that skewness has played a role in the initial invasion of urban habitats, and that variance and skew in brain mass have increased as species have become urbanized.

  15. [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

  16. Artificial selection on relative brain size in the guppy reveals costs and benefits of evolving a larger brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Rogell, Björn; Bundsen, Andreas; Svensson, Beatrice; Zajitschek, Susanne; Brännström, Ioana; Immler, Simone; Maklakov, Alexei A; Kolm, Niclas

    2013-01-21

    The large variation in brain size that exists in the animal kingdom has been suggested to have evolved through the balance between selective advantages of greater cognitive ability and the prohibitively high energy demands of a larger brain (the "expensive-tissue hypothesis"). Despite over a century of research on the evolution of brain size, empirical support for the trade-off between cognitive ability and energetic costs is based exclusively on correlative evidence, and the theory remains controversial. Here we provide experimental evidence for costs and benefits of increased brain size. We used artificial selection for large and small brain size relative to body size in a live-bearing fish, the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), and found that relative brain size evolved rapidly in response to divergent selection in both sexes. Large-brained females outperformed small-brained females in a numerical learning assay designed to test cognitive ability. Moreover, large-brained lines, especially males, developed smaller guts, as predicted by the expensive-tissue hypothesis, and produced fewer offspring. We propose that the evolution of brain size is mediated by a functional trade-off between increased cognitive ability and reproductive performance and discuss the implications of these findings for vertebrate brain evolution.

  17. Acrobatic courtship display coevolves with brain size in manakins (Pipridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Willow R; Houck, Justin T; Giuliano, Claire E; Day, Lainy B

    2015-01-01

    Acrobatic display behaviour is sexually selected in manakins (Pipridae) and can place high demands on many neural systems. Manakin displays vary across species in terms of behavioural complexity, differing in number of unique motor elements, production of mechanical sounds, cooperation between displaying males, and construction of the display site. Historically, research emphasis has been placed on neurological specializations for vocal aspects of courtship, and less is known about the control of physical, non-vocal displays. By examining brain evolution in relation to extreme acrobatic feats such as manakin displays, we can vastly expand our knowledge of how sexual selection acts on motor behaviour. We tested the hypothesis that sexual selection for complex motor displays has selected for larger brains across the Pipridae. We found that display complexity positively predicts relative brain weight (adjusted for body size) after controlling for phylogeny in 12 manakin species and a closely related flycatcher. This evidence suggests that brain size has evolved in response to sexual selection to facilitate aspects of display such as motor, sensorimotor, perceptual, and cognitive abilities. We show, for the first time, that sexual selection for acrobatic motor behaviour can drive brain size evolution in avian species and, in particular, a family of suboscine birds.

  18. Genome Size Dynamics and Evolution in Monocots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilia J. Leitch

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Monocot genomic diversity includes striking variation at many levels. This paper compares various genomic characters (e.g., range of chromosome numbers and ploidy levels, occurrence of endopolyploidy, GC content, chromosome packaging and organization, genome size between monocots and the remaining angiosperms to discern just how distinctive monocot genomes are. One of the most notable features of monocots is their wide range and diversity of genome sizes, including the species with the largest genome so far reported in plants. This genomic character is analysed in greater detail, within a phylogenetic context. By surveying available genome size and chromosome data it is apparent that different monocot orders follow distinctive modes of genome size and chromosome evolution. Further insights into genome size-evolution and dynamics were obtained using statistical modelling approaches to reconstruct the ancestral genome size at key nodes across the monocot phylogenetic tree. Such approaches reveal that while the ancestral genome size of all monocots was small (1C=1.9 pg, there have been several major increases and decreases during monocot evolution. In addition, notable increases in the rates of genome size-evolution were found in Asparagales and Poales compared with other monocot lineages.

  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. Variation in avian brain shape: relationship with size and orbital shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawabe, Soichiro; Shimokawa, Tetsuya; Miki, Hitoshi; Matsuda, Seiji; Endo, Hideki

    2013-11-01

    There is wide variation in brain shape among birds. Differences in brain dimensions reflect species-specific sensory capacities and behavioral repertoires that are shaped by environmental and biological factors during evolution. Most previous studies aimed at defining factors impacting brain shape have used volumetric or linear measurements. However, few have explored the quantitative indices of three-dimensional (3D) brain geometry that are absolutely imperative to understanding avian evolutionary history. This study aimed: (i) to explore the relationship between brain shape and overall brain size; and (ii) to assess the relationship between brain shape and orbital shape. Avian brain endocasts were reconstructed from computed tomography images and analyzed using 3D geometric morphometrics. Principal component analysis revealed dominant regional variations in avian brain shape and shape correlations between the telencephalon and cerebellum, between the cerebellum and myelencephalon, and between the diencephalon and optic tectum. Brain shape changes relative to total brain size were determined by multivariate regression analysis. Larger brain size was associated with a relatively slender telencephalon and differences in brain orientation. The correlation between brain shape and orbital shape was assessed by two-block partial least-squares analysis. Relatively round brains with a ventrally flexed brain base were associated with rounder orbits, while narrower brains with a flat brain base were associated with more elongated orbits. The shapes of functionally associated avian brain regions are correlated, and orbital size and shape are dominant factors influencing the overall shape of the avian brain.

  1. Brain size and limits to adult neurogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Mercedes F; Sorrells, Shawn F; Garcia-Verdugo, Jose M; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo

    2016-02-15

    The walls of the cerebral ventricles in the developing embryo harbor the primary neural stem cells from which most neurons and glia derive. In many vertebrates, neurogenesis continues postnatally and into adulthood in this region. Adult neurogenesis at the ventricle has been most extensively studied in organisms with small brains, such as reptiles, birds, and rodents. In reptiles and birds, these progenitor cells give rise to young neurons that migrate into many regions of the forebrain. Neurogenesis in adult rodents is also relatively widespread along the lateral ventricles, but migration is largely restricted to the rostral migratory stream into the olfactory bulb. Recent work indicates that the wall of the lateral ventricle is highly regionalized, with progenitor cells giving rise to different types of neurons depending on their location. In species with larger brains, young neurons born in these spatially specified domains become dramatically separated from potential final destinations. Here we hypothesize that the increase in size and topographical complexity (e.g., intervening white matter tracts) in larger brains may severely limit the long-term contribution of new neurons born close to, or in, the ventricular wall. We compare the process of adult neuronal birth, migration, and integration across species with different brain sizes, and discuss how early regional specification of progenitor cells may interact with brain size and affect where and when new neurons are added.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. Adaptive evolution toward larger size in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Joanna; Meade, Andrew; Pagel, Mark; Venditti, Chris

    2015-04-21

    The notion that large body size confers some intrinsic advantage to biological species has been debated for centuries. Using a phylogenetic statistical approach that allows the rate of body size evolution to vary across a phylogeny, we find a long-term directional bias toward increasing size in the mammals. This pattern holds separately in 10 of 11 orders for which sufficient data are available and arises from a tendency for accelerated rates of evolution to produce increases, but not decreases, in size. On a branch-by-branch basis, increases in body size have been more than twice as likely as decreases, yielding what amounts to millions and millions of years of rapid and repeated increases in size away from the small ancestral mammal. These results are the first evidence, to our knowledge, from extant species that are compatible with Cope's rule: the pattern of body size increase through time observed in the mammalian fossil record. We show that this pattern is unlikely to be explained by several nonadaptive mechanisms for increasing size and most likely represents repeated responses to new selective circumstances. By demonstrating that it is possible to uncover ancient evolutionary trends from a combination of a phylogeny and appropriate statistical models, we illustrate how data from extant species can complement paleontological accounts of evolutionary history, opening up new avenues of investigation for both.

  5. Reconstructing cetacean brain evolution using computed tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Lori; Uhen, Mark D; Pyenson, Nicholas D; Frohlich, Bruno

    2003-05-01

    Until recently, there have been relatively few studies of brain mass and morphology in fossil cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) because of difficulty accessing the matrix that fills the endocranial cavity of fossil cetacean skulls. As a result, our knowledge about cetacean brain evolution has been quite limited. By applying the noninvasive technique of computed tomography (CT) to visualize, measure, and reconstruct the endocranial morphology of fossil cetacean skulls, we can gain vastly more information at an unprecedented rate about cetacean brain evolution. Here, we discuss our method and demonstrate it with several examples from our fossil cetacean database. This approach will provide new insights into the little-known evolutionary history of cetacean brain evolution.

  6. Innovativeness, population size and cumulative cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Yutaka; Aoki, Kenichi

    2012-08-01

    Henrich [Henrich, J., 2004. Demography and cultural evolution: how adaptive cultural processes can produce maladaptive losses-the Tasmanian case. Am. Antiquity 69, 197-214] proposed a model designed to show that larger population size facilitates cumulative cultural evolution toward higher skill levels. In this model, each newborn attempts to imitate the most highly skilled individual of the parental generation by directly-biased social learning, but the skill level he/she acquires deviates probabilistically from that of the exemplar (cultural parent). The probability that the skill level of the imitator exceeds that of the exemplar can be regarded as the innovation rate. After reformulating Henrich's model rigorously, we introduce an overlapping-generations analog based on the Moran model and derive an approximate formula for the expected change per generation of the highest skill level in the population. For large population size, our overlapping-generations model predicts a much larger effect of population size than Henrich's discrete-generations model. We then investigate by way of Monte Carlo simulations the case where each newborn chooses as his/her exemplar the most highly skilled individual from among a limited number of acquaintances. When the number of acquaintances is small relative to the population size, we find that a change in the innovation rate contributes more than a proportional change in population size to the cumulative cultural evolution of skill level.

  7. An examination of cetacean brain structure with a novel hypothesis correlating thermogenesis to the evolution of a big brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manger, Paul R

    2006-05-01

    This review examines aspects of cetacean brain structure related to behaviour and evolution. Major considerations include cetacean brain-body allometry, structure of the cerebral cortex, the hippocampal formation, specialisations of the cetacean brain related to vocalisations and sleep phenomenology, paleoneurology, and brain-body allometry during cetacean evolution. These data are assimilated to demonstrate that there is no neural basis for the often-asserted high intellectual abilities of cetaceans. Despite this, the cetaceans do have volumetrically large brains. A novel hypothesis regarding the evolution of large brain size in cetaceans is put forward. It is shown that a combination of an unusually high number of glial cells and unihemispheric sleep phenomenology make the cetacean brain an efficient thermogenetic organ, which is needed to counteract heat loss to the water. It is demonstrated that water temperature is the major selection pressure driving an altered scaling of brain and body size and an increased actual brain size in cetaceans. A point in the evolutionary history of cetaceans is identified as the moment in which water temperature became a significant selection pressure in cetacean brain evolution. This occurred at the Archaeoceti - modern cetacean faunal transition. The size, structure and scaling of the cetacean brain continues to be shaped by water temperature in extant cetaceans. The alterations in cetacean brain structure, function and scaling, combined with the imperative of producing offspring that can withstand the rate of heat loss experienced in water, within the genetic confines of eutherian mammal reproductive constraints, provides an explanation for the evolution of the large size of the cetacean brain. These observations provide an alternative to the widely held belief of a correlation between brain size and intelligence in cetaceans.

  8. Thermal evolution of planetary size bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsui, A. T.; Toksoz, M. N.

    1977-01-01

    The size dependence of planetary thermal evolution is investigated through calculations which take into account the effects of heat source differentiation and convection. The theoretical computations make use of hypothetical bodies for minor planets; Mercury, Venus and Mars are employed to represent the size spectrum of the inner planets. If started at a cold initial condition, an object with a radius less than 1000 km is unlikely to reach melting. Accretional heating, inductive heating and short half-life radioactive heating are among the mechanisms which may produce early melting and differentiation in larger planets. Core formation in Mercury and Venus is also discussed.

  9. Energetic trade-offs between brain size and offspring production: Marsupials confirm a general mammalian pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isler, Karin

    2011-03-01

    Recently, Weisbecker and Goswami presented the first comprehensive comparative analysis of brain size, metabolic rate, and development periods in marsupial mammals. In this paper, a strictly energetic perspective is applied to identify general mammalian correlates of brain size evolution. In both marsupials and placentals, the duration or intensity of maternal investment is a key correlate of relative brain size, but here I show that allomaternal energy subsidies may also play a role. In marsupials, an energetic constraint on brain size in adults is only revealed if we consider both metabolic and reproductive rates simultaneously, because a strong trade-off between encephalization and offspring production masks the positive correlation between basal metabolic rate and brain size in a bivariate comparison. In conclusion, starting from an energetic perspective is warranted to elucidate relations between ecology, social systems, life history, and brain size in all mammals.

  10. The Size Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Xie, Lizhi; Cooper, Andrew P; Frenk, Carlos S; Li, Ran; Gao, Liang

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has suggested that the amplitude of the size mass relation of massive early type galaxies evolves with redshift. Here we use a semi-analytical galaxy formation model to study the size evolution of massive early type galaxies. We find this model is able to reproduce the amplitude of present day amplitude and slope of the relation between size and stellar mass for these galaxies, as well as its evolution. The amplitude of this relation reflects the typical compactness of dark halos at the time when most of the stars are formed. This link between size and star formation epoch is propagated in galaxy mergers. Mergers of high or moderate mass ratio (less than 1:3) become increasingly important with increasing present day stellar mass for galaxies more massive than $10^{11.4}M_{\\odot}$. At lower masses, low mass ratio mergers play a more important role. In situ star formation contribute more to the size growth than it does to stellar mass growth. We also find that, for ETGs identified at $z=2$, minor me...

  11. Brief Communication: Seasonality of diet composition is related to brain size in New World Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Woerden, Janneke T; van Schaik, Carel P; Isler, Karin

    2014-08-01

    New World monkeys exhibit a more pronounced variability in encephalization than other primate taxa. In this comparative study, we tested two current hypotheses on brain size evolution, the Expensive Brain hypothesis and the Cognitive Buffer hypothesis, in a sample of 21 platyrrhine species. A high degree of habitat seasonality may impose an energetic constraint on brain size evolution if it leads to a high variation in caloric intake over time, as predicted by the Expensive Brain Hypothesis. However, simultaneously it may also provide the opportunity to reap the fitness benefits of increased cognitive abilities, which enable the exploitation of high-quality food resources even during periods of scarcity, as predicted by the Cognitive Buffer hypothesis. By examining the effects of both habitat seasonality and the variation in monthly diet composition across species, we found support for both hypotheses, confirming previous results for catarrhine primates and lemurs. These findings are in accordance with an energetic and ecological view of brain size evolution.

  12. Evolution of the base of the brain in highly encephalized human species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastir, Markus; Rosas, Antonio; Gunz, Philipp; Peña-Melian, Angel; Manzi, Giorgio; Harvati, Katerina; Kruszynski, Robert; Stringer, Chris; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2011-12-13

    The increase of brain size relative to body size-encephalization-is intimately linked with human evolution. However, two genetically different evolutionary lineages, Neanderthals and modern humans, have produced similarly large-brained human species. Thus, understanding human brain evolution should include research into specific cerebral reorganization, possibly reflected by brain shape changes. Here we exploit developmental integration between the brain and its underlying skeletal base to test hypotheses about brain evolution in Homo. Three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses of endobasicranial shape reveal previously undocumented details of evolutionary changes in Homo sapiens. Larger olfactory bulbs, relatively wider orbitofrontal cortex, relatively increased and forward projecting temporal lobe poles appear unique to modern humans. Such brain reorganization, beside physical consequences for overall skull shape, might have contributed to the evolution of H. sapiens' learning and social capacities, in which higher olfactory functions and its cognitive, neurological behavioral implications could have been hitherto underestimated factors.

  13. Endocasts-the direct evidence and recent advances in the study of human brain evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Brain evolution is one of the most important aspects of human evolution, usually studied through endocasts. Analysis of fossil hominid endocasts allows inferences on functional anatomy, physiology, and phylogeny. In this paper, we describe the general features of endocast studies and review some of the major topics in paleoneurology. These are: absolute and relative brain size evolution; brain shape variation; brain asymmetry and lateralization; middle meningeal vessels and venous sinuses; application of computed tomography and virtual imaging; the history of Chinese brain endocast studies. In particular, this review emphasizes endocast studies on Chinese hominin fossils.

  14. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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.

  16. Investment in higher order central processing regions is not constrained by brain size in social insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscedere, Mario L; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Moreau, Corrie S; Traniello, James F A

    2014-06-07

    The extent to which size constrains the evolution of brain organization and the genesis of complex behaviour is a central, unanswered question in evolutionary neuroscience. Advanced cognition has long been linked to the expansion of specific brain compartments, such as the neocortex in vertebrates and the mushroom bodies in insects. Scaling constraints that limit the size of these brain regions in small animals may therefore be particularly significant to behavioural evolution. Recent findings from studies of paper wasps suggest miniaturization constrains the size of central sensory processing brain centres (mushroom body calyces) in favour of peripheral, sensory input centres (antennal and optic lobes). We tested the generality of this hypothesis in diverse eusocial hymenopteran species (ants, bees and wasps) exhibiting striking variation in body size and thus brain size. Combining multiple neuroanatomical datasets from these three taxa, we found no universal size constraint on brain organization within or among species. In fact, small-bodied ants with miniscule brains had mushroom body calyces proportionally as large as or larger than those of wasps and bees with brains orders of magnitude larger. Our comparative analyses suggest that brain organization in ants is shaped more by natural selection imposed by visual demands than intrinsic design limitations.

  17. Evidence for small scale variation in the vertebrate brain: mating strategy and sex affect brain size and structure in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolm, N; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Brelin, D; Winberg, S

    2009-12-01

    The basis for our knowledge of brain evolution in vertebrates rests heavily on empirical evidence from comparative studies at the species level. However, little is still known about the natural levels of variation and the evolutionary causes of differences in brain size and brain structure within-species, even though selection at this level is an important initial generator of macroevolutionary patterns across species. Here, we examine how early life-history decisions and sex are related to brain size and brain structure in wild populations using the existing natural variation in mating strategies among wild brown trout (Salmo trutta). By comparing the brains of precocious fish that remain in the river and sexually mature at a small size with those of migratory fish that migrate to the sea and sexually mature at a much larger size, we show, for the first time in any vertebrate, strong differences in relative brain size and brain structure across mating strategies. Precocious fish have larger brain size (when controlling for body size) but migratory fish have a larger cerebellum, the structure in charge of motor coordination. Moreover, we demonstrate sex-specific differences in brain structure as female precocious fish have a larger brain than male precocious fish while males of both strategies have a larger telencephalon, the cognitive control centre, than females. The differences in brain size and structure across mating strategies and sexes thus suggest the possibility for fine scale adaptive evolution of the vertebrate brain in relation to different life histories.

  18. Schizophrenia, abnormal connection, and brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, P L

    1983-03-01

    Abnormalities of functional connection between specialized areas in the human brain may underlie the symptoms which constitute the schizophrenia syndrome. Callosal and intrahemispheric fibres may be equally involved. The clinical emergence of symptoms in the later stages of brain maturation may be dependent on myelination of these fibre groups, both of which have extended myelination cycles. Ontogenetically earlier variants of the same mechanism could theoretically result in dyslexia and the syndromes of Kanner and Gilles de la Tourette. As new and unique extensions of specialized function emerge within the evolving brain, biological trial and error of connection both within and between them may produce individuals possessing phylogenetically advanced abilities, or equally, others possessing a wide range of abnormalities including those which comprise the schizophrenia syndrome. A dormant phenotypic potential for schizophrenia may exist in individuals who never develop symptoms during the course of a lifetime though some of these may become clinically apparent under the influence of various precipitating factors. It is concluded that abnormal functional connection and its normal and "supernormal" counterparts may be natural, essential, and inevitable consequences of brain evolution, and that this may have been so throughout the history of vertebrate brain evolution.

  19. 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.

  20. Optimizing full-brain coverage in human brain MRI through population distributions of brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mennes, Maarten; Jenkinson, Mark; Valabregue, Romain; Buitelaar, Jan K; Beckmann, Christian; Smith, Stephen

    2014-09-01

    When defining an MRI protocol, brain researchers need to set multiple interdependent parameters that define repetition time (TR), voxel size, field-of-view (FOV), etc. Typically, researchers aim to image the full brain, making the expected FOV an important parameter to consider. Especially in 2D-EPI sequences, non-wasteful FOV settings are important to achieve the best temporal and spatial resolution. In practice, however, imperfect FOV size estimation often results in partial brain coverage for a significant number of participants per study, or, alternatively, an unnecessarily large voxel-size or number of slices to guarantee full brain coverage. To provide normative FOV guidelines we estimated population distributions of brain size in the x-, y-, and z-direction using data from 14,781 individuals. Our results indicated that 11mm in the z-direction differentiate between obtaining full brain coverage for 90% vs. 99.9% of participants. Importantly, we observed that rotating the FOV to optimally cover the brain, and thus minimize the number of slices needed, effectively reduces the required inferior-superior FOV size by ~5%. For a typical adult imaging study, 99.9% of the population can be imaged with full brain coverage when using an inferior-superior FOV of 142mm, assuming optimal slice orientation and minimal within-scan head motion. By providing population distributions for brain size in the x-, y-, and z-direction we improve the potential for obtaining full brain coverage, especially in 2D-EPI sequences used in most functional and diffusion MRI studies. We further enable optimization of related imaging parameters including the number of slices, TR and total acquisition time.

  1. Optimizing full-brain coverage in human brain MRI through population distributions of brain size

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mennes, M.; Jenkinson, M.; Valabregue, R.; Buitelaar, J.; Beckmann, C.; Smith, S.

    2014-01-01

    When defining an MRI protocol, brain researchers need to set multiple interdependent parameters that define repetition time (TR), voxel size, field-of-view (FOV), etc. Typically, researchers aim to image the full brain, making the expected FOV an important parameter to consider. Especially in 2D-EPI

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27629025

  4. Human brain evolution: insights from microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preuss, Todd M; Cáceres, Mario; Oldham, Michael C; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2004-11-01

    Several recent microarray studies have compared gene-expression patterns n humans, chimpanzees and other non-human primates to identify evolutionary changes that contribute to the distinctive cognitive and behavioural characteristics of humans. These studies support the surprising conclusion that the evolution of the human brain involved an upregulation of gene expression relative to non-human primates, a finding that could be relevant to understanding human cerebral physiology and function. These results show how genetic and genomic methods can shed light on the basis of human neural and cognitive specializations, and have important implications for neuroscience, anthropology and medicine.

  5. Evolution, brain, and the nature of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berwick, Robert C; Friederici, Angela D; Chomsky, Noam; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2013-02-01

    Language serves as a cornerstone for human cognition, yet much about its evolution remains puzzling. Recent research on this question parallels Darwin's attempt to explain both the unity of all species and their diversity. What has emerged from this research is that the unified nature of human language arises from a shared, species-specific computational ability. This ability has identifiable correlates in the brain and has remained fixed since the origin of language approximately 100 thousand years ago. Although songbirds share with humans a vocal imitation learning ability, with a similar underlying neural organization, language is uniquely human.

  6. 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…

  7. Expression change in Angiopoietin-1 underlies change in relative brain size in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu-Chia; Harrison, Peter W; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas; Mank, Judith E; Panula, Pertti

    2015-07-07

    Brain size varies substantially across the animal kingdom and is often associated with cognitive ability; however, the genetic architecture underpinning natural variation in these key traits is virtually unknown. In order to identify the genetic architecture and loci underlying variation in brain size, we analysed both coding sequence and expression for all the loci expressed in the telencephalon in replicate populations of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) artificially selected for large and small relative brain size. A single gene, Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), a regulator of angiogenesis and suspected driver of neural development, was differentially expressed between large- and small-brain populations. Zebra fish (Danio rerio) morphants showed that mild knock down of Ang-1 produces a small-brained phenotype that could be rescued with Ang-1 mRNA. Translation inhibition of Ang-1 resulted in smaller brains in larvae and increased expression of Notch-1, which regulates differentiation of neural stem cells. In situ analysis of newborn large- and small-brained guppies revealed matching expression patterns of Ang-1 and Notch-1 to those observed in zebrafish larvae. Taken together, our results suggest that the genetic architecture affecting brain size in our population may be surprisingly simple, and Ang-1 may be a potentially important locus in the evolution of vertebrate brain size and cognitive ability.

  8. Evolution of particle size in turbid discharge plumes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-07

    Evolution of particle size in turbid discharge plumes Paul S. Hill Department of Oceanography Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA B3H...COVERED 00-00-1999 to 00-00-1999 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Evolution of particle size in turbid discharge plumes 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT...experiment was designed to explore the evolution of disaggregated grain size distribution in a flowing suspension. RESULTS Bulk effective settling

  9. Larger brain size indirectly increases vulnerability to extinction in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; González-Suárez, Manuela; Vilà, Carles; Revilla, Eloy

    2016-06-01

    Although previous studies have addressed the question of why large brains evolved, we have limited understanding of potential beneficial or detrimental effects of enlarged brain size in the face of current threats. Using novel phylogenetic path analysis, we evaluated how brain size directly and indirectly, via its effects on life history and ecology, influences vulnerability to extinction across 474 mammalian species. We found that larger brains, controlling for body size, indirectly increase vulnerability to extinction by extending the gestation period, increasing weaning age, and limiting litter sizes. However, we found no evidence of direct, beneficial, or detrimental effects of brain size on vulnerability to extinction, even when we explicitly considered the different types of threats that lead to vulnerability. Order-specific analyses revealed qualitatively similar patterns for Carnivora and Artiodactyla. Interestingly, for Primates, we found that larger brain size was directly (and indirectly) associated with increased vulnerability to extinction. Our results indicate that under current conditions, the constraints on life history imposed by large brains outweigh the potential benefits, undermining the resilience of the studied mammals. Contrary to the selective forces that have favored increased brain size throughout evolutionary history, at present, larger brains have become a burden for mammals.

  10. Whole Brain Size and General Mental Ability: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    We review the literature on the relation between whole brain size and general mental ability (GMA) both within and between species. Among humans, in 28 samples using brain imaging techniques, the mean brain size/GMA correlation is 0.40 (N = 1,389; p < 10−10); in 59 samples using external head size measures it is 0.20 (N = 63,405; p < 10−10). In 6 samples using the method of correlated vectors to distill g, the general factor of mental ability, the mean r is 0.63. We also describe the brain si...

  11. Sex Differences in Intelligence and Brain Size: A Developmental Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Richard

    1999-01-01

    Proposes a developmental theory of sex differences in intelligence that states that the faster maturation and brain size growth in girls up to age 15 compensates for their smaller brain size so that sex differences in intelligence are very small. Discusses evidence that supports this theory. (SLD)

  12. 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.

  13. Absolute, not relative brain size correlates with sociality in ground squirrels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matějů, Jan; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Pavelková, Zuzana; Pavelková Řičánková, Věra; Vohralík, Vladimír; Němec, Pavel

    2016-03-30

    The social brain hypothesis (SBH) contends that cognitive demands associated with living in cohesive social groups favour the evolution of large brains. Although the correlation between relative brain size and sociality reported in various groups of birds and mammals provides broad empirical support for this hypothesis, it has never been tested in rodents, the largest mammalian order. Here, we test the predictions of the SBH in the ground squirrels from the tribe Marmotini. These rodents exhibit levels of sociality ranging from solitary and single-family female kin groups to egalitarian polygynous harems but feature similar ecologies and life-history traits. We found little support for the association between increase in sociality and increase in relative brain size. Thus, sociality does not drive the evolution of encephalization in this group of rodents, a finding inconsistent with the SBH. However, body mass and absolute brain size increase with sociality. These findings suggest that increased social complexity in the ground squirrels goes hand in hand with larger body mass and brain size, which are tightly coupled to each other.

  14. 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.

  15. Specialization and group size: brain and behavioural correlates of colony size in ants lacking morphological castes

    OpenAIRE

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Wcislo, William T.; Mueller, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Group size in both multicellular organisms and animal societies can correlate with the degree of division of labour. For ants, the task specialization hypothesis (TSH) proposes that increased behavioural specialization enabled by larger group size corresponds to anatomical specialization of worker brains. Alternatively, the social brain hypothesis proposes that increased levels of social stimuli in larger colonies lead to enlarged brain regions in all workers, regardless of their task special...

  16. Brain size-related breeding strategies in a seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaatinen, Kim; Öst, Markus

    2016-01-01

    The optimal compromise between decision speed and accuracy may depend on cognitive ability, associated with the degree of encephalization: larger brain size may select for accurate but slow decision-making, beneficial under challenging conditions but costly under benign ones. How this brain size-dependent selection pressure shapes avian breeding phenology and reproductive performance remains largely unexplored. We predicted that (1) large-brained individuals have a delayed breeding schedule due to thorough nest-site selection and/or prolonged resource acquisition, (2) good condition facilitates early breeding independent of relative brain size, and (3) large brain size accrues benefits mainly to individuals challenged by environmental or intrinsic constraints. To test these predictions, we examined how the relative head volume of female eiders (Somateria mollissima) of variable body condition correlated with their breeding schedule, hatching success and offspring quality. The results were consistent with our predictions. First, large head size was associated with a progressively later onset of breeding with increasing breeding dispersal distance. Second, increasing body condition advanced the timing of breeding, but this effect was significantly weaker in large-brained females. Third, larger head volume was associated with increased hatching success mainly among late breeders and those in poor body condition, and duckling body condition was positively related to maternal head volume, but only in poor-condition mothers. Our study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate the presence of brain size-related differences in reproductive strategies within a single natural population.

  17. 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.

  18. The Evolution of the Brain, the Human Nature of Cortical Circuits, and Intellectual Creativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFelipe, Javier

    2011-01-01

    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 microcircuits with a similar basic structure, 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. PMID:21647212

  19. Gender versus brain size effects on subcortical gray matter volumes in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Tianyu; Jiao, Yun; Wang, Xunheng; Lu, Zuhong

    2013-11-27

    Previous studies had reported that volume differences of gray matter (GM) in subcortical regions of the human brain were mainly caused by gender. Meanwhile, other studies had found that the distribution of GM in the human brain varied based on individual brain sizes. Main effects of volume differences of GM in subcortical regions remain unclear. Therefore, the goals of this study are twofold, namely, to determine the main effects of volume differences of GM in subcortical regions of the human brain and to investigate the independent or joint contribution of gender and brain size to subcortical volume differences. In this study, 40 male and 40 female subjects with comparable brain sizes were selected from a population of 198 individuals. The sample was divided into the following four groups: male and female groups with comparably large brain sizes and male and female groups with comparably small brain sizes. The main effects of gender and of brain size and interactions between both factors in subcortical GM volumes were examined by analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) using a 2×2 design matrix. Volumes of GM in subcortical regions were extracted and measured by an automatic segmentation method. Furthermore, we used two datasets to test the reliability of our methods. In both datasets, we found significant brain size effects in the right amygdala and the bilateral caudate nucleus and significant gender effects in the bilateral putamen. No interactions between brain size and gender were found. In conclusion, both gender and brain size independently contributed to volume distribution in different subcortical areas of the human brain.

  20. Endocasts: possibilities and limitations for the interpretation of human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Brains are not preserved in the fossil record but endocranial casts are. These are casts of the internal bony braincase, revealing approximate brain size and shape, and they are also informative about brain surface morphology. Endocasts are the only direct evidence of human brain evolution, but they provide only limited data ('paleoneurology'). This review discusses some new fossil endocasts and recent methodological advances that have allowed novel analyses of old endocasts, leading to intriguing findings and hypotheses. The interpretation of paleoneurological data always relies on comparative information from living species whose brains and behavior can be directly investigated. It is therefore important that future studies attempt to better integrate different approaches. Only then will we be able to gain a better understanding about hominin brain evolution. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Increase in human brain size a key to increase in body size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.P.Singh

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Lucy, considered to be the ancestor to all humanity was a very short creature about three and a half feet tall, weighing some 60 to 65 pounds and lived around 3.2 million years ago in Ethiopia. Perhaps the growth period among the australopithecines was much shorter than that of the modern day humans and hence simply by this yardstick, there has to be a lot of difference in body size between them. The longer the growth period the larger the body size and this is what seemed to happen to the humans during evolutionary history. Recently Mark Grabowski, a researcher at American Museum of Natural History, New York,observed in his research paper that "Bigger brains led to bigger bodies... as over the last four million years, brain size and body size increased substantially in our human ancestors" (Current Anthropology, Vol. 57, 174-196, April 2016. These observations were not new and were clearly understood by the scientific community earlier also. However, numerous hypotheses put forth had emphasized the role of natural selection on different traits independently. But none of them had gone in the direction of a correlated response to natural selection in favour of enlarging the brain size and the body size together. These viewpoints had concluded that increase in brain size and body size were the products of separate natural selection forces. However, Mark Grabowski states that "some genes cause variation in both brain and body size, with the result that selection on either trait can lead to a correlated response in the unselected trait." This is a new explanation to the problem. It highlights the role of correlated outcomes of the natural selection phenomena occurring to one trait but affecting the other trait even if that is not selected for. It is similar to saying that as the brain size increased from Lucy to Homo erectus so did the body size as if the animal pulled itself up and increased in size proportionately as well to keep pace with the

  2. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may

  3. Brain mass and cranial nerve size in shrews and moles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitch, Duncan B; Sarko, Diana K; Catania, Kenneth C

    2014-09-01

    We investigated the relationship between body size, brain size, and fibers in selected cranial nerves in shrews and moles. Species include tiny masked shrews (S. cinereus) weighing only a few grams and much larger mole species weighing up to 90 grams. It also includes closely related species with very different sensory specializations - such as the star-nosed mole and the common, eastern mole. We found that moles and shrews have tiny optic nerves with fiber counts not correlated with body or brain size. Auditory nerves were similarly small but increased in fiber number with increasing brain and body size. Trigeminal nerve number was by far the largest and also increased with increasing brain and body size. The star-nosed mole was an outlier, with more than twice the number of trigeminal nerve fibers than any other species. Despite this hypertrophied cranial nerve, star-nosed mole brains were not larger than predicted from body size, suggesting that magnification of their somatosensory systems does not result in greater overall CNS size.

  4. 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.

  5. Developmental Modes and Developmental Mechanisms can Channel Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Striedter, Georg F

    2011-01-01

    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.

  6. 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 learn

  7. 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

  8. Specialization and group size: brain and behavioural correlates of colony size in ants lacking morphological castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Wcislo, William T; Mueller, Ulrich

    2015-02-22

    Group size in both multicellular organisms and animal societies can correlate with the degree of division of labour. For ants, the task specialization hypothesis (TSH) proposes that increased behavioural specialization enabled by larger group size corresponds to anatomical specialization of worker brains. Alternatively, the social brain hypothesis proposes that increased levels of social stimuli in larger colonies lead to enlarged brain regions in all workers, regardless of their task specialization. We tested these hypotheses in acacia ants (Pseudomyrmex spinicola), which exhibit behavioural but not morphological task specialization. In wild colonies, we marked, followed and tested ant workers involved in foraging tasks on the leaves (leaf-ants) and in defensive tasks on the host tree trunk (trunk-ants). Task specialization increased with colony size, especially in defensive tasks. The relationship between colony size and brain region volume was task-dependent, supporting the TSH. Specifically, as colony size increased, the relative size of regions within the mushroom bodies of the brain decreased in trunk-ants but increased in leaf-ants; those regions play important roles in learning and memory. Our findings suggest that workers specialized in defence may have reduced learning abilities relative to leaf-ants; these inferences remain to be tested. In societies with monomorphic workers, brain polymorphism enhanced by group size could be a mechanism by which division of labour is achieved.

  9. 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.

  10. Brain size and morphology of the brood-parasitic and cerophagous honeyguides (Aves: Piciformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Birkhead, Tim R; Spottiswoode, Claire N; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Boogert, Neeltje J; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristian; Overington, Sarah E; Wylie, Douglas R; Lefebvre, Louis

    2013-01-01

    Honeyguides (Indicatoridae, Piciformes) are unique among birds in several respects. All subsist primarily on wax, are obligatory brood parasites and one species engages in 'guiding' behavior in which it leads human honey hunters to bees' nests. This unique life history has likely shaped the evolution of their brain size and morphology. Here, we test that hypothesis using comparative data on relative brain and brain region size of honeyguides and their relatives: woodpeckers, barbets and toucans. Honeyguides have significantly smaller relative brain volumes than all other piciform taxa. Volumetric measurements of the brain indicate that honeyguides have a significantly larger cerebellum and hippocampal formation (HF) than woodpeckers, the sister clade of the honeyguides, although the HF enlargement was not significant across all of our analyses. Cluster analyses also revealed that the overall composition of the brain and telencephalon differs greatly between honeyguides and woodpeckers. The relatively smaller brains of the honeyguides may be a consequence of brood parasitism and cerophagy ('wax eating'), both of which place energetic constraints on brain development and maintenance. The inconclusive results of our analyses of relative HF volume highlight some of the problems associated with comparative studies of the HF that require further study.

  11. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.

  12. 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 hemisphe

  13. 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…

  14. Genome size is inversely correlated with relative brain size in parrots and cockatoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Chandler B; Gregory, T Ryan

    2009-03-01

    Genome size (haploid nuclear DNA content) has been found to correlate positively with cell size and negatively with cell division rate in a variety of taxa. These cytological relationships manifest in various ways at the organism level, for example, in terms of body size, metabolic rate, or developmental rate, depending on the biology of the organisms. In birds, it has been suggested that high metabolic rate and strong flight ability are linked to small genome size. However, it was also hypothesized that the exceptional cognitive abilities of birds may impose additional constraints on genome size through effects on neuron size and differentiation, as has been observed in amphibians. To test this hypothesis, a comparative analysis was made between genome size, cell (erythrocyte) size, and brain size in 54 species of parrots and cockatoos (order Psittaciformes, family Psittacidae). Relative brain volume, which is taken as an indicator of investment in brain tissue and is widely correlated with behavioural and ecological traits, was found to correlate inversely with genome size. Several possible and mutually compatible explanations for this relationship are described.

  15. Predator-prey interactions, flight initiation distance and brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, A P; Erritzøe, J

    2014-01-01

    Prey avoid being eaten by assessing the risk posed by approaching predators and responding accordingly. Such an assessment may result in prey-predator communication and signalling, which entail further monitoring of the predator by prey. An early antipredator response may provide potential prey with a selective advantage, although this benefit comes at the cost of disturbance in terms of lost foraging opportunities and increased energy expenditure. Therefore, it may pay prey to assess approaching predators and determine the likelihood of attack before fleeing. Given that many approaching potential predators are detected visually, we hypothesized that species with relatively large eyes would be able to detect an approaching predator from afar. Furthermore, we hypothesized that monitoring of predators by potential prey relies on evaluation through information processing by the brain. Therefore, species with relatively larger brains for their body size should be better able to monitor the intentions of a predator, delay flight for longer and hence have shorter flight initiation distances than species with smaller brains. Indeed, flight initiation distances increased with relative eye size and decreased with relative brain size in a comparative study of 107 species of birds. In addition, flight initiation distance increased independently with size of the cerebellum, which plays a key role in motor control. These results are consistent with cognitive monitoring as an antipredator behaviour that does not result in the fastest possible, but rather the least expensive escape flights. Therefore, antipredator behaviour may have coevolved with the size of sense organs, brains and compartments of the brain involved in responses to risk of predation.

  16. Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erritzøe, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Estimates suggest that perhaps a quarter of a billion birds are killed by traffic annually across the world. This is surprising because birds have been shown to learn speed limits. Birds have also been shown to adapt to the direction of traffic and lane use, and this apparently results in reduced risks of fatal traffic accidents. Such behavioural differences suggest that individual birds that are not killed in traffic should have larger brains for their body size. We analysed the link between being killed by traffic and relative brain mass in 3521 birds belonging to 251 species brought to a taxidermist. Birds that were killed in traffic indeed had relatively smaller brains, while there was no similar difference for liver mass, heart mass or lung mass. These findings suggest that birds learn the behaviour of car drivers, and that they use their brains to adjust behaviour in an attempt to avoid mortality caused by rapidly and predictably moving objects.

  17. Developmental origins of mosaic brain evolution: Morphometric analysis of the developing zebra finch brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Striedter, Georg F

    2009-05-10

    In adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the telencephalon occupies 64% of the entire brain. This fraction is similar to what is seen in parrots, but many other birds possess a significantly smaller telencephalon. The aim of the present study was to determine the developmental time course and cellular basis of telencephalic enlargement in zebra finches, and then to compare these findings with what is known about telencephalic enlargement in other birds. To this end we estimated the volumes of all major brain regions from serial sections in embryonic and post-hatching zebra finches. We also labeled proliferating cells with antibodies against proliferating cell nuclear antigen and phosphorylated histone H3. An important finding to emerge from this work is that the telencephalon of zebra finches at hatching contains a thick proliferative subventricular zone (SVZ) that extends from the subpallium into the dorsal pallium. The data also show that the onset and offset of telencephalic neurogenesis are both delayed in zebra finches relative to quail (Galliformes). This delay in neurogenesis, in conjunction with the expanded SVZ, probably accounts for most of the telencephalic enlargement in passerines such as the zebra finch. In addition, passerines enlarged their telencephalon by decreasing the proportional size of their midbrain tectum. Because the presumptive tectum is proportionally smaller in zebra finches than quail before neurogenesis begins, this difference in tectum size cannot be due to evolutionary alterations in neurogenesis timing. Collectively these findings indicate that several different developmental mechanisms underlie the evolution of a large telencephalon in passerines.

  18. [Evolution of brain development in amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savel'ev, S V

    2009-01-01

    Principal events in the early embryonic development of the nervous system, from neurulation to primary differentiation, are considered in different amphibian species. Attention is paid to numerous interspecific differences in the structure of neuroepithelium and the patterns of neurulation and embryonic brain segmentation. The data presented indicate that similarity in brain developmental patterns is apparently explained by universality of morphogenetic mechanisms rather than by the common origin of particular species. A hypothesis is proposed that similarity in the shape of the developing amphibian brain is determined by mechanisms of coding positional information necessary for histogenetic differentiation.

  19. Brain dynamics of meal size selection in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toepel, Ulrike; Bielser, Marie-Laure; Forde, Ciaran; Martin, Nathalie; Voirin, Alexandre; le Coutre, Johannes; Murray, Micah M; Hudry, Julie

    2015-06-01

    Although neuroimaging research has evidenced specific responses to visual food stimuli based on their nutritional quality (e.g., energy density, fat content), brain processes underlying portion size selection remain largely unexplored. We identified spatio-temporal brain dynamics in response to meal images varying in portion size during a task of ideal portion selection for prospective lunch intake and expected satiety. Brain responses to meal portions judged by the participants as 'too small', 'ideal' and 'too big' were measured by means of electro-encephalographic (EEG) recordings in 21 normal-weight women. During an early stage of meal viewing (105-145 ms), data showed an incremental increase of the head-surface global electric field strength (quantified via global field power; GFP) as portion judgments ranged from 'too small' to 'too big'. Estimations of neural source activity revealed that brain regions underlying this effect were located in the insula, middle frontal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus, and are similar to those reported in previous studies investigating responses to changes in food nutritional content. In contrast, during a later stage (230-270 ms), GFP was maximal for the 'ideal' relative to the 'non-ideal' portion sizes. Greater neural source activity to 'ideal' vs. 'non-ideal' portion sizes was observed in the inferior parietal lobule, superior temporal gyrus and mid-posterior cingulate gyrus. Collectively, our results provide evidence that several brain regions involved in attention and adaptive behavior track 'ideal' meal portion sizes as early as 230 ms during visual encounter. That is, responses do not show an increase paralleling the amount of food viewed (and, in extension, the amount of reward), but are shaped by regulatory mechanisms.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Brain size as a driver of avian escape strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samia, Diogo S M; Pape Møller, Anders; Blumstein, Daniel T

    2015-07-03

    After detecting an approaching predator, animals make a decision when to flee. Prey will initiate flight soon after detecting a predator so as to minimize attentional costs related to on-going monitoring of the whereabouts of the predator. Such costs may compete with foraging and other maintenance activities and hence be larger than the costs of immediate flight. The drivers of interspecific variation in escape strategy are poorly known. Here we investigated the morphological, life history and natural history traits that correlate with variation in avian escape strategy across a sample of 96 species of birds. Brain mass, body size, habitat structure and group size were the main predictors of escape strategy. The direction of the effect of these traits was consistent with selection for a reduction of monitoring costs. Therefore, attentional costs depend on relative brain size, which determines the ability to monitor the whereabouts of potential predators and the difficulty of this task as reflected by habitat and social complexity. Thus brain size, and the cognitive functions associated with it, constitute a general framework for explaining the effects of body size, habitat structure and sociality identified as determinants of avian escape strategy.

  3. Elephant brain. Part I: gross morphology, functions, comparative anatomy, and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoshani, Jeheskel; Kupsky, William J; Marchant, Gary H

    2006-06-30

    We report morphological data on brains of four African, Loxodonta africana, and three Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, and compare findings to literature. Brains exhibit a gyral pattern more complex and with more numerous gyri than in primates, humans included, and in carnivores, but less complex than in cetaceans. Cerebral frontal, parietal, temporal, limbic, and insular lobes are well developed, whereas the occipital lobe is relatively small. The insula is not as opercularized as in man. The temporal lobe is disproportionately large and expands laterally. Humans and elephants have three parallel temporal gyri: superior, middle, and inferior. Hippocampal sizes in elephants and humans are comparable, but proportionally smaller in elephant. A possible carotid rete was observed at the base of the brain. Brain size appears to be related to body size, ecology, sociality, and longevity. Elephant adult brain averages 4783 g, the largest among living and extinct terrestrial mammals; elephant neonate brain averages 50% of its adult brain weight (25% in humans). Cerebellar weight averages 18.6% of brain (1.8 times larger than in humans). During evolution, encephalization quotient has increased by 10-fold (0.2 for extinct Moeritherium, approximately 2.0 for extant elephants). We present 20 figures of the elephant brain, 16 of which contain new material. Similarities between human and elephant brains could be due to convergent evolution; both display mosaic characters and are highly derived mammals. Humans and elephants use and make tools and show a range of complex learning skills and behaviors. In elephants, the large amount of cerebral cortex, especially in the temporal lobe, and the well-developed olfactory system, structures associated with complex learning and behavioral functions in humans, may provide the substrate for such complex skills and behavior.

  4. Increased morphological asymmetry, evolvability and plasticity in human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Hopkins, William D; Sherwood, Chet C

    2013-06-22

    The study of hominin brain evolution relies mostly on evaluation of the endocranial morphology of fossil skulls. However, only some general features of external brain morphology are evident from endocasts, and many anatomical details can be difficult or impossible to examine. In this study, we use geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate inter- and intraspecific differences in cerebral morphology in a sample of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging scans of chimpanzees and humans, with special emphasis on the study of asymmetric variation. Our study reveals that chimpanzee-human differences in cerebral morphology are mainly symmetric; by contrast, there is continuity in asymmetric variation between species, with humans showing an increased range of variation. Moreover, asymmetric variation does not appear to be the result of allometric scaling at intraspecific levels, whereas symmetric changes exhibit very slight allometric effects within each species. Our results emphasize two key properties of brain evolution in the hominine clade: first, evolution of chimpanzee and human brains (and probably their last common ancestor and related species) is not strongly morphologically constrained, thus making their brains highly evolvable and responsive to selective pressures; second, chimpanzee and, especially, human brains show high levels of fluctuating asymmetry indicative of pronounced developmental plasticity. We infer that these two characteristics can have a role in human cognitive evolution.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Robert Sean; Walsh, Christopher A

    2005-09-01

    Rapidly advancing knowledge of genome structure and sequence enables new means for the analysis of specific DNA changes associated with the differences between the human brain and that of other mammals. Recent studies implicate evolutionary changes in messenger RNA and protein expression levels, as well as DNA changes that alter amino acid sequences. We can anticipate having a systematic catalogue of DNA changes in the lineage leading to humans, but an ongoing challenge will be relating these changes to the anatomical and functional differences between our brain and that of our ancient and more recent ancestors.

  7. Size evolution of gold nanoparticles in a millifluidic reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuehao; Sanampudi, Ashwin; Raji Reddy, Vanga; Biswas, Sanchita; Nandakumar, Krishnaswamy; Yemane, Dawit; Goettert, Jost; Kumar, Challa S S R

    2012-01-16

    The size evolution of gold nanoparticles in a millifluidic reactor is investigated using spatially resolved transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental data is supported by numerical simulations, carried out to study the residence-time distribution (RTD) of tracers that have the same properties as Au ions. Size and size distribution of the particles within the channels are influenced by the mixing zones as well as the RTD. However, the Au nanoparticles obtained show a broader size distribution even at the shortest investigated residence time of 3.53 s, indicating that in addition to surface growth reaction kinetics also plays an important role. The comparison of time resolved particle growth within the millifluidic channel with flask-based reactions reveals that the particle size can be controlled better within millifluidic channels. Overall, the results indicate potential opportunities to utilize easy to fabricate millifluidic reactors for the synthesis of nanoparticles, as well as as for carrying out time resolved kinetic studies.

  8. Body size evolution in mammals: complexity in tempo and mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Natalie; Purvis, Andy

    2010-06-01

    Body size correlates with virtually every aspect of species biology, so understanding the tempo and mode of its evolution is of key importance in macroecology and macroevolution. Here we use body mass data from 3,473 of 4,510 extant mammalian species and an almost complete species-level phylogeny to determine the best model of log(body mass) evolution across all mammals, split taxonomically and spatially. An early-burst model fits better across all mammals than do models based on either Brownian motion or an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, suggesting that mammals experienced a burst of morphological evolution relatively early in their history that was followed by slower change. We also use spatial models to investigate rates of body mass evolution within ecoregions. These models show that around 50% of the variation in rate can be explained by just a few predictors. High estimated rates are associated with cold, low-lying, species-poor, high-energy, mainland ecoregions. We conclude that the evolution of mammalian body size has been influenced by a complex interplay among geography, climate, and history.

  9. 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

  10. Discriminating Between the Physical Processes that Drive Spheroid Size Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Hopkins, Philip F; Hernquist, Lars; Wuyts, Stijn; Cox, Thomas J

    2009-01-01

    Massive galaxies at high-z have smaller effective radii than those today, but similar central densities. Their size growth therefore relates primarily to the evolving abundance of low-density material. Various models have been proposed to explain this evolution, which have different implications for galaxy, star, and BH formation. We compile observations of spheroid properties as a function of redshift and use them to test proposed models. Evolution in progenitor gas-richness with redshift gives rise to initial formation of smaller spheroids at high-z. These systems can then evolve in apparent or physical size via several channels: (1) equal-density 'dry' mergers, (2) later major or minor 'dry' mergers with less-dense galaxies, (3) adiabatic expansion, (4) evolution in stellar populations & mass-to-light-ratio gradients, (5) age-dependent bias in stellar mass estimators, (6) observational fitting/selection effects. If any one of these is tuned to explain observed size evolution, they make distinct predict...

  11. [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 different, so if they both evolved in essentially the same habitat, how did the 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

  12. The glia/neuron ratio: how it varies uniformly across brain structures and species and what that means for brain physiology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2014-09-01

    It is a widespread notion that the proportion of glial to neuronal cells in the brain increases with brain size, to the point that glial cells represent "about 90% of all cells in the human brain." This notion, however, is wrong on both counts: neither does the glia/neuron ratio increase uniformly with brain size, nor do glial cells represent the majority of cells in the human brain. This review examines the origin of interest in the glia/neuron ratio; the original evidence that led to the notion that it increases with brain size; the extent to which this concept can be applied to white matter and whole brains and the recent supporting evidence that the glia/neuron ratio does not increase with brain size, but rather, and in surprisingly uniform fashion, with decreasing neuronal density due to increasing average neuronal cell size, across brain structures and species. Variations in the glia/neuron ratio are proposed to be related not to the supposed larger metabolic cost of larger neurons (given that this cost is not found to vary with neuronal density), but simply to the large variation in neuronal sizes across brain structures and species in the face of less overall variation in glial cell sizes, with interesting implications for brain physiology. The emerging evidence that the glia/neuron ratio varies uniformly across the different brain structures of mammalian species that diverged as early as 90 million years ago in evolution highlights how fundamental for brain function must be the interaction between glial cells and neurons.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Fossil skulls reveal that blood flow rate to the brain increased faster than brain volume during human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S.; Bosiocic, Vanya; Snelling, Edward P.

    2016-08-01

    The evolution of human cognition has been inferred from anthropological discoveries and estimates of brain size from fossil skulls. A more direct measure of cognition would be cerebral metabolic rate, which is proportional to cerebral blood flow rate (perfusion). The hominin cerebrum is supplied almost exclusively by the internal carotid arteries. The sizes of the foramina that transmitted these vessels in life can be measured in hominin fossil skulls and used to calculate cerebral perfusion rate. Perfusion in 11 species of hominin ancestors, from Australopithecus to archaic Homo sapiens, increases disproportionately when scaled against brain volume (the allometric exponent is 1.41). The high exponent indicates an increase in the metabolic intensity of cerebral tissue in later Homo species, rather than remaining constant (1.0) as expected by a linear increase in neuron number, or decreasing according to Kleiber's Law (0.75). During 3 Myr of hominin evolution, cerebral tissue perfusion increased 1.7-fold, which, when multiplied by a 3.5-fold increase in brain size, indicates a 6.0-fold increase in total cerebral blood flow rate. This is probably associated with increased interneuron connectivity, synaptic activity and cognitive function, which all ultimately depend on cerebral metabolic rate.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. “The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution...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...element model [Hopkins et al., 2004], using morphological conditions derived from the analyzed satellite imagery, confirms that breaking occurs along

  19. 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

  20. Stem Cells Expand Insights into Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyer, Michael A

    2016-04-07

    Substantial expansion in the number of cerebral cortex neurons is thought to underlie cognitive differences between humans and other primates, although the mechanisms underlying this expansion are unclear. Otani et al. (2016) utilize PSC-derived brain organoids to study how species-specific differences in cortical progenitor proliferation may underlie cortical evolution.

  1. Sibling rivalry among paralogs promotes evolution of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali

    2012-05-11

    Geneticists have long sought to identify the genetic changes that made us human, but pinpointing the functionally relevant changes has been challenging. Two papers in this issue suggest that partial duplication of SRGAP2, producing an incomplete protein that antagonizes the original, contributed to human brain evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2013-10-30

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Transcriptomic insights into human brain evolution: acceleration, neutrality, heterochrony.

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    Somel, Mehmet; Rohlfs, Rori; Liu, Xiling

    2014-12-01

    Primate brain transcriptome comparisons within the last 12 years have yielded interesting but contradictory observations on how the transcriptome evolves, and its adaptive role in human cognitive evolution. Since the human-chimpanzee common ancestor, the human prefrontal cortex transcriptome seems to have evolved more than that of the chimpanzee. But at the same time, most expression differences among species, especially those observed in adults, appear as consequences of neutral evolution at cis-regulatory sites. Adaptive expression changes in the human brain may be rare events involving timing shifts, or heterochrony, in specific neurodevelopmental processes. Disentangling adaptive and neutral expression changes, and associating these with human-specific features of the brain require improved methods, comparisons across more species, and further work on comparative development.

  5. Mechanisms of brain evolution: regulation of neural progenitor cell diversity and cell cycle length.

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    Borrell, Victor; Calegari, Federico

    2014-09-01

    In the last few years, several studies have revisited long-held assumptions in the field of brain development and evolution providing us with a fundamentally new vision on the mechanisms controlling its size and shape, hence function. Among these studies, some described hitherto unforeseeable subtypes of neural progenitors while others reinterpreted long-known observations about their cell cycle in alternative new ways. Most remarkably, this knowledge combined has allowed the generation of mammalian model organisms in which brain size and folding has been selectively increased giving us the means to understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution of the most complex and sophisticated organ. Here we review the key findings made in this area and make a few conjectures about their evolutionary meaning including the likelihood of Martians conquering our planet.

  6. Brain size is correlated with endangerment status in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abelson, Eric S

    2016-02-24

    Increases in relative encephalization (RE), brain size after controlling for body size, comes at a great metabolic cost and is correlated with a host of cognitive traits, from the ability to count objects to higher rates of innovation. Despite many studies examining the implications and trade-offs accompanying increased RE, the relationship between mammalian extinction risk and RE is unknown. I examine whether mammals with larger levels of RE are more or less likely to be at risk of endangerment than less-encephalized species. I find that extant species with large levels of encephalization are at greater risk of endangerment, with this effect being strongest in species with small body sizes. These results suggest that RE could be a valuable asset in estimating extinction vulnerability. Additionally, these findings suggest that the cost-benefit trade-off of RE is different in large-bodied species when compared with small-bodied species.

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of grain size evolution on mantle dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Falko; Tosi, Nicola; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Breuer, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The rheology of planetary mantle materials is strongly dependent on temperature, pressure, strain-rate, and grain size. In particular, the rheology of olivine, the most abundant mineral of the Earth's upper mantle, has been extensively studied in the laboratory (e.g., Karato and Wu, 1993; Hirth and Kohlstedt, 2003). Two main mechanisms control olivine's deformation: dislocation and diffusion creep. While the former implies a power-law dependence of the viscosity on the strain-rate that leads to a non-Newtonian behaviour, the latter is sensitively dependent on the grain size. The dynamics of planetary interiors is locally controlled by the deformation mechanism that delivers the lowest viscosity. Models of the dynamics and evolution of planetary mantles should thus be capable to self-consistently distinguish which of the two mechanisms dominates at given conditions of temperature, pressure, strain-rate and grain size. As the grain size can affect the viscosity associated with diffusion creep by several orders of magnitude, it can strongly influence the dominant deformation mechanism. The vast majority of numerical, global-scale models of mantle convection, however, are based on the use of a linear diffusion-creep rheology with constant grain-size. Nevertheless, in recent studies, a new equation has been proposed to properly model the time-dependent evolution of the grain size (Austin and Evens, 2007; Rozel et al., 2010). We implemented this equation in our mantle convection code Gaia (Hüttig et al., 2013). In the framework of simple models of stagnant lid convection, we compared simulations based on the fully time-dependent equation of grain-size evolution with simulations based on its steady-state version. In addition, we tested a number of different parameters in order to identify those that affects the grain size to the first order and, in turn, control the conditions at which mantle deformation is dominated by diffusion or dislocation creep. References Austin

  9. The evolution of maximum body size of terrestrial mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Felisa A; Boyer, Alison G; Brown, James H; Costa, Daniel P; Dayan, Tamar; Ernest, S K Morgan; Evans, Alistair R; Fortelius, Mikael; Gittleman, John L; Hamilton, Marcus J; Harding, Larisa E; Lintulaakso, Kari; Lyons, S Kathleen; McCain, Christy; Okie, Jordan G; Saarinen, Juha J; Sibly, Richard M; Stephens, Patrick R; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D

    2010-11-26

    The extinction of dinosaurs at the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary was the seminal event that opened the door for the subsequent diversification of terrestrial mammals. Our compilation of maximum body size at the ordinal level by sub-epoch shows a near-exponential increase after the K/Pg. On each continent, the maximum size of mammals leveled off after 40 million years ago and thereafter remained approximately constant. There was remarkable congruence in the rate, trajectory, and upper limit across continents, orders, and trophic guilds, despite differences in geological and climatic history, turnover of lineages, and ecological variation. Our analysis suggests that although the primary driver for the evolution of giant mammals was diversification to fill ecological niches, environmental temperature and land area may have ultimately constrained the maximum size achieved.

  10. 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.

  11. Microscopic computation in human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, R

    1995-04-01

    When human psychological performance is viewed in terms of cognitive modules, our species displays remarkable differences in computational power. Algorithmically simple computations are generally difficult to perform, whereas optimal routing or "Traveling Salesman" Problems (TSP) of far greater complexity are solved on an everyday basis. It is argued that even "simple" instances of TSP are not purely Euclidian problems in human computations, but involve emotional, autonomic, and cognitive constraints. They therefore require a level of parallel processing not possible in a macroscopic system to complete the algorithm within a brief period of time. A microscopic neurobiological model emphasizing the computational power of excited atoms within the neuronal membrane is presented as an alternative to classical connectionist approaches. The evolution of the system is viewed in terms of specific natural selection pressures driving satisfying computations toward global optimization. The relationship of microscopic computation to the nature of consciousness is examined, and possible mathematical models as a basis for simulation studies are briefly discussed.

  12. Brain Size, IQ, and Racial-Group Differences: Evidence from Musculoskeletal Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rushton, J. Philippe; Rushton, Elizabeth W.

    2003-01-01

    Correlated brain size differences with 37 musculoskeletal variables shown in evolutionary textbooks to change with brain size. Findings from a sample of more than 6,000 U.S. military personnel indicate that racial differences in brain size are securely established and are the most likely biological mediators of race differences in intelligence.…

  13. Origin and evolution of deep brain stimulation

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    Vittorio Alessandro eSironi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper briefly describes how the electrical stimulation, used since antiquity to modulate the nervous system, has been a fundamental tool of neurophysiologic investigation in the second half of the 18th century and was subsequently used by the early 20th century, even for therapeutic purposes. In mid-20th century the advent of stereotactic procedures has allowed the drift from lesional to stimulating technique of deep nuclei of the brain for therapeutic purposes. In this way, DBS was born, that, over the last two decades, has led to positive results for the treatment of medically refractory Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia. In recent years, the indications for therapeutic use of DBS have been extended to epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome, psychiatric diseases (depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, some kinds of headache, eating disorders and the minimally conscious state. The potentials of the DBS for therapeutic use are fascinating, but there are still many unresolved technical and ethical problems, concerning the identification of the targets for each disease, the selection of the patients and the evaluation of the results.

  14. Evolution of genome size and complexity in Pinus.

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    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.

  15. DUF1220 domains, cognitive disease, and human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, L; Sikela, J M

    2009-01-01

    We have established that human genome sequences encoding a novel protein domain, DUF1220, show a dramatically elevated copy number in the human lineage (>200 copies in humans vs. 1 in mouse/rat) and may be important to human evolutionary adaptation. Copy-number variations (CNVs) in the 1q21.1 region, where most DUF1220 sequences map, have now been implicated in numerous diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, microcephaly, and macrocephaly. We report here that these disease-related 1q21.1 CNVs either encompass or are directly flanked by DUF1220 sequences and exhibit a dosage-related correlation with human brain size. Microcephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are deletions, whereas macrocephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are duplications. Similarly, 1q21.1 deletions and smaller brain size are linked with schizophrenia, whereas 1q21.1 duplications and larger brain size are associated with autism. Interestingly, these two diseases are thought to be phenotypic opposites. These data suggest a model which proposes that (1) DUF1220 domain copy number may be involved in influencing human brain size and (2) the evolutionary advantage of rapidly increasing DUF1220 copy number in the human lineage has resulted in favoring retention of the high genomic instability of the 1q21.1 region, which, in turn, has precipitated a spectrum of recurrent human brain and developmental disorders.

  16. Darwin's evolution theory, brain oscillations, and complex brain function in a new "Cartesian view".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Başar, Erol; Güntekin, Bahar

    2009-01-01

    Comparatively analyses of electrophysiological correlates across species during evolution, alpha activity during brain maturation, and alpha activity in complex cognitive processes are presented to illustrate a new multidimensional "Cartesian System" brain function. The main features are: (1) The growth of the alpha activity during evolution, increase of alpha during cognitive processes, and decrease of the alpha entropy during evolution provide an indicator for evolution of brain cognitive performance. (2) Human children younger than 3 years are unable to produce higher cognitive processes and do not show alpha activity till the age of 3 years. The mature brain can perform higher cognitive processes and demonstrates regular alpha activity. (3) Alpha activity also is significantly associated with highly complex cognitive processes, such as the recognition of facial expressions. The neural activity reflected by these brain oscillations can be considered as constituent "building blocks" for a great number of functions. An overarching statement on the alpha function is presented by extended analyzes with multiple dimensions that constitute a "Cartesian Hyperspace" as the basis for oscillatory function. Theoretical implications are considered.

  17. Evolution of Brain Tumor and Stability of Geometric Invariants

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    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.

  18. Cognition in an ever-changing world: climatic variability is associated with brain size in Neotropical parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuck-Paim, Cynthia; Alonso, Wladimir J; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2008-01-01

    Research on the conditions favoring the evolution of complex cognition and its underlying neural structures has increasingly stressed the role of environmental variability. These studies suggest that the ability to learn, behave flexibly and innovate would be favored under unpredictable variations in the availability of resources, as it would enable organisms to adjust to novel conditions. Despite the growing number of studies based on the idea that larger-brained organisms would be better prepared to cope with environmental challenges, direct testing of the association between brain size and environmental variability per se remains scant. Here we focus on Neotropical parrots as our model group and test the hypothesis that if relatively larger brains were favored in climatically variable environments, larger-brained species should currently tolerate a higher degree of environmental uncertainty. Although we show that there are also other factors underlying the dynamics of brain size variation in this group, our results support the hypothesis that proportionally larger-brained species are more tolerant to climatic variability, both on a temporal and spatial scale. Additionally, they suggest that the differences in relative brain size among Neotropical parrots represent multiple, recent events in the evolutionary history of the group, and are particularly tied to an increased dependence on more open and climatically unstable habitats. As this is the first study to present evidence of the link between brain size and climatic variability in birds, our findings provide a step towards understanding the potential benefits underlying variation in brain size and the maintenance of highly enlarged brains in this and other groups.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Woude, Emma; Smid, Hans M; Chittka, Lars; Huigens, Martinus 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 experimental induction of natural variation in body size, and 3-D reconstruction of brain and body volume, we here show an isometric brain-body size relationship in adults of one of the smallest insect species on Earth, the parasitic wasp Trichogramma evanescens. The relative brain volume constitutes on average 8.2% of the total body volume. Brain-body size isometry may be typical for the smallest species with a rich behavioural and cognitive repertoire: a further increase in expensive brain tissue relative to body size would be too costly in terms of energy expenditure. This novel brain scaling strategy suggests a hitherto unknown flexibility in neuronal architecture and brain modularity.

  1. Grain size effects on He bubbles distribution and evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, J. [Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Gao, X.; Gao, N. [Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Wang, Z.G., E-mail: zhgwang@impcas.ac.cn [Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Cui, M.H.; Wei, K.F.; Yao, C.F.; Sun, J.R.; Li, B.S.; Zhu, Y.B.; Pang, L.L. [Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Li, Y.F. [Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China); Wang, D. [Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Xie, E.Q. [School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)

    2015-02-15

    Highlights: • SMAT treated T91 and conventional T91 were implanted by 200 keV He{sup 2+} to 1 × 10{sup 21} He m{sup −2} at room temperature and annealed at 450 °C for 3.5 h. • He bubbles in nanometer-size-grained T91 are smaller in as-implanted case. • The bubbles in the matrix of nanograins were hard to detect and those along the nanograin boundaries coalesced and filled with the grain boundaries after annealing. • Brownian motion and coalescence and Ostwald ripening process might lead to bubbles morphology presented in the nanometer-size-grained T91 after annealing. - Abstract: Grain boundary and grain size effects on He bubble distribution and evolution were investigated by He implantation into nanometer-size-grained T91 obtained by Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the conventional coarse-grained T91. It was found that bubbles in the nanometer-size-grained T91 were smaller than those in the conventional coarse-grained T91 in as-implanted case, and bubbles in the matrix of nanograins were undetectable while those at nanograin boundaries (GBs) coalesced and filled in GBs after heat treatment. These results suggested that the grain size of structural material should be larger than the mean free path of bubble’s Brownian motion and/or denuded zone around GBs in order to prevent bubbles accumulation at GBs, and multiple instead of one type of defects should be introduced into structural materials to effectively reduce the susceptibility of materials to He embrittlement and improve the irradiation tolerance of structural materials.

  2. Brain evolution: when is a group not a group?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Richard W; Bates, Lucy A

    2007-10-23

    In testing the 'social brain hypothesis' with comparative data, most research has used group size as an index of cognitive challenge. Recent work suggests that this measure is too crude to apply to a wide range of species, and biologists may need to develop other ways of extending these analyses.

  3. 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.

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

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    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.

  5. An Improved Brain Storm Optimization with Differential Evolution Strategy for Applications of ANNs

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    Zijian Cao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain Storm Optimization (BSO algorithm is a swarm intelligence algorithm inspired by human being’s behavior of brainstorming. The performance of BSO is maintained by the creating process of ideas, but when it cannot find a better solution for some successive iterations, the result will be so inefficient that the population might be trapped into local optima. In this paper, we propose an improved BSO algorithm with differential evolution strategy and new step size method. Firstly, differential evolution strategy is incorporated into the creating operator of ideas to allow BSO jump out of stagnation, owing to its strong searching ability. Secondly, we introduce a new step size control method that can better balance exploration and exploitation at different searching generations. Finally, the proposed algorithm is first tested on 14 benchmark functions of CEC 2005 and then is applied to train artificial neural networks. Comparative experimental results illustrate that the proposed algorithm performs significantly better than the original BSO.

  6. Numerical modelling of riverbed grain size stratigraphic evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peng HU; Zhi-xian CAO; Gareth PENDER; Huai-han LIU

    2014-01-01

    For several decades, quantification of riverbed grain size stratigraphic evolution has been based upon the active layer formulation (ALF), which unfortunately involves considerable uncertainty. While it is the sediment exchange across the bed surface that directly affects the riverbed stratigraphy, it has been assumed in the ALF that the sediment fraction at the lower interface of the active layer is a linear function of the sediment fraction in the flow. Here it is proposed that the sediment fraction of the sediment exchange flux is used directly in estimating the sediment fraction at the lower surface of the active layer. Together with the size-specific mass conservation for riverbed sediment, the modified approach is referred to as the surface-based formulation (SBF). When incorporated into a coupled non-capacity modelling framework for fluvial processes, the SBF leads to results that agree as well or better than those using ALF with laboratory and field observations. This is illustrated for typical cases featuring bed aggradation and degradation due to graded bed-load sediment transport. Systematic experiments on graded sediment transport by unsteady flows are warranted for further testing the modified formulation.

  7. Within species support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: a negative association between brain size and visceral fat storage in females of the Pacific seaweed pipefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Shoji, Jun; Sogabe, Atsushi; Ahnesjö, Ingrid; Kolm, Niclas

    2016-02-01

    The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the high cost of brain development and maintenance is predicted to constrain adaptive brain size evolution (the expensive tissue hypothesis, ETH). Here, we test the ETH in a teleost fish with predominant female mating competition (reversed sex roles) and male pregnancy, the pacific seaweed pipefish Syngnathus schlegeli. The relative size of the brain and other energetically expensive organs (kidney, liver, heart, gut, visceral fat, and ovary/testis) was compared among three groups: pregnant males, nonpregnant males and egg producing females. Brood size in pregnant males was unrelated to brain size or the size of any other organ, whereas positive relationships were found between ovary size, kidney size, and liver size in females. Moreover, we found that the size of energetically expensive organs (brain, heart, gut, kidney, and liver) as well as the amount of visceral fat did not differ between pregnant and nonpregnant males. However, we found marked differences in relative size of the expensive organs between sexes. Females had larger liver and kidney than males, whereas males stored more visceral fat than females. Furthermore, in females we found a negative correlation between brain size and the amount of visceral fat, whereas in males, a positive trend between brain size and both liver and heart size was found. These results suggest that, while the majority of variation in the size of various expensive organs in this species likely reflects that individuals in good condition can afford to allocate resources to several organs, the cost of the expensive brain was visible in the visceral fat content of females, possibly due to the high costs associated with female egg production.

  8. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosman, Conrado A.; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Regardless of major anatomical and neurodevelopmental differences, the vertebrate isocortex shows a remarkably well-conserved organization. In the isocortex, reciprocal connections between excitatory and inhibitory neurons are distributed across multiple layers, encompassing modular, dynamical and recurrent functional networks during information processing. These dynamical brain networks are often organized in neuronal assemblies interacting through rhythmic phase relationships. Accordingly, these oscillatory interactions are observed across multiple brain scale levels, and they are associated with several sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. Most notably, oscillatory interactions are also found in the complete spectrum of vertebrates. Yet, it is unknown why this functional organization is so well conserved in evolution. In this perspective, we propose some ideas about how functional requirements of the isocortex can account for the evolutionary stability observed in microcircuits across vertebrates. We argue that isocortex architectures represent canonical microcircuits resulting from: (i) the early selection of neuronal architectures based on the oscillatory excitatory-inhibitory balance, which lead to the implementation of compartmentalized oscillations and (ii) the subsequent emergence of inferential coding strategies (predictive coding), which are able to expand computational capacities. We also argue that these functional constraints may be the result of several advantages that oscillatory activity contributes to brain network processes, such as information transmission and code reliability. In this manner, similarities in mesoscale brain circuitry and input-output organization between different vertebrate groups may reflect evolutionary constraints imposed by these functional requirements, which may or may not be traceable to a common ancestor. PMID:26388716

  9. Phylogeny, rate variation, and genome size evolution of Pelargonium (Geraniaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Mao-Lun; Ruhlman, Tracey A; Gibby, Mary; Jansen, Robert K

    2012-09-01

    The phylogeny of 58 Pelargonium species was estimated using five plastid markers (rbcL, matK, ndhF, rpoC1, trnL-F) and one mitochondrial gene (nad5). The results confirmed the monophyly of three major clades and four subclades within Pelargonium but also indicate the need to revise some sectional classifications. This phylogeny was used to examine karyotype evolution in the genus: plotting chromosome sizes, numbers and 2C-values indicates that genome size is significantly correlated with chromosome size but not number. Accelerated rates of nucleotide substitution have been previously detected in both plastid and mitochondrial genes in Pelargonium, but sparse taxon sampling did not enable identification of the phylogenetic distribution of these elevated rates. Using the multigene phylogeny as a constraint, we investigated lineage- and locus-specific heterogeneity of substitution rates in Pelargonium for an expanded number of taxa and demonstrated that both plastid and mitochondrial genes have had accelerated substitution rates but with markedly disparate patterns. In the plastid, the exons of rpoC1 have significantly accelerated substitution rates compared to its intron and the acceleration was mainly due to nonsynonymous substitutions. In contrast, the mitochondrial gene, nad5, experienced substantial acceleration of synonymous substitution rates in three internal branches of Pelargonium, but this acceleration ceased in all terminal branches. Several lineages also have dN/dS ratios significantly greater than one for rpoC1, indicating that positive selection is acting on this gene, whereas the accelerated synonymous substitutions in the mitochondrial gene are the result of elevated mutation rates.

  10. Reassessing the relationship between brain size, life history, and metabolism at the marsupial/placental dichotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbecker, Vera; Goswami, Anjali

    2014-09-01

    A vigorous discussion surrounds the question as to what enables some mammals--including primates and cetaceans--to evolve large brains. We recently published a study suggesting that the radiation of marsupial mammals is highly relevant to this question because of the unique reproductive and metabolic traits within this clade. In particular, we controversially suggested that marsupial brain sizes are not systematically smaller than those of placentals, and that elevated basal metabolic rates (BMR) are not linked to larger marsupial brains. As our dataset was found to contain some erroneous body size data, derived from a published source, we here use an updated and corrected dataset and employ standard as well as phylogenetically corrected analyses to re-assess and elaborate on our original conclusions. Our proposal that marsupials are not systematically smaller-brained than placentals remains supported, particularly when the unusually large-brained placental clade, Primates, is excluded. Use of the new dataset not only confirms that high metabolic rates are not associated with larger brain size in marsupials, but we additionally find some support for a striking negative correlation between BMR and brain size. The best supported correlates of large brain size remain the reproductive traits of weaning age and litter size. These results support our suggestion that mammalian brain sizes (including, by inference, those of monotremes) are predominantly constrained by the ability of females to fuel the growth of their offspring's large brains, rather than by the maintenance requirements of the adult brain.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Changes in brain size during the menstrual cycle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg Hagemann

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is increasing evidence for hormone-dependent modification of function and behavior during the menstrual cycle, but little is known about associated short-term structural alterations of the brain. Preliminary studies suggest that a hormone-dependent decline in brain volume occurs in postmenopausal, or women receiving antiestrogens, long term. Advances in serial MR-volumetry have allowed for the accurate detection of small volume changes of the brain. Recently, activity-induced short-term structural plasticity of the brain was demonstrated, challenging the view that the brain is as rigid as formerly believed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used MR-volumetry to investigate short-term brain volume changes across the menstrual cycle in women or a parallel 4 week period in men, respectively. We found a significant grey matter volume peak and CSF loss at the time of ovulation in females. This volume peak did not correlate with estradiol or progesterone hormone levels. Men did not show any significant brain volume alterations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data give evidence of short-term hormone-dependent structural brain changes during the menstrual cycle, which need to be correlated with functional states and have to be considered in structure-associated functional brain research.

  14. 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...

  15. Comments on "Brain Size and Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rate in Nonspecific Mental Retardation and Down Syndrome."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willerman, Lee; Schultz, Robert T.

    1995-01-01

    The relationship between mental retardation and brain size is discussed. Research suggests that a common path for many otherwise idiopathic mild retardation cases (genetic or environmental) could be small brain size, indicating reduced information processing capacity. Suggestions are made for further research on neuron number. (SLD)

  16. Multiphasic growth models and the evolution of prolonged growth exemplified by human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrba, E S

    1998-02-07

    New models for multiphasic growth are presented. They are illustrated by analysis of brain growth in humans and chimpanzees, and the results are used to test the hypothesis of evolution by proportional growth prolongation: that all descendant growth phases are extended by the same factor while each remains at the ancestral growth rate. The results are consistent with the hypothesis and imply that gross brain weight increase towards humans required change in only one growth parameter: prolongation of the nonlinear ancestral growth phases. The restricted and orderly nature of the developmental changes hints at a basis in few genetic changes. Proportional growth prolongation is of general evolutionary importance because it can reorganize body proportions.

  17. Language evolution as cultural evolution: how language is shaped by the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chater, Nick; Christiansen, Morten H

    2010-09-01

    This paper reviews arguments against the evolutionary plausibility of a traditional genetically specified universal grammar. We argue that no such universal grammar could have evolved, either by a process of natural selection or by other evolutionary mechanisms. Instead, we propose that the close fit between languages and language learners, which make language acquisition possible, arises not because humans possess a specialized biological adaptation for language, but because language has been shaped to fit the brain, a process of cultural evolution. On this account, many aspects of the structure of human languages may be explained as cultural adaptations to the human brain. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  18. Association between brain size and abstinence from alcohol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, R S; Lemieux, L; Shorvon, S D; Sisodiya, S M; Duncan, J S

    2000-06-03

    Brain shrinkage with chronic alcoholism is well acknowledged. We have shown, with quantitative analysis of serial scans, an increase in hippocampal, cerebral, and cerebellar volume after abstinence from alcohol.

  19. Convergent evolution of brain morphology and communication modalities in lizards

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christopher D.ROBINSON; Michael S.PATTON; Brittney M.ANDRE; Michele A.JOHNSON

    2015-01-01

    Animals communicate information within their environments via visual,chemical,auditory,and/or tactile modalities.The use of each modalityis generally linked to particular brain regions,but it is not yet known whether the cellular morphology of neurons in these regions has evolved in association with the relative use of a modality.We investigated relationships between the behavioral use of communication modalities and neural morphologies in six lizard species.Two of these species (Anolis carolinensis and Leiocephalus carinatus) primarily use visual signals to communicate with conspecifics and detect potential prey,and two (Aspidoscelis gularis and Scincella lateralis) communicate and forage primarily using chemical signals.Two other species (Hemidactylus turcicus and Sceloporus olivaceus) use both visual and chemical signals.For each species,we performed behavioral observations and quantified rates of visual and chemical behaviors.We then cryosectioned brain tissues from 9-10 males of each species and measured the soma size and density of neurons in two brain regions associated with visual behaviors (the lateral geniculate nucleus and the nucleus rotundus) and one region associated with chemical behaviors (the nucleus sphericus).With analyses conducted in a phylogenetic context,we found that species that performed higher rates of visual displays had a denser lateral geniculatc nucleus,and species that used a higher proportion of chemical displays had larger somas in the nucleus sphericus.These relationships suggest that neural morphologies in the brain have evolved convergently in species with similar communication behaviors [Current Zoology 61 (2):281-291,2015].

  20. Microfiberoptic fluorescence photobleaching reveals size-dependent macromolecule diffusion in extracellular space deep in brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zador, Zsolt; Magzoub, Mazin; Jin, Songwan; Manley, Geoffrey T; Papadopoulos, Marios C; Verkman, A S

    2008-03-01

    Diffusion in brain extracellular space (ECS) is important for nonsynaptic intercellular communication, extracellular ionic buffering, and delivery of drugs and metabolites. We measured macromolecular diffusion in normally light-inaccessible regions of mouse brain by microfiberoptic epifluorescence photobleaching, in which a fiberoptic with a micron-size tip is introduced deep in brain tissue. In brain cortex, the diffusion of a noninteracting molecule [fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran, 70 kDa] was slowed 4.5 +/- 0.5-fold compared with its diffusion in water (D(o)/D), and was depth-independent down to 800 microm from the brain surface. Diffusion was significantly accelerated (D(o)/D of 2.9+/-0.3) in mice lacking the glial water channel aquaporin-4. FITC-dextran diffusion varied greatly in different regions of brain, with D(o)/D of 3.5 +/- 0.3 in hippocampus and 7.4 +/- 0.3 in thalamus. Remarkably, D(o)/D in deep brain was strongly dependent on solute size, whereas diffusion in cortex changed little with solute size. Mathematical modeling of ECS diffusion required nonuniform ECS dimensions in deep brain, which we call "heterometricity," to account for the size-dependent diffusion. Our results provide the first data on molecular diffusion in ECS deep in brain in vivo and demonstrate previously unrecognized hindrance and heterometricity for diffusion of large macromolecules in deep brain.

  1. Neuroglobin-overexpression reduces traumatic brain lesion size in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Song

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that over-expression of Neuroglobin (Ngb is neuroprotective against hypoxic/ischemic brain injuries. In this study we tested the neuroprotective effects of Ngb over-expression against traumatic brain injury (TBI in mice. Results Both Ngb over-expression transgenic (Ngb-Tg and wild-type (WT control mice were subjected to TBI induced by a controlled cortical impact (CCI device. TBI significantly increased Ngb expression in the brains of both WT and Ngb-Tg mice, but Ngb-Tg mice had significantly higher Ngb protein levels at the pre-injury baseline and post-TBI. Production of oxidative tissue damage biomarker 3NT in the brain was significantly reduced in Ngb-Tg mice compared to WT controls at 6 hours after TBI. The traumatic brain lesion volume was significantly reduced in Ngb Tg mice compared to WT mice at 3 weeks after TBI; however, there were no significant differences in the recovery of sensorimotor and spatial memory functional deficits between Ngb-Tg and WT control mice for up to 3 weeks after TBI. Conclusion Ngb over-expression reduced traumatic lesion volume, which might partially be achieved by decreasing oxidative stress.

  2. 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.

  3. Interspecies avian brain chimeras reveal that large brain size differences are influenced by cell-interdependent processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chun-Chun; Balaban, Evan; Jarvis, Erich D

    2012-01-01

    Like humans, birds that exhibit vocal learning have relatively delayed telencephalon maturation, resulting in a disproportionately smaller brain prenatally but enlarged telencephalon in adulthood relative to vocal non-learning birds. To determine if this size difference results from evolutionary changes in cell-autonomous or cell-interdependent developmental processes, we transplanted telencephala from zebra finch donors (a vocal-learning species) into Japanese quail hosts (a vocal non-learning species) during the early neural tube stage (day 2 of incubation), and harvested the chimeras at later embryonic stages (between 9-12 days of incubation). The donor and host tissues fused well with each other, with known major fiber pathways connecting the zebra finch and quail parts of the brain. However, the overall sizes of chimeric finch telencephala were larger than non-transplanted finch telencephala at the same developmental stages, even though the proportional sizes of telencephalic subregions and fiber tracts were similar to normal finches. There were no significant changes in the size of chimeric quail host midbrains, even though they were innervated by the physically smaller zebra finch brain, including the smaller retinae of the finch eyes. Chimeric zebra finch telencephala had a decreased cell density relative to normal finches. However, cell nucleus size differences between each species were maintained as in normal birds. These results suggest that telencephalic size development is partially cell-interdependent, and that the mechanisms controlling the size of different brain regions may be functionally independent.

  4. Interspecies avian brain chimeras reveal that large brain size differences are influenced by cell-interdependent processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Chun Chen

    Full Text Available Like humans, birds that exhibit vocal learning have relatively delayed telencephalon maturation, resulting in a disproportionately smaller brain prenatally but enlarged telencephalon in adulthood relative to vocal non-learning birds. To determine if this size difference results from evolutionary changes in cell-autonomous or cell-interdependent developmental processes, we transplanted telencephala from zebra finch donors (a vocal-learning species into Japanese quail hosts (a vocal non-learning species during the early neural tube stage (day 2 of incubation, and harvested the chimeras at later embryonic stages (between 9-12 days of incubation. The donor and host tissues fused well with each other, with known major fiber pathways connecting the zebra finch and quail parts of the brain. However, the overall sizes of chimeric finch telencephala were larger than non-transplanted finch telencephala at the same developmental stages, even though the proportional sizes of telencephalic subregions and fiber tracts were similar to normal finches. There were no significant changes in the size of chimeric quail host midbrains, even though they were innervated by the physically smaller zebra finch brain, including the smaller retinae of the finch eyes. Chimeric zebra finch telencephala had a decreased cell density relative to normal finches. However, cell nucleus size differences between each species were maintained as in normal birds. These results suggest that telencephalic size development is partially cell-interdependent, and that the mechanisms controlling the size of different brain regions may be functionally independent.

  5. Aggressive behavior, brain size and domestication in clonal rainbow trout lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Janet M; Carter, Patrick A; Wheeler, Paul A; Thorgaard, Gary H

    2015-03-01

    Domestication causes behavior and brain size changes in many species. We addressed three questions using clonal rainbow trout lines: What are the mirror-elicited aggressive tendencies in lines with varying degrees of domestication? How does brain size relate to genotype and domestication level? Finally, is there a relationship between aggressive behavior and brain size? Clonal lines, although sampling a limited subset of the species variation, provide us with a reproducible experimental system with which we can develop hypotheses for further research. We performed principal component analyses on 12 continuous behavior and brain/body size variables and one discrete behavioral variable ("yawn") and detected several aggression syndromes. Two behaviors, "freeze" and "escape", associated with high domestication; "display" and "yawn" behavior associated with wild lines and "swim against the mirror" behavior associated with semi-wild and domestic lines. Two brain size traits, total brain and olfactory volume, were significantly related to domestication level when taking total body size into account, with domesticated lines having larger total brain volume and olfactory regions. The aggression syndromes identified indicate that future QTL mapping studies on domestication-related traits would likely be fruitful.

  6. Smart moves: effects of relative brain size on establishment success of invasive amphibians and reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua J Amiel

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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

  8. CT ASSESSMENT OF BRAIN VENTRICULAR SIZE BASED ON AGE AND SEX: A STUDY OF 112 CASES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinoo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available CT being the primary modality of choice in many centers for the diagnosis of brain pathology, normal brain ventricular size measurem ents is an important parameter for the diagnosis of conditions like hydrocephalus, age related atrophic changes and also other brain pathologies producing ventriculomegaly. It is also important for knowing the normal upper and lower limits of the brain ven tricular system in the different age groups, and in both sexes so as to diagnose brain pathology.The ventricular system of the brain undergoes changes with aging and varies with gender.Our study consists of 48 female, and 64 male patients. Apart from the v entricular measurements, two ratios and two indices were also calculated – which included the right and left Evan’s ratio, CM index, and ventricular size inde

  9. Evolution and development of brain sensory organs in molgulid ascidians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, William R

    2004-01-01

    The ascidian tadpole larva has two brain sensory organs containing melanocytes: the otolith, a gravity receptor, and the ocellus, part of a photoreceptor. One or both of these sensory organs are absent in molgulid ascidians. We show here that developmental changes leading to the loss of sensory pigment cells occur by different mechanisms in closely related molgulid species. Sensory pigment cells are formed through a bilateral determination pathway in which two or more precursor cells are specified as an equivalence group on each side of the embryo. The precursor cells subsequently converge at the midline after neurulation and undergo cell interactions that decide the fates of the otolith and ocellus. Molgula occidentalis and M. oculata, which exhibit a tadpole larva with an otolith but lacking an ocellus, have conserved the bilateral pigment cell determination pathway. Programmed cell death (PCD) is superimposed on this pathway late in development to eliminate the ocellus precursor and supernumerary pigment cells, which do not differentiate into either an otolith or ocellus. In contrast to molgulids with tadpole larvae, no pigment cell precursors are specified on either side of the M. occulta embryo, which forms a tailless (anural) larva lacking both sensory organs, suggesting that the bilateral pigment cell determination pathway has been lost. The bilateral pigment cell determination pathway and superimposed PCD can be restored in hybrids obtained by fertilizing M. occulta eggs with M. oculata sperm, indicating control by a zygotic process. We conclude that PCD plays an important role in the evolution and development of brain sensory organs in molgulid ascidians.

  10. 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

  11. Using Structural Equation Modeling to Assess Functional Connectivity in the Brain: Power and Sample Size Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sideridis, Georgios; Simos, Panagiotis; Papanicolaou, Andrew; Fletcher, Jack

    2014-01-01

    The present study assessed the impact of sample size on the power and fit of structural equation modeling applied to functional brain connectivity hypotheses. The data consisted of time-constrained minimum norm estimates of regional brain activity during performance of a reading task obtained with magnetoencephalography. Power analysis was first…

  12. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Brain Size/IQ Relations in Turkish University Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Uner; Tan, Meliha; Polat, Pinar; Ceylan, Yasar; Suma, Selami; Okur, Adnan

    1999-01-01

    Studied the relation of intelligence quotient (IQ) to brain size on 103 right-handed and left-handed male and female college students in Turkey. Measured cerebral areas and found an overall correlation between brain area and IQ. Discusses some sex differences. (SLD)

  13. 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 experim

  14. Brain Size and Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rate in Nonspecific Retardation and Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haier, Richard J.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Brain size and cerebral glucose metabolic rate were determined for 10 individuals with mild mental retardation (MR), 7 individuals with Down syndrome (DS), and 10 matched controls. MR and DS groups both had brain volumes of about 80% compared to controls, with variance greatest within the MR group. (SLD)

  15. Expression change in Angiopoietin-1 underlies change in relative brain size in fish

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Y. C.; Harrison, P. W.; Kotrschal, A.; Kolm, N.; Mank, J. E.; Panula, P

    2015-01-01

    Brain size varies substantially across the animal kingdom and is often associated with cognitive ability; however, the genetic architecture underpinning natural variation in these key traits is virtually unknown. In order to identify the genetic architecture and loci underlying variation in brain size, we analysed both coding sequence and expression for all the loci expressed in the telencephalon in replicate populations of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) artificially selected for large and sma...

  16. 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.

  17. The evolutionarily conserved G protein-coupled receptor SREB2/GPR85 influences brain size, behavior, and vulnerability to schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Mitsuyuki; Straub, Richard E.; Marenco, Stefano; Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Matsumoto, Shun-ichiro; Fujikawa, Akihiko; Miyoshi, Sosuke; Shobo, Miwako; Takahashi, Shinji; Yarimizu, Junko; Yuri, Masatoshi; Hiramoto, Masashi; Morita, Shuji; Yokota, Hiroyuki; Sasayama, Takeshi; Terai, Kazuhiro; Yoshino, Masayasu; Miyake, Akira; Callicott, Joseph H.; Egan, Michael F.; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Kempf, Lucas; Honea, Robyn; Vakkalanka, Radha Krishna; Takasaki, Jun; Kamohara, Masazumi; Soga, Takatoshi; Hiyama, Hideki; Ishii, Hiroyuki; Matsuo, Ayako; Nishimura, Shintaro; Matsuoka, Nobuya; Kobori, Masato; Matsushime, Hitoshi; Katoh, Masao; Furuichi, Kiyoshi; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2008-01-01

    The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family is highly diversified and involved in many forms of information processing. SREB2 (GPR85) is the most conserved GPCR throughout vertebrate evolution and is expressed abundantly in brain structures exhibiting high levels of plasticity, e.g., the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Here, we show that SREB2 is involved in determining brain size, modulating diverse behaviors, and potentially in vulnerability to schizophrenia. Mild overexpression of SREB2 caused significant brain weight reduction and ventricular enlargement in transgenic (Tg) mice as well as behavioral abnormalities mirroring psychiatric disorders, e.g., decreased social interaction, abnormal sensorimotor gating, and impaired memory. SREB2 KO mice showed a reciprocal phenotype, a significant increase in brain weight accompanying a trend toward enhanced memory without apparent other behavioral abnormalities. In both Tg and KO mice, no gross malformation of brain structures was observed. Because of phenotypic overlap between SREB2 Tg mice and schizophrenia, we sought a possible link between the two. Minor alleles of two SREB2 SNPs, located in intron 2 and in the 3′ UTR, were overtransmitted to schizophrenia patients in a family-based sample and showed an allele load association with reduced hippocampal gray matter volume in patients. Our data implicate SREB2 as a potential risk factor for psychiatric disorders and its pathway as a target for psychiatric therapy. PMID:18413613

  18. Effects of allometry, productivity and lifestyle on rates and limits of body size evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okie, Jordan G.; 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; Saarinen, Juha J.; Smith, Felisa A.; Stephens, Patrick R.; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D.; Sibly, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    Body size affects nearly all aspects of organismal biology, so it is important to understand the constraints and dynamics of body size evolution. Despite empirical work on the macroevolution and macroecology of minimum and maximum size, there is little general quantitative theory on rates and limits of body size evolution. We present a general theory that integrates individual productivity, the lifestyle component of the slow–fast life-history continuum, and the allometric scaling of generation time to predict a clade's evolutionary rate and asymptotic maximum body size, and the shape of macroevolutionary trajectories during diversifying phases of size evolution. We evaluate this theory using data on the evolution of clade maximum body sizes in mammals during the Cenozoic. As predicted, clade evolutionary rates and asymptotic maximum sizes are larger in more productive clades (e.g. baleen whales), which represent the fast end of the slow–fast lifestyle continuum, and smaller in less productive clades (e.g. primates). The allometric scaling exponent for generation time fundamentally alters the shape of evolutionary trajectories, so allometric effects should be accounted for in models of phenotypic evolution and interpretations of macroevolutionary body size patterns. This work highlights the intimate interplay between the macroecological and macroevolutionary dynamics underlying the generation and maintenance of morphological diversity. PMID:23760865

  19. Effects of allometry, productivity and lifestyle on rates and limits of body size evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okie, Jordan G; 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; Saarinen, Juha J; Smith, Felisa A; Stephens, Patrick R; Theodor, Jessica; Uhen, Mark D; Sibly, Richard M

    2013-08-01

    Body size affects nearly all aspects of organismal biology, so it is important to understand the constraints and dynamics of body size evolution. Despite empirical work on the macroevolution and macroecology of minimum and maximum size, there is little general quantitative theory on rates and limits of body size evolution. We present a general theory that integrates individual productivity, the lifestyle component of the slow-fast life-history continuum, and the allometric scaling of generation time to predict a clade's evolutionary rate and asymptotic maximum body size, and the shape of macroevolutionary trajectories during diversifying phases of size evolution. We evaluate this theory using data on the evolution of clade maximum body sizes in mammals during the Cenozoic. As predicted, clade evolutionary rates and asymptotic maximum sizes are larger in more productive clades (e.g. baleen whales), which represent the fast end of the slow-fast lifestyle continuum, and smaller in less productive clades (e.g. primates). The allometric scaling exponent for generation time fundamentally alters the shape of evolutionary trajectories, so allometric effects should be accounted for in models of phenotypic evolution and interpretations of macroevolutionary body size patterns. This work highlights the intimate interplay between the macroecological and macroevolutionary dynamics underlying the generation and maintenance of morphological diversity.

  20. Size Evolution of Early-Type Galaxies and Massive Compact Objects as the Dark Matter

    CERN Document Server

    Totani, Tomonori

    2009-01-01

    The dramatic size evolution of early-type galaxies from z ~ 2 to 0 poses a new challenge in the theory of galaxy formation, which may not be explained by the standard picture. It is shown here that the size evolution can be explained if the non-baryonic cold dark matter is composed of compact objects having a mass scale of ~10^5 M_sun. This form of dark matter is consistent with or only weakly constrained by the currently available observations. The kinetic energy of the dark compact objects is transferred to stars by dynamical friction, and stars around the effective radius are pushed out to larger radii, resulting in a pure size evolution. This scenario has several good properties to explain the observations, including the ubiquitous nature of size evolution and faster disappearance of higher density galaxies.

  1. Selection for brain size impairs innate, but not adaptive immune responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas; Penn, Dustin J

    2016-03-16

    Both the brain and the immune system are energetically demanding organs, and when natural selection favours increased investment into one, then the size or performance of the other should be reduced. While comparative analyses have attempted to test this potential evolutionary trade-off, the results remain inconclusive. To test this hypothesis, we compared the tissue graft rejection (an assay for measuring innate and acquired immune responses) in guppies (Poecilia reticulata) artificially selected for large and small relative brain size. Individual scales were transplanted between pairs of fish, creating reciprocal allografts, and the rejection reaction was scored over 8 days (before acquired immunity develops). Acquired immune responses were tested two weeks later, when the same pairs of fish received a second set of allografts and were scored again. Compared with large-brained animals, small-brained animals of both sexes mounted a significantly stronger rejection response to the first allograft. The rejection response to the second set of allografts did not differ between large- and small-brained fish. Our results show that selection for large brain size reduced innate immune responses to an allograft, which supports the hypothesis that there is a selective trade-off between investing into brain size and innate immunity.

  2. Genome size and genome evolution in diploid Triticeae species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilam, T; Anikster, Y; Millet, E; Manisterski, J; Sagi-Assif, O; Feldman, M

    2007-11-01

    One of the intriguing issues concerning the dynamics of plant genomes is the occurrence of intraspecific variation in nuclear DNA amount. The aim of this work was to assess the ranges of intraspecific, interspecific, and intergeneric variation in nuclear DNA content of diploid species of the tribe Triticeae (Poaceae) and to examine the relation between life form or habitat and genome size. Altogether, 438 plants representing 272 lines that belong to 22 species were analyzed. Nuclear DNA content was estimated by flow cytometry. Very small intraspecific variation in DNA amount was found between lines of Triticeae diploid species collected from different habitats or between different morphs. In contrast to the constancy in nuclear DNA amount at the intraspecific level, there are significant differences in genome size between the various diploid species. Within the genus Aegilops, the 1C DNA amount ranged from 4.84 pg in A. caudata to 7.52 pg in A. sharonensis; among genera, the 1C DNA amount ranged from 4.18 pg in Heteranthelium piliferum to 9.45 pg in Secale montanum. No evidence was found for a smaller genome size in annual, self-pollinating species relative to perennial, cross-pollinating ones. Diploids that grow in the southern part of the group's distribution have larger genomes than those growing in other parts of the distribution. The contrast between the low variation at the intraspecific level and the high variation at the interspecific one suggests that changes in genome size originated in close temporal proximity to the speciation event, i.e., before, during, or immediately after it. The possible effects of sudden changes in genome size on speciation processes are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2011-03-01

    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.

  4. Particle size evolution in non-adhered ductile powders during mechanical alloying

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guerrero-Paz, J. [Centro de Investigaciones en Materiales y Metalurgica, UAEH (Mexico); Robles-Hernandez, F.C.; Hernandez-Silva, D.; Jaramillo-Vigueras, D. [Dept. de Ingenieria Metalurgica, ESIQIE - Inst. Politecnico Nacional, Mexico D.F. (Mexico); Martinez-Sanchez, R. [Centro de Investigacion en Materiales Avanzados, Chihuahua (Mexico)

    2001-07-01

    The interaction among events as deformation, cold-welding and fracture, occurring during the mechanical milling of powders is unclear and controversial. We believe that the understanding of such interaction can be deduced from particle size evolution studies. It is well known that the elemental ductile powders adhere to the milling media. However when some of these powders are combined to form an alloy by milling, the adherence phenomenon is not observed. Systems which include ductile powders, such as, Cu-15at.%Al, Co-68at.%Al and Ni-25at.%Al were processed with not adherence to the milling media, thus allowing to follow up the particle size evolution during the complete milling process. The particle size was measured by the sedimentation-photometry technique. Those results were supported by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed a high proportion near 95% in number of particles of submicrometric size at early milling times for the three systems. However its particle size evolution for each system was different. Such findings can be important to understand some mechanisms as the grain size refinement, the alloy formation and the microstructural evolution. In the studied systems, the particle size measurements are presented based on volume or mass, area, line and number of the particles. The particle size results based on volume and line or number of the particles can give an idea of the evolution of the biggest particles and the finest ones respectively during the milling. Also the behavior of the complete particle system can be deduced from the results based in the area of the particles. Results of particle size as well as observations by microscopy helped to suggest the particle size and shape evolution of the studied systems. Such findings were employed to previously propose a grain size refinement mechanism for ductile powder systems non-adherent to the milling media during the mechanical alloying. (orig.)

  5. A phylogenetic analysis of body size evolution in the Anolis roquet group (Sauria: Iguanidae): character displacement or size assortment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannasi, N; Thorpe, R S; Malhotra, A

    2000-02-01

    The important role that competition plays in structuring communities is well documented; however, the role of competition in an evolutionary context remains unclear. Evolutionary investigations into the role of competition have often focused on the process of character displacement, and a good example of this is the evolution of body size in the Anolis lizards of the Caribbean islands. Previous work on the A. roquet species group has taken a phylogenetic approach and concluded that patterns of body size differences are not caused by character displacement but are a result of size assortment. Using a phylogenetic reconstruction based on the sequence of the cytochrome b gene (cyt-b) and ancestral character-state reconstruction methods, we investigated the roles of character displacement and size assortment. Our results indicated that size assortment alone was insufficient to explain the observed patterns of body size differences. Furthermore, we found that change in body size was associated with a change in allopatry/sympatry, thus supporting the character-displacement hypothesis. We conclude that patterns of body size differences in the A. roquet species group appear to be the result of a combination of character displacement and size assortment because character displacement was only found to be possible on three occasions.

  6. 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

  7. Prenatal famine exposure has sex-specific effects on brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Rooij, Susanne R; Caan, Matthan W A; Swaab, Dick F; Nederveen, Aart J; Majoie, Charles B; Schwab, Matthias; Painter, Rebecca C; Roseboom, Tessa J

    2016-08-01

    Early nutritional deprivation might cause irreversible damage to the brain. Prenatal exposure to undernutrition has been shown to be associated with increased central nervous system anomalies at birth and decreased cognitive function in adulthood. Little is known about the potential effect on the brain in older age. We investigated brain size and structure at age 68 years after prenatal famine exposure. T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images of the brain were made in 118 Dutch famine birth cohort members. Of these 118 (44% male, age range 65-69 years), 41 had been exposed to famine in early gestation and 77 had been prenatally unexposed. Structural volumes were automatically assessed using FreeSurfer. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed and anisotropy and diffusivity were computed. Fluid attenuated inversion recovery was performed to assess white matter hyperintensities. Exposure to famine in early gestation was associated with smaller intracranial volume in males, but not females. Volumes of total brain, grey and white matter were also smaller in early exposed males, but these differences disappeared after adjusting for intracranial volume. Prenatally exposed males but not females, had a smaller intracranial and total brain volume compared to unexposed subjects. Our findings show that prenatal undernutrition permanently affected brain size.media-1vid110.1093/brain/aww132_video_abstractaww132_video_abstract.

  8. The Cambrian explosion triggered by critical turning point in genome size evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dirson Jian; Zhang, Shengli

    2010-02-05

    The Cambrian explosion is a grand challenge to science today and involves multidisciplinary study. This event is generally believed as a result of genetic innovations, environmental factors and ecological interactions, even though there are many conflicts on nature and timing of metazoan origins. The crux of the matter is that an entire roadmap of the evolution is missing to discern the biological complexity transition and to evaluate the critical role of the Cambrian explosion in the overall evolutionary context. Here, we calculate the time of the Cambrian explosion by a "C-value clock"; our result quite fits the fossil records. We clarify that the intrinsic reason of genome evolution determined the Cambrian explosion. A general formula for evaluating genome size of different species has been found, by which the genome size evolution can be illustrated. The Cambrian explosion, as a major transition of biological complexity, essentially corresponds to a critical turning point in genome size evolution.

  9. The Small Nuclear Genomes of Selaginella Are Associated with a Low Rate of Genome Size Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baniaga, Anthony E; Arrigo, Nils; Barker, Michael S

    2016-06-03

    The haploid nuclear genome size (1C DNA) of vascular land plants varies over several orders of magnitude. Much of this observed diversity in genome size is due to the proliferation and deletion of transposable elements. To date, all vascular land plant lineages with extremely small nuclear genomes represent recently derived states, having ancestors with much larger genome sizes. The Selaginellaceae represent an ancient lineage with extremely small genomes. It is unclear how small nuclear genomes evolved in Selaginella We compared the rates of nuclear genome size evolution in Selaginella and major vascular plant clades in a comparative phylogenetic framework. For the analyses, we collected 29 new flow cytometry estimates of haploid genome size in Selaginella to augment publicly available data. Selaginella possess some of the smallest known haploid nuclear genome sizes, as well as the lowest rate of genome size evolution observed across all vascular land plants included in our analyses. Additionally, our analyses provide strong support for a history of haploid nuclear genome size stasis in Selaginella Our results indicate that Selaginella, similar to other early diverging lineages of vascular land plants, has relatively low rates of genome size evolution. Further, our analyses highlight that a rapid transition to a small genome size is only one route to an extremely small genome.

  10. Adaptive and nonadaptive genome size evolution in Karst endemic flora of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Ming; Tao, Junjie; Wang, Jing; Ren, Chen; Qi, Qingwen; Xiang, Qiu-Yun; Huang, Hongwen

    2014-06-01

    Genome size variation is of fundamental biological importance and has been a longstanding puzzle in evolutionary biology. Several hypotheses for genome size evolution including neutral, maladaptive, and adaptive models have been proposed, but the relative importance of these models remains controversial. Primulina is a genus that is highly diversified in the Karst region of southern China, where genome size variation and the underlying evolutionary mechanisms are poorly understood. We reconstructed the phylogeny of Primulina using DNA sequences for 104 species and determined the genome sizes of 101 species. We examined the phylogenetic signal in genome size variation, and tested the fit to different evolutionary models and for correlations with variation in latitude and specific leaf area (SLA). The results showed that genome size, SLA and latitudinal variation all displayed strong phylogenetic signals, but were best explained by different evolutionary models. Furthermore, significant positive relationships were detected between genome size and SLA and between genome size and latitude. Our study is the first to investigate genome size evolution on such a comprehensive scale and in the Karst region flora. We conclude that genome size in Primulina is phylogenetically conserved but its variation among species is a combined outcome of both neutral and adaptive evolution.

  11. Correlation of tooth size and body size in living hominoid primates, with a note on relative brain size in Aegyptopithecus and Proconsul.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingerich, P D

    1977-11-01

    Second molar length and body weight are used to test the correlation between tooth size and body size in living Hominoidea. These variates are highly correlated (r= 0.942, p less than 0.001), indicating that tooth size can be used in dentally unspecialized fossil hominoids as one method of predicting the average body weight of species. Based on tooth size, the average body weight of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis is estimated to have been beteen 4.5 and 7.5 kg, which is corroborated by known cranial and postcranial elements. Using Radinsky's estimates of brain size, the encephalization quotient (EQ) for Aegyptopithecus was between 0.65 and 1.04. A similar analysis for Proconsul africanus yields a body weight between 16 and 34 kg, and an EQ between 1.19 and 1.96.

  12. 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.

  13. Intense selective hunting leads to artificial evolution in horn size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeon, Gabriel; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Coltman, David W; Pelletier, Fanie

    2016-04-01

    The potential for selective harvests to induce rapid evolutionary change is an important question for conservation and evolutionary biology, with numerous biological, social and economic implications. We analyze 39 years of phenotypic data on horn size in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) subject to intense trophy hunting for 23 years, after which harvests nearly ceased. Our analyses revealed a significant decline in genetic value for horn length of rams, consistent with an evolutionary response to artificial selection on this trait. The probability that the observed change in male horn length was due solely to drift is 9.9%. Female horn length and male horn base, traits genetically correlated to the trait under selection, showed weak declining trends. There was no temporal trend in genetic value for female horn base circumference, a trait not directly targeted by selective hunting and not genetically correlated with male horn length. The decline in genetic value for male horn length stopped, but was not reversed, when hunting pressure was drastically reduced. Our analysis provides support for the contention that selective hunting led to a reduction in horn length through evolutionary change. It also confirms that after artificial selection stops, recovery through natural selection is slow.

  14. 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 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.

  15. Adaptive evolution of interleukin-3 (IL3), a gene associated with brain volume variation in general human populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ming; Huang, Liang; Li, Kaiqin; Huo, Yongxia; Chen, Chunhui; Wang, Jinkai; Liu, Jiewei; Luo, Zhenwu; Chen, Chuansheng; Dong, Qi; Yao, Yong-gang; Su, Bing; Luo, Xiong-jian

    2016-04-01

    Greatly expanded brain volume is one of the most characteristic traits that distinguish humans from other primates. Recent studies have revealed genes responsible for the dramatically enlarged human brain size (i.e., the microcephaly genes), and it has been well documented that many microcephaly genes have undergone accelerated evolution along the human lineage. In addition to being far larger than other primates, human brain volume is also highly variable in general populations. However, the genetic basis underlying human brain volume variation remains elusive and it is not known whether genes regulating human brain volume variation also have experienced positive selection. We have previously shown that genetic variants (near the IL3 gene) on 5q33 were significantly associated with brain volume in Chinese population. Here, we provide further evidence that support the significant association of genetic variants on 5q33 with brain volume. Bioinformatic analyses suggested that rs31480 is likely to be the causal variant among the studied SNPs. Molecular evolutionary analyses suggested that IL3 might have undergone positive selection in primates and humans. Neutrality tests further revealed signatures of positive selection of IL3 in Han Chinese and Europeans. Finally, extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH) and relative EHH analyses showed that the C allele of SNP rs31480 might have experienced recent positive selection in Han Chinese. Our results suggest that IL3 is an important genetic regulator for human brain volume variation and implied that IL3 might have experienced weak or modest positive selection in the evolutionary history of humans, which may be due to its contribution to human brain volume.

  16. The tempo and mode of evolution: body sizes of island mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raia, Pasquale; Meiri, Shai

    2011-07-01

    The tempo and mode of body size evolution on islands are believed to be well known. It is thought that body size evolves relatively quickly on islands toward the mammalian modal value, thus generating extreme cases of size evolution and the island rule. Here, we tested both theories in a phylogenetically explicit context, by using two different species-level mammalian phylogenetic hypotheses limited to sister clades dichotomizing into an exclusively insular and an exclusively mainland daughter nodes. Taken as a whole, mammals were found to show a largely punctuational mode of size evolution. We found that, accounting for this, and regardless of the phylogeny used, size evolution on islands is no faster than on the continents. We compared different selection regimes using a set of Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models to examine the effects of insularity of the mode of evolution. The models strongly supported clade-specific selection regimes. Under this regime, however, an evolutionary model allowing insular species to evolve differently from their mainland relatives performs worse than a model that ignores insularity as a factor. Thus, insular taxa do not experience statistically different selection from their mainland relatives.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

    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 fixed stellar mass. These trends are consistent with those found in observations and the level of agreement between the predicted and observed size - mass relation is of order 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 to 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 th...

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei; Gilmore, John H; Giovanello, Kelly S; Smith, Jeffery Keith; Shen, Dinggang; Zhu, Hongtu; Lin, Weili

    2011-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Climate change and size evolution in an island rodent species: new perspectives on the island rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millien, Virginie; Damuth, John

    2004-06-01

    As stated by the island rule, small mammals evolve toward gigantism on islands. In addition they are known to evolve faster than their mainland counterparts. Body size in island mammals may also be influenced by geographical climatic gradients or climatic change through time. We tested the relative effects of climate change and isolation on the size of the Japanese rodent Apodemus speciosus and calculated evolutionary rates of body size change since the last glacial maximum (LGM). Currently A. speciosus populations conform both to Bergmann's rule, with an increase in body size with latitude, and to the island rule, with larger body sizes on small islands. We also found that fossil representatives of A. speciosus are larger than their extant relatives. Our estimated evolutionary rates since the LGM show that body size evolution on the smaller islands has been less than half as rapid as on Honshu, the mainland-type large island of Japan. We conclude that island populations exhibit larger body sizes today not because they have evolved toward gigantism, but because their evolution toward a smaller size, due to climate warming since the LGM, has been decelerated by the island effect. These combined results suggest that evolution in Quaternary island small mammals may not have been as fast as expected by the island effect because of the counteracting effect of climate change during this period.

  3. Equations to describe brain size across the continuum of human lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borzage, Matthew; Blüml, Stefan; Seri, Istvan

    2014-01-01

    Equations fitting the normative values for gender-specific brain size changes are available. However, these equations do not fit for all age ranges across the human lifespan and particularly have failed to examine the fit across the continuum of prenatal and postnatal human life. We sought to develop a parametric equation that best describes the changes in gender-specific brain size as a function of age across the continuum of prenatal and postnatal human life. Brain weight and brain volume data retrieved from the literature were combined to perform a meta-analysis. Additions to previously published findings included collecting a dataset that spanned the continuum of human lifespan, logarithmic transformation of the data and utilization of the Birch equation. We used Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) for quantitative evaluation of the new equations. A total of 2,011 brain weight data points spanning from 10 weeks of fetal gestation to over 90 years of age were retrieved. Using our approach, we developed equations with improved fits and lower or similar AIC values compared to the published equations. The new equations are modifications of the basic Birch model. These equations are the first to describe the gender-specific brain weight changes through the continuum of both prenatal and postnatal human life while achieving a level of accuracy similar to or better than the previous, more age-restricted models. The new equations are improved compared to previously used equations and may be useful to those who study brain development, particularly researchers interested in prenatal and postnatal brain size.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A simple rule governs the evolution and development of hominin tooth size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alistair R; Daly, E Susanne; Catlett, Kierstin K; Paul, Kathleen S; King, Stephen J; Skinner, Matthew M; Nesse, Hans P; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Townsend, Grant C; Schwartz, Gary T; Jernvall, Jukka

    2016-02-25

    The variation in molar tooth size in humans and our closest relatives (hominins) has strongly influenced our view of human evolution. The reduction in overall size and disproportionate decrease in third molar size have been noted for over a century, and have been attributed to reduced selection for large dentitions owing to changes in diet or the acquisition of cooking. The systematic pattern of size variation along the tooth row has been described as a 'morphogenetic gradient' in mammal, and more specifically hominin, teeth since Butler and Dahlberg. However, the underlying controls of tooth size have not been well understood, with hypotheses ranging from morphogenetic fields to the clone theory. In this study we address the following question: are there rules that govern how hominin tooth size evolves? Here we propose that the inhibitory cascade, an activator-inhibitor mechanism that affects relative tooth size in mammals, produces the default pattern of tooth sizes for all lower primary postcanine teeth (deciduous premolars and permanent molars) in hominins. This configuration is also equivalent to a morphogenetic gradient, finally pointing to a mechanism that can generate this gradient. The pattern of tooth size remains constant with absolute size in australopiths (including Ardipithecus, Australopithecus and Paranthropus). However, in species of Homo, including modern humans, there is a tight link between tooth proportions and absolute size such that a single developmental parameter can explain both the relative and absolute sizes of primary postcanine teeth. On the basis of the relationship of inhibitory cascade patterning with size, we can use the size at one tooth position to predict the sizes of the remaining four primary postcanine teeth in the row for hominins. Our study provides a development-based expectation to examine the evolution of the unique proportions of human teeth.

  7. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Lauren A; Benefit, Brenda R; McCrossin, Monte L; Spoor, Fred

    2015-07-03

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopithecoid pattern of gyrification, indicating that cerebral complexity preceded encephalization in cercopithecoids. Since larger ECVs, expanded frontal lobes, and reduced olfactory bulbs are already present in the 17- to 18-Myr-old ape Proconsul these features evolved independently in hominoids (apes) and cercopithecoids and much earlier in the former. Moreover, the order of encephalization and brain reorganization was apparently different in hominoids and cercopithecoids, showing that brain size and cerebral organization evolve independently.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Brain Dynamics of Word Familiarization in 20-Month-Olds: Effects of Productive Vocabulary Size

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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.…

  11. 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…

  12. Familial Alzheimer's disease: genetic analysis related to disease heterogeneity, Down syndrome and human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schapiro, M B; Rapoport, S I

    1989-01-01

    Etiologically heterogeneous subgroups of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) exist and need to be distinguished so as to better identify genetic causes of familial cases. Furthermore, the presence of AD neuropathology in Down syndrome (trisomy 21) subjects older than 35 years suggests that AD in some cases is caused by dysregulation of expression of genes on chromosome 21. Cerebral metabolic abnormalities in life, and the distribution of AD neuropathology in the post-mortem brain, indicate that AD involves the association neocortices and subcortical regions with which they evolved during evolution of the human brain. Accordingly, understanding the molecular basis of this evolution should elucidate the genetic basis of AD, whereas knowing the genetics of AD should be informative about the genomic changes which promoted brain evolution.

  13. Size-weight illusion and anticipatory grip force scaling following unilateral cortical brain lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong; Randerath, Jennifer; Goldenberg, Georg; Hermsdörfer, Joachim

    2011-04-01

    The prediction of object weight from its size is an important prerequisite of skillful object manipulation. Grip and load forces anticipate object size during early phases of lifting an object. A mismatch between predicted and actual weight when two different sized objects have the same weight results in the size-weight illusion (SWI), the small object feeling heavier. This study explores whether lateralized brain lesions in patients with or without apraxia alter the size-weight illusion and impair anticipatory finger force scaling. Twenty patients with left brain damage (LBD, 10 with apraxia, 10 without apraxia), ten patients with right brain damage (RBD), and matched control subjects lifted two different-sized boxes in alternation. All subjects experienced a similar size-weight illusion. The anticipatory force scaling of all groups was in correspondence with the size cue: higher forces and force rates were applied to the big box and lower forces and force rates to the small box during the first lifts. Within few lifts, forces were scaled to actual object weight. Despite the lack of significant differences at group level, 5 out of 20 LBD patients showed abnormal predictive scaling of grip forces. They differed from the LBD patients with normal predictive scaling by a greater incidence of posterior occipito-parietal lesions but not by a greater incidence of apraxia. The findings do not support a more general role for the motor-dominant left hemisphere, or an influence of apraxia per se, in the scaling of finger force according to object properties. However, damage in the vicinity of the parietal-occipital junction may be critical for deriving predictions of weight from size.

  14. 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.)

  15. Testing adaptive regime shifts for range size evolution of endemic birds of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youhua Chen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this brief report, adaptive regime shifts for the range size evolution of the endemic birds of China were identified. Four models with different biological meanings were tested and compared through maximum likelihood models, including the Brownian motion model, one global optimal range size model for all lineages in the phylogeny, two optimal regime model of range sizes for lineages with large and small range sizes (OU2, and three optimal regime model in which an additional regime is added to the ancestral lineages. The results of model evaluation and comparison using the maximum likelihood technique show that over 48 endemic taxa, two optimal regimes (the OU2 model were observed for bird lineages with large and small range sizes in the country. The possible reasons for such an observation were outlined accordingly, including the different evolutionary times, which were subjected to different historical and geological conditions, heterogeneous environmental conditions, and complex climatic fluctuations. Overall, the range size evolution of the endemic taxa was subjected to multiple selective stresses. For future implications, more studies are desired to provide a holistic view of the evolution and divergence of endemic taxa.

  16. 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.

  17. Variations in size, shape and asymmetries of the third frontal convolution in hominids: paleoneurological implications for hominin evolution and the origin of language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balzeau, Antoine; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Holloway, Ralph L; Prima, Sylvain; Grimaud-Hervé, Dominique

    2014-11-01

    The study of brain structural asymmetries as anatomical substrates of functional asymmetries in extant humans, great apes, and fossil hominins is of major importance in understanding the structural basis of modern human cognition. We propose methods to quantify the variation in size, shape and bilateral asymmetries of the third frontal convolution (or posterior inferior frontal gyrus) among recent modern humans, bonobos and chimpanzees, and fossil hominins using actual and virtual endocasts. These methodological improvements are necessary to extend previous qualitative studies of these features. We demonstrate both an absolute and relative bilateral increase in the size of the third frontal convolution in width and length between Pan species, as well as in hominins. We also observed a global bilateral increase in the size of the third frontal convolution across all species during hominin evolution, but also non-allometric intra-group variations independent of brain size within the fossil samples. Finally, our results show that the commonly accepted leftward asymmetry of Broca's cap is biased by qualitative observation of individual specimens. The trend during hominin evolution seems to be a reduction in size on the left compared with the right side, and also a clearer definition of the area. The third frontal convolution considered as a whole projects more laterally and antero-posteriorly in the right hemisphere. As a result, the left 'Broca's cap' looks more globular and better defined. Our results also suggest that the pattern of brain asymmetries is similar between Pan paniscus and hominins, leaving the gradient of the degree of asymmetry as the only relevant structural parameter. As the anatomical substrate related to brain asymmetry has been present since the appearance of the hominin lineage, it is not possible to prove a direct relationship between the extent of variations in the size, shape, and asymmetries of the third frontal convolution and the origin of

  18. Tuning the size and properties of ClyA nanopores assisted by directed evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soskine, Mikhael; Biesemans, Annemie; De Maeyer, Marc; Maglia, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Nanopores have recently emerged as powerful tools in single-molecule investigations. Biological nanopores, however, have drawbacks, including a fixed size and limited stability in lipid bilayers. Inspired by the great success of directed evolution approaches in tailoring enzyme properties, in this w

  19. 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.

  20. Influence of Processing Parameters on Grain Size Evolution of a Forged Superalloy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, L. A.; Páramo, P.; Salas Zamarripa, A.; de la Garza, M.; Guerrero-Mata, M. P.

    2016-01-01

    The microstructure evolution of nickel-based superalloys has a great influence on the mechanical behavior during service conditions. Microstructure modification and the effect of process variables such as forging temperature, die-speed, and tool heating were evaluated after hot die forging of a heat-resistant nickel-based alloy. Forging sequences in a temperature range from 1253 to 1323 K were considered through experimental trials. An Avrami model was applied using finite element data to evaluate the average grain size and recrystallization at different evolution zones. It was observed that sequential forging at final temperatures below 1273 K provided greater grain refinement through time-dependent recrystallization phenomena. This investigation was aim to explore the influence of forging parameters on grain size evolution in order to design a fully homogenous and refined microstructure after hot die forging.

  1. Brain size regulations by cbp haploinsufficiency evaluated by in-vivo MRI based volumetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ateca-Cabarga, Juan C; Cosa, Alejandro; Pallarés, Vicente; López-Atalaya, José P; Barco, Ángel; Canals, Santiago; Moratal, David

    2015-11-06

    The Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RSTS) is a congenital disease that affects brain development causing severe cognitive deficits. In most cases the disease is associated with dominant mutations in the gene encoding the CREB binding protein (CBP). In this work, we present the first quantitative analysis of brain abnormalities in a mouse model of RSTS using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and two novel self-developed automated algorithms for image volumetric analysis. Our results quantitatively confirm key syndromic features observed in RSTS patients, such as reductions in brain size (-16.31%, p brain tissues in a region by region basis between cbp(+/-) and cbp(+/+) littermates, we found that cbp haploinsufficiency is specifically associated with significant reductions in prosencephalic tissue, such us in the olfactory bulb and neocortex, whereas regions evolved from the embryonic rhombencephalon were spared. Despite the large volume reductions, the proportion between gray-, white-matter and cerebrospinal fluid were conserved, suggesting a role of CBP in brain size regulation. The commonalities with holoprosencephaly and arhinencephaly conditions suggest the inclusion of RSTS in the family of neuronal migration disorders.

  2. Two-size approximation: a simple way of treating the evolution of grain size distribution in galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Hirashita, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Full calculations of the evolution of grain size distribution in galaxies are in general computationally heavy. In this paper, we propose a simple model of dust enrichment in a galaxy with a simplified treatment of grain size distribution by imposing a `two-size approximation'; that is, all the grain population is represented by small (grain radius a 0.03 micron) grains. We include in the model dust supply from stellar ejecta, destruction in supernova shocks, dust growth by accretion, grain growth by coagulation and grain disruption by shattering, considering how these processes work on the small and large grains. We show that this simple framework reproduces the main features found in full calculations of grain size distributions as follows. The dust enrichment starts with the supply of large grains from stars. At a metallicity level referred to as the critical metallicity of accretion, the abundance of the small grains formed by shattering becomes large enough to rapidly increase the grain abundance by acc...

  3. 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

  4. No association between brain size and male sexual behavior in the guppy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alberto CORRAL-L(O)PEZ; Simon ECKERSTR(O)M-LIEDHOLM; Wouter VAN DER BIJL; Alexander KOTRSCHAL; Niclas KOLM

    2015-01-01

    Animal behavior is remarkably variable at all taxonomic levels.Over the last decades,research on animal behavior has focused on understanding ultimate processes.Yet,it has progressively become more evident that to fully understand behavioral variation,ultimate explanations need to be complemented with proximate ones.In particular,the mechanisms generating variation in sexual behavior remain an open question.Variation in aspects of brain morphology has been suggested as a plausible mechanism underlying this variation.However,our knowledge of this potential association is based almost exclusively on comparative analyses.Experimental studies are needed to establish causality and bridge the gap between micro-and macroevolutionary mechanisms concerning the link between brain and sexual behavior.We used male guppies that had been artificially selected for large or small relative brain size to study this association.We paired males with females and scored the full known set of male and female sexual behaviors described in guppies.We found several previously demonstrated associations between male traits,male behavior and female behavior.Females responded more strongly towards males that courted more and males with more orange coloration.Also,larger males and males with less conspicuous coloration attempted more coerced copulations.However,courting,frequency of coerced copulation attempts,total intensity of sexual behavior,and female response did not differ between large-and small-brained males.Our data suggest that relative brain size is an unlikely mechanism underlying variation in sexual behavior of the male guppy.We discuss these findings in the context of the conditions under which relative brain size might affect male sexual behavior [Current Zoology 61 (2):265-273,2015].

  5. Reductive genome evolution at both ends of the bacterial population size spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batut, Bérénice; Knibbe, Carole; Marais, Gabriel; Daubin, Vincent

    2014-12-01

    Bacterial genomes show substantial variations in size. The smallest bacterial genomes are those of endocellular symbionts of eukaryotic hosts, which have undergone massive genome reduction and show patterns that are consistent with the degenerative processes that are predicted to occur in species with small effective population sizes. However, similar genome reduction is found in some free-living marine cyanobacteria that are characterized by extremely large populations. In this Opinion article, we discuss the different hypotheses that have been proposed to account for this reductive genome evolution at both ends of the bacterial population size spectrum.

  6. The use of magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain size of young children with autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farah Ashrafzadeh

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a syndrome of social communication deficits and repetitive behaviors or restricted interests. While the impairments associated with ASD tend to deteriorate from childhood into adulthood, it is of critical importance that the syndrome is diagnosed at an early age. One means of facilitating this is through understanding how the brain of people with ASD develops from early childhood. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI is the method of choice for in vivo and non-invasive investigations of the morphology of the human brain, especially when the subjects are children. In this study, we conducted a systematic review of existing structural MRI studies that have investigated brain size in ASD children of up to 5 years old. Methods: In this study, we systematically reviewed published papers that describe research studies in which the brain size of ASD children has been examined. PubMed and Scopus databases were searched for all relevant original articles that described the use of MRI techniques to study ASD patients who were between 1 and 5 years old. To be included in the review, all studies needed to be cohort and case series that involved at least 10 patients. No time limitations were placed on the searched articles within the inclusion criteria. The exclusion criteria were non-English articles, case reports, and articles that described research involving subjects that were not within the qualifying age range of 1-5 years old.Result: After an initial screening process through which the title, abstracts, and full text of the articles were reviewed to confirm they met the inclusion criteria, a total of 10 relevant articles were studied in depth. All studies found that children with ASD who were within the selected age range had a larger brain size than children without ASD.Discussion: The findings of recent studies indicate that the vast majority of ASD patients exhibit an enlarged brain; however, the extent of

  7. Human brain evolution: from gene discovery to phenotype discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preuss, Todd M

    2012-06-26

    The rise of comparative genomics and related technologies has added important new dimensions to the study of human evolution. Our knowledge of the genes that underwent expression changes or were targets of positive selection in human evolution is rapidly increasing, as is our knowledge of gene duplications, translocations, and deletions. It is now clear that the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees are far more extensive than previously thought; their genomes are not 98% or 99% identical. Despite the rapid growth in our understanding of the evolution of the human genome, our understanding of the relationship between genetic changes and phenotypic changes is tenuous. This is true even for the most intensively studied gene, FOXP2, which underwent positive selection in the human terminal lineage and is thought to have played an important role in the evolution of human speech and language. In part, the difficulty of connecting genes to phenotypes reflects our generally poor knowledge of human phenotypic specializations, as well as the difficulty of interpreting the consequences of genetic changes in species that are not amenable to invasive research. On the positive side, investigations of FOXP2, along with genomewide surveys of gene-expression changes and selection-driven sequence changes, offer the opportunity for "phenotype discovery," providing clues to human phenotypic specializations that were previously unsuspected. What is more, at least some of the specializations that have been proposed are amenable to testing with noninvasive experimental techniques appropriate for the study of humans and apes.

  8. Experimental and modeling studies on number and size spectrum evolutions of aerosol particles within a chamber

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Zai; HUANG Zhen; WANG JiaSong

    2007-01-01

    A size-specific aerosol dynamic model is set up to predict the evolution of particle number concentration within a chamber. Particle aggregation is based on the theory of Brownian coagulation, and the model not only comprises particle loss due to coagulation, but also considers the formation of large particles by collision. To validate the model, three different groups of chamber experiments with SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer) are conducted. The results indicate that the advantage of the model over the past simple size bin model is its provision of detailed information of size spectrum evolution,and the results can be used to analyze the variations of number concentration and CMD (Count Median Diameter). Furthermore, some aerosol dynamic mechanisms that cannot be measured by instrument can be analyzed by the model simulation, which is significant for better understanding the removal and control mechanisms of ultrafine particles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:28267812

  10. The importance of energy and nutrient supply in human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, S C; Harbige, L S; Crawford, M A

    1993-01-01

    Current evolutionary theories do not adequately address the question of how the human brain evolved to be larger and more sophisticated than that of other primates. The human brain/body weight ratio is 4-5 times higher than in primates and, relative to the rest of the body, requires up to 10 times as much energy as in other land-based mammals. Human brain evolution must therefore have required a stable food supply providing a reliable source of both high dietary energy and a cluster of 'brain-specific' nutrients over a long period of time. These nutrient and energy requirements are available in the marine and shore-based food chain but are difficult if not impossible to obtain in the terrestrial food chain. We suggest that marine and estuarine ecosystems provided hominids with the appropriate stimulus to develop a relatively large brain. This occurred in conjunction with the evolution of other uniquely human features, particularly relative hairlessness, bipedalism and abundant neonatal subcutaneous fat. Invertebrates, molluscs, small or slow-moving fish, and marine algae would have provided a stable, abundant supply of energy, long chain polyunsaturates and other nutrients essential for the brain and would have done so with comparatively little mammalian competition. The land-water interface would thus have allowed the hominid brain to develop sufficient neurological complexity to enable sophisticated tool and behaviour patterns to evolve in humans as a natural sequel to such a biochemical and environmental stimulus.

  11. Head shape evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus): interactions between extreme size disparity, phylogeny and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, G H; Keogh, J S

    2014-02-01

    Characterizing patterns of observed current variation, and testing hypotheses concerning the potential drivers of this variation, is fundamental to understanding how morphology evolves. Phylogenetic history, size and ecology are all central components driving the evolution of morphological variation, but only recently have methods become available to tease these aspects apart for particular body structures. Extant monitor lizards (Varanus) have radiated into an incredible range of habitats and display the largest body size range of any terrestrial vertebrate genus. Although their body morphology remains remarkably conservative, they have obvious head shape variation. We use two-dimensional geometric morphometric techniques to characterize the patterns of dorsal head shape variation in 36 species (375 specimens) of varanid, and test how this variation relates to size, phylogenetic history and ecology as represented by habitat. Interspecific head shape disparity is strongly allometric. Once size effects are removed, principal component analysis shows that most shape variation relates to changes in the snout and head width. Size-corrected head shape variation has strong phylogenetic signal at a broad level, but habitat use is predictive of shape disparity within phylogenetic lineages. Size often explains shape disparity among organisms; however, the ability to separate size and shape variation using geometric morphometrics has enabled the identification of phylogenetic history and habitat as additional key factors contributing to the evolution of head shape disparity among varanid lizards.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Brain Behavior Evolution during Learning: Emergence of Hierarchical Temporal Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

    ORGANIZATION NAMES AND ADDRESSES U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park , NC 27709-2211 15. SUBJECT TERMS brain model, Hopfield... topological organization that is commonly found in several complex systems. As an organization tool, it detects and measures significant features...nodes that are already highly connected are more likely to receive one of the new connections [5]. These networks reflect a theme described as “the

  16. 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.

  17. Electrostatic Barrier Against Dust Growth in Protoplanetary Disks. I. Classifying the Evolution of Size Distribution

    CERN Document Server

    Okuzumi, Satoshi; Takeuchi, Taku; Sakagami, Masa-aki

    2010-01-01

    Collisional growth of submicron-sized dust grains into macroscopic aggregates is the first step of planet formation in protoplanetary disks. These aggregates are considered to carry nonzero negative charges in the weakly ionized gas disks, but its effect on their collisional growth has not been fully understood so far. In this paper, we investigate how the charging of dust aggregates affects the evolution of their size distribution properly taking into account the charging mechanism in a weakly ionized gas. To clarify the role of the size distribution, we divide our analysis into two steps. First, we analyze the collisional growth of charged aggregates assuming a monodisperse (i.e., narrow) size distribution. We show that the monodisperse growth stalls due to the electrostatic repulsion when a certain condition is met, as is already expected in the previous work. Second, we numerically simulate dust coagulation using Smoluchowski's method to see how the outcome changes when the size distribution is allowed to...

  18. Effect of Growing Size of Interaction Neighbors on the Evolution of Cooperation in Spatial Snowdrift Game

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张娟娟; 王娟; 孙世温; 王莉; 王震; 夏承遗

    2012-01-01

    In this paper,we study the influence of the size of interaction neighbors(k) on the evolution of cooperation in the spatial snowdrift game.At first,we consider the effects of noise K and cost-to-benefit ratio r,the simulation results indicate that the evolution of cooperation depends on the combined action of noise and cost-to-benefit ratio.For a lower r,the cooperators are multitudinous and the cooperation frequency ultimately increases to 1 as the increase of noise.However,for a higher r,the defectors account for the majority of the game and dominate the game if the noise is large enough.Then we mainly investigate how k influences the evolution of cooperation by varying the noise in detail.We find that the frequency of cooperators is closely related to the size of neighborhood and cost-to-benefit ratio r.In the case of lower r,the augmentation of k plays no positive role in promoting the cooperation as compared with that of k = 4,while for higher r the cooperation is improved for a growing size of neighborhood.At last,based on the above discussions,we explore the cluster-forming mechanism among the cooperators.The current results are beneficial to further understand the evolution of cooperation in many natural,social and biological systems.

  19. 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…

  20. Detecting positive darwinian selection in brain-expressed genes during human evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QI XueBin; Alice A. LIN; Luca L. CAVALLI-SFORZA; WANG Jun; SU Bing; YANG Su; ZHENG HongKun; WANG YinQiu; LIAO ChengHong; LIU Ying; CHEN XiaoHua; SHI Hong; YU XiaoJing

    2007-01-01

    To understand the genetic basis that underlies the phenotypic divergence between human and nonhuman primates, we screened a total of 7176 protein-coding genes expressed in the human brain and compared them with the chimpanzee orthologs to identify genes that show evidence of rapid evolution in the human lineage. Our results showed that the nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution (Ka/Ks) ratio for genes expressed in the brain of human and chimpanzee is 0.3854, suggesting that the brain-expressed genes are under functional constraint. The X-linked human brain-expressed genes evolved more rapidly than autosomal ones. We further dissected the molecular evolutionary patterns of 34 candidate genes by sequencing representative primate species to identify lineage-specific adaptive evolution. Fifteen out of the 34 candidate genes showed evidence of positive Darwinian selection in human and/or chimpanzee lineages. These genes are predicted to play diverse functional roles in embryonic development, spermatogenesis and male fertility, signal transduction, sensory nociception, and neural function. This study together with others demonstrated the usefulness and power of phylogenetic comparison of multiple closely related species in detecting lineage-specific adaptive evolution, and the identification of the positively selected brain-expressed genes may add new knowledge to the understanding of molecular mechanism of human origin.

  1. 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.

  2. Finite size effects and symmetry breaking in the evolution of networks of competing Boolean nodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, M; Bassler, K E, E-mail: bassler@uh.edu [Department of Physics, University of Houston, 617 Science and Research 1, Houston, TX 77204-5005 (United States)

    2011-01-28

    Finite size effects on the evolutionary dynamics of Boolean networks are analyzed. In the model considered, Boolean networks evolve via a competition between nodes that punishes those in the majority. Previous studies have found that large networks evolve to a statistical steady state that is both critical and highly canalized, and that the evolution of canalization, which is a form of robustness found in genetic regulatory networks, is associated with a particular symmetry of the evolutionary dynamics. Here, it is found that finite size networks evolve in a fundamentally different way than infinitely large networks do. The symmetry of the evolutionary dynamics of infinitely large networks that selects for canalizing Boolean functions is broken in the evolutionary dynamics of finite size networks. In finite size networks, there is an additional selection for input-inverting Boolean functions that output a value opposite to the majority of input values. The reason for the symmetry breaking in the evolutionary dynamics is found to be due to the need for nodes in finite size networks to behave differently in order to cooperate so that the system collectively performs as efficiently as possible. The results suggest that both finite size effects and symmetry are fundamental for understanding the evolution of real-world complex networks, including genetic regulatory networks.

  3. Microcephaly disease gene Wdr62 regulates mitotic progression of embryonic neural stem cells and brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jian-Fu; Zhang, Ying; Wilde, Jonathan; Hansen, Kirk C; Lai, Fan; Niswander, Lee

    2014-05-30

    Human genetic studies have established a link between a class of centrosome proteins and microcephaly. Current studies of microcephaly focus on defective centrosome/spindle orientation. Mutations in WDR62 are associated with microcephaly and other cortical abnormalities in humans. Here we create a mouse model of Wdr62 deficiency and find that the mice exhibit reduced brain size due to decreased neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Wdr62 depleted cells show spindle instability, spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) activation, mitotic arrest and cell death. Mechanistically, Wdr62 associates and genetically interacts with Aurora A to regulate spindle formation, mitotic progression and brain size. Our results suggest that Wdr62 interacts with Aurora A to control mitotic progression, and loss of these interactions leads to mitotic delay and cell death of NPCs, which could be a potential cause of human microcephaly.

  4. 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.

  5. Surfactants, not size or zeta-potential influence blood-brain barrier passage of polymeric nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Nadine; Henrich-Noack, Petra; Kockentiedt, Sarah; Hintz, Werner; Tomas, Jürgen; Sabel, Bernhard A

    2014-05-01

    Nanoparticles (NP) can deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), but little is known which of the factors surfactant, size and zeta-potential are essential for allowing BBB passage. To this end we designed purpose-built fluorescent polybutylcyanoacrylate (PBCA) NP and imaged the NP's passage over the blood-retina barrier - which is a model of the BBB - in live animals. Rats received intravenous injections of fluorescent PBCA-NP fabricated by mini-emulsion polymerisation to obtain various NP's compositions that varied in surfactants (non-ionic, anionic, cationic), size (67-464nm) and zeta-potential. Real-time imaging of retinal blood vessels and retinal tissue was carried out with in vivo confocal neuroimaging (ICON) before, during and after NP's injection. Successful BBB passage with subsequent cellular labelling was achieved if NP were fabricated with non-ionic surfactants or cationic stabilizers but not when anionic compounds were added. NP's size and charge had no influence on BBB passage and cell labelling. This transport was not caused by an unspecific opening of the BBB because control experiments with injections of unlabelled NP and fluorescent dye (to test a "door-opener" effect) did not lead to parenchymal labelling. Thus, neither NP's size nor chemo-electric charge, but particle surface is the key factor determining BBB passage. This result has important implications for NP engineering in medicine: depending on the surfactant, NP can serve one of two opposite functions: while non-ionic tensides enhance brain up-take, addition of anionic tensides prevents it. NP can now be designed to specifically enhance drug delivery to the brain or, alternatively, to prevent brain penetration so to reduce unwanted psychoactive effects of drugs or prevent environmental nanoparticles from entering tissue of the central nervous system.

  6. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzales, L.; Benefit, B.; McCrossin, M.; Spoor, F.

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of the only complete early cercopithecoid (Old World monkey) endocast currently known, that of 15-million-year (Myr)-old Victoriapithecus, reveals an unexpectedly small endocranial volume (ECV) relative to body size and a large olfactory bulb volume relative to ECV, similar to extant lemurs and Oligocene anthropoids. However, the Victoriapithecus brain has principal and arcuate sulci of the frontal lobe not seen in the stem catarrhine Aegyptopithecus, as well as a distinctive cercopi...

  7. The influence of complex and threatening environments in early life on brain size and behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DePasquale, C; Neuberger, T; Hirrlinger, A M; Braithwaite, V A

    2016-01-27

    The ways in which challenging environments during development shape the brain and behaviour are increasingly being addressed. To date, studies typically consider only single variables, but the real world is more complex. Many factors simultaneously affect the brain and behaviour, and whether these work independently or interact remains untested. To address this, zebrafish (Danio rerio) were reared in a two-by-two design in housing that varied in structural complexity and/or exposure to a stressor. Fish experiencing both complexity (enrichment objects changed over time) and mild stress (daily net chasing) exhibited enhanced learning and were less anxious when tested as juveniles (between 77 and 90 days). Adults tested (aged 1 year) were also less anxious even though fish were kept in standard housing after three months of age (i.e. no chasing or enrichment). Volumetric measures of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that complexity alone generated fish with a larger brain, but this increase in size was not seen in fish that experienced both complexity and chasing, or chasing alone. The results highlight the importance of looking at multiple variables simultaneously, and reveal differential effects of complexity and stressful experiences during development of the brain and behaviour.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Grain size evolution in the mantle and its effect on geodynamics, seismic velocities and attenuation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dannberg, Juliane; Eilon, Zach; Gassmoeller, Rene; Moulik, Pritwiraj; Myhill, Robert; Faul, Ulrich; Asimow, Paul

    2015-04-01

    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 in multiphase assemblages and recrystallisation at phase transitions. Grain size variations also affect seismic properties of mantle materials. We use several published formulations 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 body wave travel times, ray paths, and attenuation (t*) 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. Our models show that rapid metamorphic reactions in mantle upwellings and downwellings lead to high lateral viscosity contrasts, as a result of gradual grain size evolution. Positive feedback between grain size reduction and viscosity reduction results in shear localisation. As a result, the edges of thermal plumes have smaller grain sizes and lower

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afrooz, A. R. M. Nabiul; Hussain, Saber M.; Saleh, Navid B.

    2014-12-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Alex J; Verkman, Alan S

    2015-12-15

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. The hypothesis of neuronal interconnectivity as a function of brain size – A general organization principle of the human connectome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen eHänggi

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Twenty years ago, Ringo and colleagues proposed that maintaining absolute connectivity in larger compared with smaller brains is computationally inefficient due to increased conduction delays in transcallosal information transfer and expensive with respect to the brain mass needed to establish these additional connections. Therefore, they postulated that larger brains are relatively stronger connected intrahemispherically and smaller brains interhemispherically, resulting in stronger functional lateralization in larger brains. We investigated neuronal interconnections in 138 large and small human brains using diffusion tensor imaging-based fiber tractography. We found a significant interaction between brain size and the type of connectivity. Structural intrahemispheric connectivity is stronger in larger brains, whereas interhemispheric connectivity is only marginally increased in larger compared with smaller brains. Although brain size and gender are confounded, this effect is gender-independent. Additionally, the ratio of interhemispheric to intrahemispheric connectivity correlates inversely with brain size. The hypothesis of neuronal interconnectivity as a function of brain size might account for shorter and more symmetrical interhemispheric transfer times in women and for empirical evidence that visual and auditory processing are stronger lateralized in men. The hypothesis additionally shows that differences in interhemispheric and intrahemispheric connectivity are driven by brain size and not by gender, a finding contradicting a recently published study. Our findings are also compatible with the idea that the more asymmetric a region is, the smaller the density of interhemispheric connections, but the larger the density of intrahemispheric connections. The hypothesis represents an organization principle of the human connectome that might be applied also to non-human animals as suggested by our cross-species comparison.

  16. Size evolution in microorganisms masks trade-offs predicted by the growth rate hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gounand, Isabelle; Daufresne, Tanguy; Gravel, Dominique; Bouvier, Corinne; Bouvier, Thierry; Combe, Marine; Gougat-Barbera, Claire; Poly, Franck; Torres-Barceló, Clara; Mouquet, Nicolas

    2016-12-28

    Adaptation to local resource availability depends on responses in growth rate and nutrient acquisition. The growth rate hypothesis (GRH) suggests that growing fast should impair competitive abilities for phosphorus and nitrogen due to high demand for biosynthesis. However, in microorganisms, size influences both growth and uptake rates, which may mask trade-offs and instead generate a positive relationship between these traits (size hypothesis, SH). Here, we evolved a gradient of maximum growth rate (μmax) from a single bacterium ancestor to test the relationship among μmax, competitive ability for nutrients and cell size, while controlling for evolutionary history. We found a strong positive correlation between μmax and competitive ability for phosphorus, associated with a trade-off between μmax and cell size: strains selected for high μmax were smaller and better competitors for phosphorus. Our results strongly support the SH, while the trade-offs expected under GRH were not apparent. Beyond plasticity, unicellular populations can respond rapidly to selection pressure through joint evolution of their size and maximum growth rate. Our study stresses that physiological links between these traits tightly shape the evolution of competitive strategies.

  17. 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.

  18. The structural and size evolution of star-forming galaxies over the last 11 Gyrs

    CERN Document Server

    Paulino-Afonso, Ana; Buitrago, Fernando; Afonso, Jose

    2016-01-01

    We present new results on the evolution of rest-frame blue/UV sizes and Sersic indices of H$\\alpha$-selected star-forming galaxies over the last 11 Gyrs. We investigate how the perceived evolution can be affected by a range of biases and systematics such as cosmological dimming and resolution effects. We use GALFIT and an artificial redshifting technique, which includes the luminosity evolution of H$\\alpha$-selected galaxies, to quantify the change on the measured structural parameters with redshift. We find typical sizes of 2 to 3 kpc and Sersic indices of n~1.2, close to pure exponential disks all the way from z=2.23 to z=0.4. At z=0 we find typical sizes of 4-5 kpc. Our results show that, when using GALFIT, cosmological dimming has a negligible impact on the derived effective radius for galaxies with <10 kpc, but we find a ~20% bias on the estimate of the median Sersic indices, rendering galaxies more disk-like. Star-forming galaxies have grown on average by a factor of 2-3 in the last 11 Gyrs with $r_e...

  19. The structural and size evolution of star-forming galaxies over the last 11 Gyr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulino-Afonso, Ana; Sobral, David; Buitrago, Fernando; Afonso, José

    2017-03-01

    We present new results on the evolution of rest-frame blue/UV sizes and Sérsic indices of Hα-selected star-forming galaxies over the last 11 Gyr. We investigate how the perceived evolution can be affected by a range of biases and systematics such as cosmological dimming and resolution effects. We use GALFIT and an artificial redshifting technique, which includes the luminosity evolution of Hα-selected galaxies, to quantify the change on the measured structural parameters with redshift. We find typical sizes of 2-3 kpc and Sérsic indices of n ∼ 1.2, close to pure exponential discs all the way from z = 2.23 to z = 0.4. At z = 0, we find typical sizes of 4-5 kpc. Our results show that, when using GALFIT, cosmological dimming has a negligible impact on the derived effective radius for galaxies with frame blue/UV, we are likely witnessing the growth of discs where star formation is ongoing in galaxies while their profiles remain close to exponential discs, n ≲ 1.5, across the same period.

  20. 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.

  1. Should Alzheimer's disease be equated with human brain ageing? A maladaptive interaction between brain evolution and senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, David

    2012-01-01

    In this review Alzheimer's disease is seen as a maladaptive interaction between human brain evolution and senescence. It is predicted to occur in everyone although does not necessarily lead to dementia. The pathological process is initiated in relation to a senescence mediated functional down-regulation in the posteromedial cortex (Initiation Phase). This leads to a loss of glutamatergic excitatory input to layer II entorhinal cortex neurons. A human specific maladaptive neuroplastic response is initiated in these neurons leading to neuronal dysfunction, NFT formation and death. This leads to further loss of glutamatergic excitatory input and propagation of the maladaptive response along excitatory pathways linking evolutionary progressed vulnerable neurons (Propagation Phase). Eventually neurons are affected in many brain areas resulting in dementia. Possible therapeutic approaches include enhancing glutamatergic transmission. The theory may have implications with regards to how Alzheimer's disease is classified.

  2. Friends with social benefits: host-microbe interactions as a driver of brain evolution and development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stilling, Roman M; Bordenstein, Seth R; Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F

    2014-01-01

    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 behavior. 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 behavior 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Has an aquatic diet been necessary for hominin brain evolution and functional development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langdon, John H

    2006-07-01

    A number of authors have argued that only an aquatic-based diet can provide the necessary quantity of DHA to support the human brain, and that a switch to such a diet early in hominin evolution was critical to human brain evolution. This paper identifies the premises behind this hypothesis and critiques them on the basis of clinical literature. Both tissue levels and certain functions of the developing infant brain are sensitive to extreme variations in the supply of DHA in artificial feeding, and it can be shown that levels in human milk reflect maternal diet. However, both the maternal and infant bodies have mechanisms to store and buffer the supply of DHA, so that functional deficits are generally resolved without compensatory diets. There is no evidence that human diets based on terrestrial food chains with traditional nursing practices fail to provide adequate levels of DHA or other n-3 fatty acids. Consequently, the hypothesis that DHA has been a limiting resource in human brain evolution must be considered to be unsupported.

  5. Increased cortical expression of two synaptogenic thrombospondins in human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cáceres, Mario; Suwyn, Carolyn; Maddox, Marcelia; Thomas, James W; Preuss, Todd M

    2007-10-01

    Thrombospondins are extracellular-matrix glycoproteins implicated in the control of synaptogenesis and neurite growth. Previous microarray studies suggested that one gene of this family, thrombospondin 4 (THBS4), was upregulated during human brain evolution. Using independent techniques to examine thrombospondin expression patterns in adult brain samples, we report approximately 6-fold and approximately 2-fold greater expression of THBS4 and THBS2 messenger RNA (mRNA), respectively, in human cerebral cortex compared with chimpanzees and macaques, with corresponding differences in protein levels. In humans and chimpanzees, thrombospondin expression differences were observed in the forebrain (cortex and caudate), whereas the cerebellum and most nonbrain tissues exhibited similar levels of the 2 mRNAs. Histological examination revealed THBS4 mRNA and protein expression in numerous pyramidal and glial cells in the 3 species but humans also exhibited very prominent immunostaining of the synapse-rich cortical neuropil. In humans, additionally, THBS4 antibodies labeled beta-amyloid containing plaques in Alzheimer's cases and some control cases. This is the first detailed characterization of gene-expression changes in human evolution that involve specific brain regions, including portions of cerebral cortex. Increased expression of thrombospondins in human brain evolution could result in changes in synaptic organization and plasticity, and contribute to the distinctive cognitive abilities of humans, as well as to our unique vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease.

  6. CART in the brain of vertebrates: circuits, functions and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subhedar, Nishikant K; Nakhate, Kartik T; Upadhya, Manoj A; Kokare, Dadasaheb M

    2014-04-01

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CART) with its wide distribution in the brain of mammals has been the focus of considerable research in recent years. Last two decades have witnessed a steady rise in the information on the genes that encode this neuropeptide and regulation of its transcription and translation. CART is highly enriched in the hypothalamic nuclei and its relevance to energy homeostasis and neuroendocrine control has been understood in great details. However, the occurrence of this peptide in a range of diverse circuitries for sensory, motor, vegetative, limbic and higher cortical areas has been confounding. Evidence that CART peptide may have role in addiction, pain, reward, learning and memory, cognition, sleep, reproduction and development, modulation of behavior and regulation of autonomic nervous system are accumulating, but an integration has been missing. A steady stream of papers has been pointing at the therapeutic potentials of CART. The current review is an attempt at piecing together the fragments of available information, and seeks meaning out of the CART elements in their anatomical niche. We try to put together the CART containing neuronal circuitries that have been conclusively demonstrated as well as those which have been proposed, but need confirmation. With a view to finding out the evolutionary antecedents, we visit the CART systems in sub-mammalian vertebrates and seek the answer why the system is shaped the way it is. We enquire into the conservation of the CART system and appreciate its functional diversity across the phyla.

  7. Malnutritive obesity ('malnubesity'): is it driven by human brain evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Anne-Thea

    2008-12-01

    Abstract Health messages on low-energy diets for healthy weight loss are muddled and not working, and obesity rates are rising. Are there missing links? Accumulating evidence shows that humans have well developed 'self-addictive' appetite pathways to enhance the uptake of highly energy-dense food. Humans synthesize fewer co-factors and vitamins than other mammals and must ingest them. Both processes probably arose to maximize available energy for the developing, large association cortex of the human brain. The default phenotype resulting from consuming an 'addictive', westernized, highly refined, energy-dense, hypomicronutrient diet is 'malnutritive obesity' or 'malnubesity'. A relative lack of antioxidant (and other) co-factors contributes to inefficiently oxidized energy. This 'stress' leads to central fat deposition, disordered energy use by cell mitochondria, especially in muscle and liver, and malfunctioning immune, coagulation, endothelial, and other systems. The resultant problems appear to range from epigenetic reprogramming in utero to end organ damage of the metabolic syndrome and the immune failure of cancer. Treatment of 'malnubesity' may require: (1) understanding the drivers and mechanisms of addictions, (2) reprioritizing satiating, micronutrient-dense whole foods, (3) nonjudgmental general, psychological, and medical support for those at risk or affected by obesity; and (4) practical incentives/regulation for healthy food production and distribution.

  8. Multimodal nanoprobes evaluating physiological pore size of brain vasculatures in ischemic stroke models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shuyan; Bai, Ying-Ying; Changyi, Yinzhi; Gao, Xihui; Zhang, Wenqing; Wang, Yuancheng; Zhou, Lu; Ju, Shenghong; Li, Cong

    2014-11-01

    Ischemic stroke accounts for 80% strokes and originates from a reduction of cerebral blood flow (CBF) after vascular occlusion. For treatment, the first action is to restore CBF by thrombolytic agent recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA). Although rt-PA benefits clinical outcome, its application is limited by short therapeutic time window and risk of brain hemorrhage. Different to thrombolytic agents, neuroprotectants reduce neurological injuries by blocking ischemic cascade events such as excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. Nano-neuroprotectants demonstrate higher therapeutic effect than small molecular analogues due to their prolonged circulation lifetime and disrupted blood-brain barrier (BBB) in ischemic region. Even enhanced BBB permeability in ischemic territories is verified, the pore size of ischemic vasculatures determining how large and how efficient the therapeutics can pass is barely studied. In this work, nanoprobes (NPs) with different diameters are developed. In vivo multimodal imaging indicates that NP uptakes in ischemic region depended on their diameters and the pore size upper limit of ischemic vasculatures is determined as 10-11 nm. Additionally, penumbra defined as salvageable ischemic tissues performed a higher BBB permeability than infarct core. This work provides a guideline for developing nano-neuroprotectants by taking advantage of the locally enhanced BBB permeability in ischemic brain tissues.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frynta, Daniel; Šimková, Olga; Lišková, Silvie; Landová, Eva

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Foraging mode affects the evolution of egg size in generalist predators embedded in complex food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdeny-Vilalta, O; Fox, C W; Wise, D H; Moya-Laraño, J

    2015-06-01

    Ecological networks incorporate myriad biotic interactions that determine the selection pressures experienced by the embedded populations. We argue that within food webs, the negative scaling of abundance with body mass and foraging theory predict that the selective advantages of larger egg size should be smaller for sit-and-wait than active-hunting generalist predators, leading to the evolution of a difference in egg size between them. Because body mass usually scales negatively with predator abundance and constrains predation rate, slightly increasing egg mass should simultaneously allow offspring to feed on more prey and escape from more predators. However, the benefits of larger offspring would be relatively smaller for sit-and-wait predators because (i) due to their lower mobility, encounters with other predators are less common, and (ii) they usually employ a set of alternative hunting strategies that help to subdue relatively larger prey. On the other hand, for active predators, which need to confront prey as they find them, body-size differences may be more important in subduing prey. This difference in benefits should lead to the evolution of larger egg sizes in active-hunting relative to sit-and-wait predators. This prediction was confirmed by a phylogenetically controlled analysis of 268 spider species, supporting the view that the structure of ecological networks may serve to predict relevant selective pressures acting on key life history traits.

  13. Population size and cultural evolution in nonindustrial food-producing societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Collard

    Full Text Available Modeling work suggests that population size affects cultural evolution such that larger populations can be expected to have richer and more complex cultural repertoires than smaller populations. Empirical tests of this hypothesis, however, have yielded conflicting results. Here, we report a study in which we investigated whether the subsistence toolkits of small-scale food-producers are influenced by population size in the manner the hypothesis predicts. We applied simple linear and standard multiple regression analysis to data from 40 nonindustrial farming and pastoralist groups to test the hypothesis. Results were consistent with predictions of the hypothesis: both the richness and the complexity of the toolkits of the food-producers were positively and significantly influenced by population size in the simple linear regression analyses. The multiple regression analyses demonstrated that these relationships are independent of the effects of risk of resource failure, which is the other main factor that has been found to influence toolkit richness and complexity in nonindustrial groups. Thus, our study strongly suggests that population size influences cultural evolution in nonindustrial food-producing populations.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2008-01-01

    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 measurements are taken from the literature for 50 morphologically selected 0.8Sizes are determined with ACS imaging. We compare the distant sample with a large sample of nearby (0.04sizes, masses, and densities in a consistent manner, using simulations to quantify systematic differences between the size measurements of nearby and distant galaxies. We find a highly significant structural difference between the nearby and distant samples, regardless of sample selection effects. The implied evolution ...

  15. Model for evolution of grain size in the rim region of high burnup UO2 fuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Hongxing; Long, Chongsheng; Chen, Hongsheng

    2016-04-01

    The restructuring process of the high burnup structure (HBS) formation in UO2 fuel results in sub-micron size grains that accelerate the fission gas swelling, which will raise some concern over the safety of extended the nuclear fuel operation life in the reactor. A mechanistic and engineering model for evolution of grain size in the rim region of high burnup UO2 fuel based on the experimental observations of the HBS in the literature is presented. The model takes into account dislocations evolution under irradiation and the grain subdivision occur successively at increasing local burnup. It is assumed that the original driving force for subdivision of grain in the HBS of UO2 fuel is the production and accumulation of dislocation loops during irradiation. The dislocation loops can also be annealed through thermal diffusion when the temperature is high enough. The capability of this model is validated by the comparison with the experimental data of temperature threshold of subdivision, dislocation density and sub-grain size as a function of local burnup. It is shown that the calculated results of the dislocation density and subdivided grain size as a function of local burnup are in good agreement with the experimental results.

  16. The role of size-specific predation in the evolution and diversification of prey life histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Troy; Abrams, Peter A; Chase, Jonathan M

    2002-05-01

    Some of the best empirical examples of life-history evolution involve responses to predation. Nevertheless, most life-history theory dealing with responses to predation has not been formulated within an explicit dynamic food-web context. In particular, most previous theory does not explicitly consider the coupled population dynamics of the focal species and its predators and resources. Here we present a model of life-history evolution that explores the evolutionary consequences of size-specific predation on small individuals when there is a trade-off between growth and reproduction. The model explicitly describes the population dynamics of a predator, the prey of interest, and its resource. The selective forces that cause life-history evolution in the prey species emerge from the ecological interactions embodied by this model and can involve important elements of frequency dependence. Our results demonstrate that the strength of the coupling between predator and prey in the community determines many aspects of life-history evolution. If the coupling is weak (as is implicitly assumed in many previous models), differences in resource productivity have no effect on the nature of life-history evolution. A single life-history strategy is favored that minimizes the equilibrium resource density (if possible). If the coupling is strong, then higher resource productivities select for faster growth into the predation size refuge. Moreover, under strong coupling it is also possible for natural selection to favor an evolutionary diversification of life histories, possibly resulting in two coexisting species with divergent life-history strategies.

  17. Brain May Still Be Evolving%大脑可能还在进化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nicholas Wade; 刘学诚

    2005-01-01

    @@ Two genes involved in determining the size of the human brain have undergone substantial1 evolution2 in the last 60,000years, researchers say, leading to the surprising suggestion that the brain is still undergoing rapid evolution.

  18. 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.

  19. Information Measure for Size Distribution of Avalanches in the Bak-Sneppen Evolution Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Wei; CAI Xu

    2003-01-01

    Information of avalanche size distribution is measured by calculating information entropy (IE) in the Bak-Sneppen evolution model. It is found that the IE increases as the model evolves. Specifically, we establish the relation between the IE and the self-organized threshold fc ? The variation of the IE near the critical point yields an exponent entropy index E = (T - l)/size distribution and avalanche size cutoff, respectively. A new quantity DT(g) (g = 1 - (fc - G)'r-1' , where G is the gap of the current state), denned as 1 - IT(g)/IT(l), with IT(g) and /T(l) being the IE for the current state and the critical one respectively, is suggested that it represents the distance between the state with gap G and the critical one.

  20. Group-size effects on the evolution of cooperation in the spatial public goods game

    CERN Document Server

    Szolnoki, Attila; 10.1103/PhysRevE.84.047102

    2011-01-01

    We study the evolution of cooperation in public goods games on the square lattice, focusing on the effects that are brought about by different sizes of groups where individuals collect their payoffs and search for potential strategy donors. We find that increasing the group size does not necessarily lead to mean-field behavior, as is traditionally observed for games governed by pairwise interactions, but rather that public cooperation may be additionally promoted by means of enhanced spatial reciprocity that sets in for very large groups. Our results highlight that the promotion of cooperation due to spatial interactions is not rooted solely in having restricted connections amongst players, but also in individuals having the opportunity to collect payoffs separately from their direct opponents. Moreover, in large groups the presence of a small number of defectors is bearable, which makes the mixed phase region expand with increasing group size. Having a chance of exploiting distant players, however, offers de...

  1. Cosmic Evolution of Size and Velocity Dispersion for Early Type Galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Fan, L; Bressan, A; Bernardi, M; De Zotti, G; Danese, L

    2010-01-01

    [abridged] Massive, passively evolving galaxies at redshifts z>1 exhibit on the average physical sizes smaller by factors ~3 than local early type galaxies (ETGs) endowed with the same stellar mass. Small sizes are in fact expected on theoretical grounds, if dissipative collapse occurs. Recent results show that the size evolution at z1, where both compact and already extended galaxies are observed and the scatter in size is remarkably larger than locally. The presence at high z of a significant number of ETGs with the same size as their local counterparts as well as of ETGs with quite small size, points to a timescale to reach the new, expanded equilibrium configuration of less than the Hubble time. We demonstrate that the projected mass of compact, high-z galaxies and that of local ETGs within the *same physical radius*, the nominal half-luminosity radius of high-z ETGs, differ substantially, in that the high-z ETGs are on the average significantly denser. We propose that quasar activity, which peaks at z~2,...

  2. 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.

  3. A Model of Genome Size Evolution for Prokaryotes in Stable and Fluctuating Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentkowski, Piotr; Van Oosterhout, Cock; Mock, Thomas

    2015-08-04

    Temporal variability in ecosystems significantly impacts species diversity and ecosystem productivity and therefore the evolution of organisms. Different levels of environmental perturbations such as seasonal fluctuations, natural disasters, and global change have different impacts on organisms and therefore their ability to acclimatize and adapt. Thus, to understand how organisms evolve under different perturbations is a key for predicting how environmental change will impact species diversity and ecosystem productivity. Here, we developed a computer simulation utilizing the individual-based model approach to investigate genome size evolution of a haploid, clonal and free-living prokaryotic population across different levels of environmental perturbations. Our results show that a greater variability of the environment resulted in genomes with a larger number of genes. Environmental perturbations were more effectively buffered by populations of individuals with relatively large genomes. Unpredictable changes of the environment led to a series of population bottlenecks followed by adaptive radiations. Our model shows that the evolution of genome size is indirectly driven by the temporal variability of the environment. This complements the effects of natural selection directly acting on genome optimization. Furthermore, species that have evolved in relatively stable environments may face the greatest risk of extinction under global change as genome streamlining genetically constrains their ability to acclimatize to the new environmental conditions, unless mechanisms of genetic diversification such as horizontal gene transfer will enrich their gene pool and therefore their potential to adapt.

  4. The fundamental plane of EDisCS galaxies - The effect of size evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Saglia, R P; Bender, R; Simard, L; Desai, V; Aragon-Salamanca, A; Milvang-Jensen, B; Halliday, C; Jablonka, P; Noll, S; Poggianti, B; Clowe, D I; De Lucia, G; Pello, R; Rudnick, G; Valentinuzzi, T; White, S D M; Zaritsky, D

    2010-01-01

    We study the evolution of spectral early-type galaxies in clusters, groups and the field up to redshift 0.9 using the EDisCS dataset. We measure Re, Ie, and sigma for 154 cluster and 68 field galaxies. We study the evolution of the zero point of the fundamental plane (FP) and confirm results in the literature, but now also for the low cluster velocity dispersion regime. The mass-to-light ratio varies as Delta log M/L_B=(-0.54+-0.01)z=(-1.61+-0.01)log(1+z) in clusters, independent of their velocity dispersion. The evolution is stronger (Delta log M/L_B=(-0.76+-0.01)z=(-2.27+-0.03)log(1+z)) for field galaxies. The FP residuals correlate with galaxy mass and become progressively negative at low masses. The effect is visible at z>=0.7 for cluster galaxies and at z>=0.5 for field galaxies. We investigate the size evolution of our galaxy sample. We find that the half-luminosity radius for a galaxy with a dynamical or stellar mass of 2x10^11 Msol varies as (1+z)^{-1.0+-0.3} for both cluster and field galaxies. At th...

  5. Parametric Coding of the Size and Clutter of Natural Scenes in the Human Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Soojin; Konkle, Talia; Oliva, Aude

    2015-07-01

    Estimating the size of a space and its degree of clutter are effortless and ubiquitous tasks of moving agents in a natural environment. Here, we examine how regions along the occipital-temporal lobe respond to pictures of indoor real-world scenes that parametrically vary in their physical "size" (the spatial extent of a space bounded by walls) and functional "clutter" (the organization and quantity of objects that fill up the space). Using a linear regression model on multivoxel pattern activity across regions of interest, we find evidence that both properties of size and clutter are represented in the patterns of parahippocampal cortex, while the retrosplenial cortex activity patterns are predominantly sensitive to the size of a space, rather than the degree of clutter. Parametric whole-brain analyses confirmed these results. Importantly, this size and clutter information was represented in a way that generalized across different semantic categories. These data provide support for a property-based representation of spaces, distributed across multiple scene-selective regions of the cerebral cortex.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. On the Evolution of the Apparent Size of Gamma-Ray Burst Remnants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ting-Ting Gao; Yong-Feng Huang

    2006-01-01

    The remnants of two gamma-ray bursts, GRB 030329 and GRB 041227, have been resolved by Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations. The radio counterparts were observed to expand with time. These observations provide an important way to test the dynamics of the standard fireball model. We show that the observed size evolution of these two events cannot be explained by a simple jet model, rather, it can be satisfactorily explained by the two-component jet model. It strongly hints that gamma-ray burst ejecta may have complicated structures.

  9. The Size Evolution of Passive Galaxies: Observations from the Wide Field Camera 3 Early Release Science Program

    CERN Document Server

    Ryan, R E; Cohen, S H; Yan, H; Hathi, N P; Koekemoer, A M; Rutkowski, M J; Mechtley, M R; Windhorst, R A; O'Connell, R W; Balick, B; Bond, H E; Bushouse, H; Calzetti, D; Crockett, R M; Disney, M; Dopita, M A; Frogel, J A; Hall, D N B; Holtzman, J A; Kaviraj, S; Kimble, R A; MacKenty, J; Mutchler, M; Paresce, F; Saha, A; Silk, J I; Trauger, J; Walker, A R; Whitmore, B C; Young, E

    2010-01-01

    We present results on the size evolution of passively evolving galaxies at 11.5. We identify 30 galaxies in ~40 square arcmin to H<25 mag. We supplement spectroscopic redshifts from the literature with photometric redshifts determined from the 15-band photometry from 0.22-8 micron. We determine effective radii from Sersic profile fits to the H-band image using an empirical PSF. We find that size evolution is a strong function of stellar mass, with the most massive (M* ~ 10^11 Msol) galaxies undergoing the most rapid evolution from z~2 to the present. Parameterizing the size evolution as (1+z)^{-alpha}, we find a tentative scaling between alpha and stellar mass of alpha ~ -1.8+1.4 log(M*/10^9 Msol). We briefly discuss the implications of this result for our understanding of the dynamical evolution of the red galaxies.

  10. 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.

  11. Comparative genetic approaches to the evolution of human brain and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallender, Eric J

    2011-01-01

    With advances in genomic technologies, the amount of genetic data available to scientists today is vast. Genomes are now available or planned for 14 different primate species and complete resequencing of numerous human individuals from numerous populations is underway. Moreover, high-throughput deep sequencing is quickly making whole genome efforts within the reach of single laboratories allowing for unprecedented studies. Comparative genetic approaches to the identification of the underlying basis of human brain, behavior, and cognitive ability are moving to the forefront. Two approaches predominate: inter-species divergence comparisons and intra-species polymorphism studies. These methodological differences are useful for different time scales of evolution and necessarily focus on different evolutionary events in the history of primate and hominin evolution. Inter-species divergence is more useful in studying large scale primate, or hominoid, evolution whereas intra-species polymorphism can be more illuminating of recent hominin evolution. These differences in methodological utility also extend to studies of differing genetic substrates; current divergence studies focus primarily on protein evolution whereas polymorphism studies are substrate ambivalent. Some of the issues inherent in these studies can be ameliorated by current sequencing capabilities whereas others remain intractable. New avenues are also being opened that allow for the incorporation of novel substrates and approaches. In the post-genomic era, the study of human evolution, specifically as it relates to the brain, is becoming more complete focusing increasingly on the totality of the system and better conceptualizing the entirety of the genetic changes that have lead to the human phenotype today.

  12. Size evolution in Goodwin’s small-eared shrew, Cryptotis goodwini

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, N.; Merritt, J.F.; Churchfield, S.; Hutterer, R.; Sheftel, B.A.

    2005-01-01

    Fossils of Cryptotis goodwini from Honduras indicate that body sizes of modern individuals average at least 18% larger than among members of the late Pleistocene population of this species. Palynological and other paleoenvironmental studies provide evidence that the Neotropical montane environments that these shrews inhabit were cooler and drier in the late Pleistocene than at present and supported communities of plants without modern analog. Therefore, the most likely cause of this change in size ultimately was related to climatic change at the end of the Pleistocene?but to what specific factors did the species respond? I examined the possibilities that this species changed in size: to accommodate a change in temperature regime; to escape from predators; as a response to a change in intensity of interspecific competition; to take advantage of a newly abundant food resource. Based on evidence from studies of modern communities of shrews and niche partitioning, I hypothesized that size evolution in C. goodwini was directly related to changes in the community of soil and soil-surface invertebrates upon which the species depends, specifically an increase in the availability of earthworms (Annelida).

  13. Can AGN feedback-driven star formation explain the size evolution of massive galaxies?

    CERN Document Server

    Ishibashi, W; Canning, R E A

    2013-01-01

    Observations indicate that massive galaxies at z~2 are more compact than galaxies of comparable mass at z~0, with effective radii evolving by a factor of ~3-5. This implies that galaxies grow significantly in size but relatively little in mass over the past ~10 Gyr. Two main physical models have been proposed in order to explain the observed evolution of massive galaxies: "mergers" and "puffing-up" scenarios. Here we introduce another possibility, and discuss the potential role of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback on the evolution of its host galaxy. We consider triggering of star formation, due to AGN feedback, with radiation pressure on dusty gas as the driving feedback mechanism. In this picture, stars are formed in the feedback-driven outflow at increasingly larger radii and build up the outer regions of the host galaxy. The resulting increase in size and stellar mass can be compared with the observed growth of massive galaxies. Star formation in the host galaxy is likely obscured due to ...

  14. 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.

  15. When problem size matters: differential effects of brain stimulation on arithmetic problem solving and neural oscillations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Rütsche

    Full Text Available The problem size effect is a well-established finding in arithmetic problem solving and is characterized by worse performance in problems with larger compared to smaller operand size. Solving small and large arithmetic problems has also been shown to involve different cognitive processes and distinct electroencephalography (EEG oscillations over the left posterior parietal cortex (LPPC. In this study, we aimed to provide further evidence for these dissociations by using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS. Participants underwent anodal (30min, 1.5 mA, LPPC and sham tDCS. After the stimulation, we recorded their neural activity using EEG while the participants solved small and large arithmetic problems. We found that the tDCS effects on performance and oscillatory activity critically depended on the problem size. While anodal tDCS improved response latencies in large arithmetic problems, it decreased solution rates in small arithmetic problems. Likewise, the lower-alpha desynchronization in large problems increased, whereas the theta synchronization in small problems decreased. These findings reveal that the LPPC is differentially involved in solving small and large arithmetic problems and demonstrate that the effects of brain stimulation strikingly differ depending on the involved neuro-cognitive processes.

  16. Evolution of Pore Size Distribution and Mean Pore Size in Lotus-type Porous Magnesium Fabricated with Gasar Process

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuan LIU; Yanxiang LI; Huawei ZHANG; Jiang WAN

    2006-01-01

    The effect of gas pressures on the mean pore size, the porosity and the pore size distribution of lotus-type porous magnesium fabricated with Gasar process were investigated. The theoretical analysis and the experimental results all indicate that there exists an optimal ratio of the partial pressures of hydrogen pH2 to argon pAr for producing lotus-type structures with narrower pore size distribution and smaller pore size. The effect of solidification mode on the pore size distribution and pore size was also discussed.

  17. Body size and the small branch niche: using marsupial ontogeny to model primate locomotor evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Liza J; Young, Jesse W; VandeBerg, John L

    2014-03-01

    Recently proposed ancestral locomotor and morphological 'stages' leading to the evolution of primates have emphasized small body size, and a transition from a clawed non-grasping stage, to a clawed, grasping stage with clawless opposable hallux, to a fully-nailed primate with grasping extremities. This evolutionary transition was presumably associated with frequent use of the small branch niche. To model elements of these evolutionary transitions, we investigate how body size, substrate size, substrate orientation and grasping morphology interact to influence quadrupedal kinematics within and between ontogenetic samples of two small-bodied marsupials, one arboreal (Petaurus breviceps) and the other mainly terrestrial (Monodelphis domestica). Longitudinal morphometric and kinematic data were collected from four juvenile P. breviceps (33-75 g) and two juvenile M. domestica (18-95 g) walking across poles of three diameters (2.5, 1.0, and 0.5 cm) and three orientations (horizontal, 30° incline, 30° decline). The two species responded similarly to some substrate conditions, but diverged in response to others. Kinematic divergence between the two species reflects Monodelphis' relatively shorter digits, reduced grasping ability and greater need for stabilizing mechanisms on narrow substrates. At a given relative body size or pole orientation, Monodelphis used higher limb duty factors, more limbs in support per stride, lower limb phases, and in some conditions, faster speeds compared with Petaurus. Interspecific differences were the least distinct on declined poles, highlighting the particular challenge of this substrate condition, even for arboreally adapted species. Small-bodied, arboreal primate ancestors would likely have employed the kinematic mechanisms common to our model taxa, but those with enhanced grasping adaptations would most likely not have required the increased level of stabilizing mechanisms exhibited by Monodelphis. Thus, using these two species

  18. 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.

  19. Effect of environmental variables on body size evolution of crinoids between periods of mass extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jani, T.; Heim, N. A.; Payne, J.

    2013-12-01

    Body size plays a major role in determining whether or not an organism can sustain in its local environment. The ecosystem of an animal has a major effect on the fitness of organisms, and it would be interesting to note the degree to which various environmental factors alter body size. In my project, I identify three environmental factors that seem to affect body size of crinoids, marine invertebrates from phylum Echinodermata, and explore how these variables play out in the intervals between the five mass extinctions. The particular factors I study include atmospheric CO2 concentration (proxy for temperature), O2 concentration, and sea level. Although the r and p values for all of these factors were statistically insignificant to definitively make any correlation, there was a visual correlation. For O2, I noted a generally positive correlation with body size over time. CO2 trends suggested a negative correlation until the K-T boundary, but a positive correlation afterwards. Correlation with sea level was a little more complicated: correlation was positive from the start of the Phanerozoic to the Permian extinction; it turned negative until the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary; afterwards, it again became positive. However, for all three variables, statistical values are too low to say definitively mark any correlation. Out of all three factors, CO2 levels had the highest correlation and lowest p-values in the most time intervals: from the start of the Phanerozoic to Ordovician-Silurian Extinction, from the Late Devonian to the Permian Extinction, and from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary to the present. When considering first differences, CO2 levels also had the highest correlation from the Permian Extinction to Triassic-Jurassic Extinction and from the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction to Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction. Using PaleoTS, I found that body size evolution patterns either seemed to follow either an unbiased random walk (URW) or stasis in the intervals between

  20. 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

  1. Evolution of sex determination and sexually dimorphic larval sizes in parasitic barnacles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Sachi; Høeg, Jens T; Iwasa, Yoh

    2014-04-21

    The parasitic (rhizocephalan) barnacles include species of which larval sex is determined by the mother (genetic sex determination, GSD), male larvae are larger than female larvae, and a female accepts only two dwarf males who sire all the eggs laid by her. In contrast, other species of parasitic barnacles exhibit monomorphic larvae that choose to become male or female depending on the condition of the host they settle (environmental sex determination, or ESD), and a female accepts numerous dwarf males. Here, we ask why these set of traits are observed together, by examining the evolution of sex determination and the larval size. ESD has an advantage over GSD because each larva has a higher chance of encountering a suitable host. On the other hand, GSD has two advantages over ESD: the larval size can be chosen differently between sexes, and their larvae can avoid spending time for sex determination on the host. We conclude that, in species whose female accepts only two males, the male larvae engage in intense contest competition for reproductive opportunities, and male's success-size relation is very different from female's. Then, larvae with predetermined sex (GSD) with sexually dimorphic larvae is more advantageous than ESD. In contrast, in species whose females accept many dwarf males, the competition among males is less intense, and producing larvae with undetermined sex should evolve. We also discuss the condition for females to evolve receptacles to limit the number of males she accepts.

  2. Metabolism as a tool for understanding human brain evolution: lipid energy metabolism as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shu Pei; Yang, Hao; Wu, Jiang Wei; Gauthier, Nicolas; Fukao, Toshiyuki; Mitchell, Grant A

    2014-12-01

    Genes and the environment both influence the metabolic processes that determine fitness. To illustrate the importance of metabolism for human brain evolution and health, we use the example of lipid energy metabolism, i.e. the use of fat (lipid) to produce energy and the advantages that this metabolic pathway provides for the brain during environmental energy shortage. We briefly describe some features of metabolism in ancestral organisms, which provided a molecular toolkit for later development. In modern humans, lipid energy metabolism is a regulated multi-organ pathway that links triglycerides in fat tissue to the mitochondria of many tissues including the brain. Three important control points are each suppressed by insulin. (1) Lipid reserves in adipose tissue are released by lipolysis during fasting and stress, producing fatty acids (FAs) which circulate in the blood and are taken up by cells. (2) FA oxidation. Mitochondrial entry is controlled by carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1 (CPT1). Inside the mitochondria, FAs undergo beta oxidation and energy production in the Krebs cycle and respiratory chain. (3) In liver mitochondria, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) pathway produces ketone bodies for the brain and other organs. Unlike most tissues, the brain does not capture and metabolize circulating FAs for energy production. However, the brain can use ketone bodies for energy. We discuss two examples of genetic metabolic traits that may be advantageous under most conditions but deleterious in others. (1) A CPT1A variant prevalent in Inuit people may allow increased FA oxidation under nonfasting conditions but also predispose to hypoglycemic episodes. (2) The thrifty genotype theory, which holds that energy expenditure is efficient so as to maximize energy stores, predicts that these adaptations may enhance survival in periods of famine but predispose to obesity in modern dietary environments.

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

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    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

  4. Free radical scavenger, edaravone, reduces the lesion size of lacunar infarction in human brain ischemic stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Although free radicals have been reported to play a role in the expansion of ischemic brain lesions, the effect of free radical scavengers is still under debate. In this study, the temporal profile of ischemic stroke lesion sizes was assessed for more than one year to evaluate the effect of edaravone which might reduce ischemic damage. Methods We sequentially enrolled acute ischemic stroke patients, who admitted between April 2003 and March 2004, into the edaravone(-) group (n = 83) and, who admitted between April 2004 and March 2005, into the edaravone(+) group (n = 93). Because, edaravone has been used as the standard treatment after April 2004 in our hospital. To assess the temporal profile of the stroke lesion size, the ratio of the area [T2-weighted magnetic resonance images (T2WI)/iffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images (DWI)] were calculated. Observations on T2WI were continued beyond one year, and observational times were classified into subacute (1-2 months after the onset), early chronic (3-6 month), late chronic (7-12 months) and old (≥13 months) stages. Neurological deficits were assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale upon admission and at discharge and by the modified Rankin Scale at 1 year following stroke onset. Results Stroke lesion size was significantly attenuated in the edaravone(+) group compared with the edaravone(-) group in the period of early and late chronic observational stages. However, this reduction in lesion size was significant within a year and only for the small-vessel occlusion stroke patients treated with edaravone. Moreover, patients with small-vessel occlusion strokes that were treated with edaravone showed significant neurological improvement during their hospital stay, although there were no significant differences in outcome one year after the stroke. Conclusion Edaravone treatment reduced the volume of the infarct and improved neurological deficits during the subacute period, especially

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Dolomite microstructures between 390° and 700 °C: Indications for deformation mechanisms and grain size evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Alfons; Ebert, Andreas; Ramseyer, Karl; Gnos, Edwin; Decrouez, Danielle

    2016-08-01

    Dolomitic marble on the island of Naxos was deformed at variable temperatures ranging from 390 °C to >700 °C. Microstructural investigations indicate two end-member of deformation mechanisms: (1) Diffusion creep processes associated with small grain sizes and weak or no CPO (crystallographic preferred orientation), whereas (2) dislocation creep processes are related with larger grain sizes and strong CPO. The change between these mechanisms depends on grain size and temperature. Therefore, sample with dislocation and diffusion creep microstructures and CPO occur at intermediate temperatures in relative pure dolomite samples. The measured dolomite grain size ranges from 3 to 940 μm. Grain sizes at Tmax >450 °C show an Arrhenius type evolution reflecting the stabilized grain size in deformed and relative pure dolomite. The stabilized grain size is five times smaller than that of calcite at the same temperature and shows the same Arrhenius-type evolution. In addition, the effect of second phase particle influences the grain size evolution, comparable with calcite. Calcite/dolomite mixtures are also characterized by the same difference in grain size, but recrystallization mechanism including chemical recrystallization induced by deformation may contribute to apparent non-temperature equilibrated Mg-content in calcite.

  8. Enhanced Z-LDA for Small Sample Size Training in Brain-Computer Interface Systems

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    Dongrui Gao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Usually the training set of online brain-computer interface (BCI experiment is small. For the small training set, it lacks enough information to deeply train the classifier, resulting in the poor classification performance during online testing. Methods. In this paper, on the basis of Z-LDA, we further calculate the classification probability of Z-LDA and then use it to select the reliable samples from the testing set to enlarge the training set, aiming to mine the additional information from testing set to adjust the biased classification boundary obtained from the small training set. The proposed approach is an extension of previous Z-LDA and is named enhanced Z-LDA (EZ-LDA. Results. We evaluated the classification performance of LDA, Z-LDA, and EZ-LDA on simulation and real BCI datasets with different sizes of training samples, and classification results showed EZ-LDA achieved the best classification performance. Conclusions. EZ-LDA is promising to deal with the small sample size training problem usually existing in online BCI system.

  9. Genome size evolution in pufferfish: an insight from BAC clone-based Diodon holocanthus genome sequencing

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    Gan Xiaoni

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variations in genome size within and between species have been observed since the 1950 s in diverse taxonomic groups. Serving as model organisms, smooth pufferfish possess the smallest vertebrate genomes. Interestingly, spiny pufferfish from its sister family have genome twice as large as smooth pufferfish. Therefore, comparative genomic analysis between smooth pufferfish and spiny pufferfish is useful for our understanding of genome size evolution in pufferfish. Results Ten BAC clones of a spiny pufferfish Diodon holocanthus were randomly selected and shotgun sequenced. In total, 776 kb of non-redundant sequences without gap representing 0.1% of the D. holocanthus genome were identified, and 77 distinct genes were predicted. In the sequenced D. holocanthus genome, 364 kb is homologous with 265 kb of the Takifugu rubripes genome, and 223 kb is homologous with 148 kb of the Tetraodon nigroviridis genome. The repetitive DNA accounts for 8% of the sequenced D. holocanthus genome, which is higher than that in the T. rubripes genome (6.89% and that in the Te. nigroviridis genome (4.66%. In the repetitive DNA, 76% is retroelements which account for 6% of the sequenced D. holocanthus genome and belong to known families of transposable elements. More than half of retroelements were distributed within genes. In the non-homologous regions, repeat element proportion in D. holocanthus genome increased to 10.6% compared with T. rubripes and increased to 9.19% compared with Te. nigroviridis. A comparison of 10 well-defined orthologous genes showed that the average intron size (566 bp in D. holocanthus genome is significantly longer than that in the smooth pufferfish genome (435 bp. Conclusion Compared with the smooth pufferfish, D. holocanthus has a low gene density and repeat elements rich genome. Genome size variation between D. holocanthus and the smooth pufferfish exhibits as length variation between homologous region and different

  10. 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.)

  11. Molecular size of benzodiazepine receptor in rat brain in situ: evidence for a functional dimer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doble, A.; Iversen, L. L.

    1982-02-01

    Benzodiazepine tranquillizers such as diazepam and chlordiazepoxide interact with high-affinity binding sites in nervous tissue1,2. The correlation between the affinities of various benzodiazepines for these sites with their clinical potencies and activity in behavioural and electrophysiological tests in animals suggests that the sites represent the functional `receptor' whereby benzodiazepines exert their effects3. The intimate involvement of benzodiazepines with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and chloride channels raised the possibility that the benzodiazepine binding site (BDZ-R) may be a protein in the GABA receptor-effector complex4,5. GABA agonists enhance the affinity of BDZ-R for benzodiazepines6, although BDZ-R is distinct from the GABA receptor itself3. However, electrophysiological evidence suggests that the action of benzodiazepines is chloride channel, rather than receptor, directed7-10. Several attempts have been made to measure the molecular weight (Mr) of BDZ-R after solubilization from brain membranes: treatment with 1% Triton X-100 followed by assay of binding activity in solute fractions separated according to molecular weight suggested11 a value of ~200,000, photoaffinity labelling of BDZ-R with 3H-flunitrazepam (3H-FNZ) followed by more rigorous solubilization and gel chromatography indicated12,13 an apparent Mr of ~55,000 and a third approach14 a value of ~100,000. The measured molecular weight seems to depend critically on the solubilization procedure used. Chang et al.15 recently described the use of radiation inactivation to determine the size of BDZ-R in situ in calf brain membranes, and estimated a Mr, of 216,000. We have also used this approach; the results reported here indicate a Mr of between 90,000 and 100,000, but this is reduced to 60,000-63,000 in membranes pretreated with GABA, suggesting the disaggregation of a normally dimeric form.

  12. Comparative expression analysis of the phosphocreatine circuit in extant primates: Implications for human brain evolution.

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    Pfefferle, Adam D; Warner, Lisa R; Wang, Catrina W; Nielsen, William J; Babbitt, Courtney C; Fedrigo, Olivier; Wray, Gregory A

    2011-02-01

    While the hominid fossil record clearly shows that brain size has rapidly expanded over the last ~2.5 M.yr. the forces driving this change remain unclear. One popular hypothesis proposes that metabolic adaptations in response to dietary shifts supported greater encephalization in humans. An increase in meat consumption distinguishes the human diet from that of other great apes. Creatine, an essential metabolite for energy homeostasis in muscle and brain tissue, is abundant in meat and was likely ingested in higher quantities during human origins. Five phosphocreatine circuit proteins help regulate creatine utilization within energy demanding cells. We compared the expression of all five phosphocreatine circuit genes in cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and skeletal muscle tissue for humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques. Strikingly, SLC6A8 and CKB transcript levels are higher in the human brain, which should increase energy availability and turnover compared to non-human primates. Combined with other well-documented differences between humans and non-human primates, this allocation of energy to the cerebral cortex and cerebellum may be important in supporting the increased metabolic demands of the human brain.

  13. 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; Deem, Michael W

    2008-05-01

    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 also find ranked amino acid usage frequencies in agreement with observations of the CDR-H3 variable region of human antibodies.

  14. Size evolution of star-forming galaxies with 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, B.; Le Fèvre, O.; Tasca, L. A. M.; Lemaux, B. C.; Cassata, P.; Garilli, B.; Maccagni, D.; Zamorani, G.; Zucca, E.; Amorín, R.; Bardelli, S.; Fontana, A.; Giavalisco, M.; Hathi, N. P.; Koekemoer, A.; Pforr, J.; Tresse, L.; Dunlop, J.

    2016-08-01

    Context. The size of a galaxy encapsulates the signature of the different physical processes driving its evolution. The distribution of galaxy sizes in the Universe as a function of cosmic time is therefore a key to understand galaxy evolution. Aims: We aim to measure the average sizes and size distributions of galaxies as they are assembling before the peak in the comoving star formation rate density of the Universe to better understand the evolution of galaxies across cosmic time. Methods: We used a sample of ~1200 galaxies in the COSMOS and ECDFS fields with confirmed spectroscopic redshifts 2 ≤ zspec ≤ 4.5 in the VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey (VUDS), representative of star-forming galaxies with iAB ≤ 25. We first derived galaxy sizes by applying a classical parametric profile-fitting method using GALFIT. We then measured the total pixel area covered by a galaxy above a given surface brightness threshold, which overcomes the difficulty of measuring sizes of galaxies with irregular shapes. We then compared the results obtained for the equivalent circularized radius enclosing 100% of the measured galaxy light r100T ~2.2 to those obtained with the effective radius re,circ measured with GALFIT. Results: We find that the sizes of galaxies computed with our non-parametric approach span a wide range but remain roughly constant on average with a median value r100T ~2.2 kpc for galaxies with 2 Program 185.A-0791.

  15. On being the right size: the impact of population size and stochastic effects on the evolution of drug resistance in hospitals and the community.

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    Roger D Kouyos

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of drug resistant bacteria is a severe public health problem, both in hospitals and in the community. Currently, some countries aim at concentrating highly specialized services in large hospitals in order to improve patient outcomes. Emergent resistant strains often originate in health care facilities, but it is unknown to what extent hospital size affects resistance evolution and the resulting spillover of hospital-associated pathogens to the community. We used two published datasets from the US and Ireland to investigate the effects of hospital size and controlled for several confounders such as antimicrobial usage, sampling frequency, mortality, disinfection and length of stay. The proportion of patients acquiring both sensitive and resistant infections in a hospital strongly correlated with hospital size. Moreover, we observe the same pattern for both the percentage of resistant infections and the increase of hospital-acquired infections over time. One interpretation of this pattern is that chance effects in small hospitals impede the spread of drug-resistance. To investigate to what extent the size distribution of hospitals can directly affect the prevalence of antibiotic resistance, we use a stochastic epidemiological model describing the spread of drug resistance in a hospital setting as well as the interaction between one or several hospitals and the community. We show that the level of drug resistance typically increases with population size: In small hospitals chance effects cause large fluctuations in pathogen population size or even extinctions, both of which impede the acquisition and spread of drug resistance. Finally, we show that indirect transmission via environmental reservoirs can reduce the effect of hospital size because the slow turnover in the environment can prevent extinction of resistant strains. This implies that reducing environmental transmission is especially important in small hospitals, because such

  16. 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.

  17. Hominin geographical range dynamics and relative brain size: Do non-human primates provide a good analogy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Katharine; Smaers, Jeroen B; Steele, James

    2015-10-01

    We use climatic and satellite remote sensing data to characterize environmental seasonality in the geographical ranges of extant non-human primates in order to assess the effect of relative brain size on tolerance of more seasonal habitats. Demonstration of such an effect in living non-human primates could provide a comparative framework for modeling hominin dispersals and geographical range dynamics in the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Our analyses found no such effect: there are neither positive nor negative correlations between relative brain size and either geographical range size or the average and range of values for environmental seasonality, whether analysed at the level of all primates, or within parvorders (strepsirrhine, catarrhine, platyrrhine). Independent analyses by other researchers comparing feeding behaviour and ecology at individual primate study sites demonstrate that in seasonal environments, the year-round metabolic costs of maintaining a relatively large brain are met by adaptive behavioural/dietary strategies. However, consistent with our own results, those comparative studies found that there was no overall association, whether positive or negative, between 'raw' environmental seasonality and primate relative brain size. We must therefore look elsewhere for a comparative model of hominin geographical range dynamics in the Pleistocene.

  18. Brain Volume and Paper Size%大脑容量与论文篇幅

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李睿

    2014-01-01

    古人类学证明:在从古猿到人的转变中,大脑容量不断增长;期刊比较证明:在学术发展过程中,论文篇幅不断增长。尽管如此,如“大脑越大越聪明”之虚妄,“论文越长越好”同样无法成立。目前,受核心期刊、学位论文、基金课题对篇幅要求之影响,存在论文写作者凑字数导致论文篇幅异常增大的现象。大脑容量异常增大意味着大脑疾病,论文篇幅异常增大意味着论文失范。体系导向写法、阐释自明概念、无谓历史分期、欧式句法、“车轱辘话”、大段引用、堆积案例、空谈意义、沉溺描述、对策癖好等都会导致论文篇幅异常增大,其根本原因在于论证无力。论文之为论文,核心即在论证,故应关注论证质量,而非刻意增大篇幅,以求要言不烦,名论不刊。%Paleoanthropologists have proven that brain volume kept growing while the transition from ape to man ;the comparative studies of academic journal suggests papers nowadays occupy much more pages than before .However ,“the longer ,the better” for the paper is as w rong as“the bigger the brain ,the cleverer the man” .Currently ,some authors enlarge their paper deliberately to meet the demands of size to publish in major academic journals ,to get degrees or to finish projects with funds .An abnormally large brain suggests brain disease while an abnormally large paper means academic anomie .The abnormality can be caused by many rea‐sons ,such as system -oriented writing style ,interpretation of self -evident concepts ,unnecessary time dividing ,English style Chi‐nese ,excess wordage ,long passages of quotations ,piling up cases ,empty talk of significance ,indulging in description ,addiction to policy suggestion .They all rooted in impotence of argument ,while argument is the key to any academic paper .So ,we shall focus on argument rather than enlarging paper on purpose to make our

  19. 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.

  20. The size of non-hippocampal brain regions varies by season and sex in Richardson's ground squirrel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, R J; Burger, D K; Saucier, D M; Iwaniuk, A N

    2015-03-19

    Sex- and season-specific modulation of hippocampal size and function is observed across multiple species, including rodents. Other non-hippocampal-dependent behaviors exhibit season and sex differences, and whether the associated brain regions exhibit similar variation with sex and season remains to be fully characterized. As such, we examined the brains of wild-caught Richardson's ground squirrels (RGS; Urocitellus richardsonii) for seasonal (breeding, non-breeding) and sex differences in the volumes of specific brain areas, including: total brain volume, corpus callosum (CC), anterior commissure (AC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), total neocortex (NC), entorhinal cortex (EC), and superior colliculus (SC). Analyses of variance and covariance revealed significant interactions between season and sex for almost all areas studied, primarily resulting from females captured during the breeding season exhibiting larger volumes than females captured during the non-breeding season. This was observed for volumes of the AC, mPFC, NC, EC, and SC. Where simple main effects of season were observed for males (the NC and the SC), the volume advantage favoured males captured during the NBr season. Only two simple main effects of sex were observed: males captured in the non-breeding season had significantly larger total brain volume than females captured in the non-breeding season, and females captured during the breeding season had larger volumes of the mPFC and EC than males captured in the breeding season. These results indicate that females have more pronounced seasonal differences in brain and brain region sizes. The extent to which seasonal differences in brain region volumes vary with behaviour is unclear, but our data do suggest that seasonal plasticity is not limited to the hippocampus and that RGS is a useful mammalian species for understanding seasonal plasticity in an ecologically relevant context.

  1. An integrative view of dynamic genomic elements influencing human brain evolution and individual neurodevelopment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gericke, G S

    2008-09-01

    An increasing number of reports of rearranged and aneuploid chromosomes in brain cells suggest an unexpected link between developmental chromosomal instability and brain genome diversity. Unstable chromosomal fragile sites (FS), endogenously or exogenously induced by replicative stressors, participate in genetic rearrangement and may be key features of epigenetically modified neuroplasticity. Certain common chromosomal FS are known to function as signals for RAG complex targets. Recombinase activation gene RAG-1 directed V(D)J recombination affecting specific recognition sequences allows the immune system to encode memories of a vast array of antigens. The finding that RAG-1 is transcribed in the central nervous system raised the consideration that immunoglobulin-like somatic DNA recombination could be involved in recognition and memory processes in brain development and function. Cognitive stress induced somatic hypermutation in neurons, similar to what happens after antigenic challenge in lymphocytes, could underly a massive increase in the synthesis of novel macromolecules to function as coded information bits which get selected for memory storage. This process may involve mobile element activation, which may also play a role in recombinational repair. As a source of tested, successful new open reading frames, somatic hypermutation may confer a selective advantage if somatically acquired information is fed back to germline V gene arrays and the human brain could have adopted a similar process to manage the information captured in rearranged sequences. In neuroevolution and individual brain development, germline information could thus represent a crucial component. The brain itself may, from an evolutionary genetic point of view, represent nothing more than a highly specialized and individually diversified information accrual and memory system to increase the overall phenotypically validated information content of the immortal germline. In the evolution of rapid

  2. Digital IIR filters design using differential evolution algorithm with a controllable probabilistic population size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wu; Fang, Jian-an; Tang, Yang; Zhang, Wenbing; Du, Wei

    2012-01-01

    Design of a digital infinite-impulse-response (IIR) filter is the process of synthesizing and implementing a recursive filter network so that a set of prescribed excitations results a set of desired responses. However, the error surface of IIR filters is usually non-linear and multi-modal. In order to find the global minimum indeed, an improved differential evolution (DE) is proposed for digital IIR filter design in this paper. The suggested algorithm is a kind of DE variants with a controllable probabilistic (CPDE) population size. It considers the convergence speed and the computational cost simultaneously by nonperiodic partial increasing or declining individuals according to fitness diversities. In addition, we discuss as well some important aspects for IIR filter design, such as the cost function value, the influence of (noise) perturbations, the convergence rate and successful percentage, the parameter measurement, etc. As to the simulation result, it shows that the presented algorithm is viable and comparable. Compared with six existing State-of-the-Art algorithms-based digital IIR filter design methods obtained by numerical experiments, CPDE is relatively more promising and competitive.

  3. The size evolution of galaxy discs formed within Lambda Cold Dark Matter haloes

    CERN Document Server

    Firmani, C

    2009-01-01

    By means of galaxy evolutionary models, we explore the direct consequences of the LCDM cosmogony on the size evolution of galactic discs, avoiding intentionally the introduction of intermediate (uncertain) astrophysical processes. Based on the shape of the rotation curves and guided by a simplicity criterion, we adopt an average galaxy mass baryon fraction of 0.03. In order to study general behaviors, only models with the average initial conditions are analyzed. The stellar and B-band effective radii, R* and RB, of individual galaxies grow significantly with time (inside-out disc formation) with laws that are weakly dependent on mass, M*,or luminosity, LB. However, the change of R* with z at fixed M* is slow; for z0.75. We find also that at z=0, R* ~ M*^0.38 and RB ~ LB^0.40, remaining the slopes of these relations almost the same up to z ~ 3. Our predictions are in reasonable agreement with observational inferences on the typical radius change with z of late-type galaxies more luminous (massive) than high va...

  4. The prediction of the evolution of grain size of land-gear forging during the die-forging process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Gao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The land-gear forgings are the most important structure parts, made of high strength steel 300M. Because of the bad service environment, the microstructure and performance of the part are very strict requirements. In this article the evolution of grain size during the die-forging process is predicted, the volume fraction of dynamic recrystallization, grain refinement and development of grain size in-homogeneity, and the affection of billet shape on the grain size distribution are analyzed. The simulated results show that the grain size differences on the different billet positions are very large at the deformation beginning. But in final forging stage, the difference of the average grain size is smaller. At some center zones of the part the maximum difference of grain size is bigger than 100 μm.

  5. Rise of dinosaurs reveals major body-size transitions are driven by passive processes of trait evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sookias, Roland B; Butler, Richard J; Benson, Roger B J

    2012-06-01

    A major macroevolutionary question concerns how long-term patterns of body-size evolution are underpinned by smaller scale processes along lineages. One outstanding long-term transition is the replacement of basal therapsids (stem-group mammals) by archosauromorphs, including dinosaurs, as the dominant large-bodied terrestrial fauna during the Triassic (approx. 252-201 million years ago). This landmark event preceded more than 150 million years of archosauromorph dominance. We analyse a new body-size dataset of more than 400 therapsid and archosauromorph species spanning the Late Permian-Middle Jurassic. Maximum-likelihood analyses indicate that Cope's rule (an active within-lineage trend of body-size increase) is extremely rare, despite conspicuous patterns of body-size turnover, and contrary to proposals that Cope's rule is central to vertebrate evolution. Instead, passive processes predominate in taxonomically and ecomorphologically more inclusive clades, with stasis common in less inclusive clades. Body-size limits are clade-dependent, suggesting intrinsic, biological factors are more important than the external environment. This clade-dependence is exemplified by maximum size of Middle-early Late Triassic archosauromorph predators exceeding that of contemporary herbivores, breaking a widely-accepted 'rule' that herbivore maximum size greatly exceeds carnivore maximum size. Archosauromorph and dinosaur dominance occurred via opportunistic replacement of therapsids following extinction, but were facilitated by higher archosauromorph growth rates.

  6. The dominant role of mergers in the size evolution of massive early-type galaxies since z similar to 1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    López-Sanjuan, C.; Le Fèvre, O.; Ilbert, O.; Tasca, L. A. M.; Bridge, C.; Cucciati, O.; Kampczyk, P.; Pozzetti, L.; Xu, C.K.; Carollo, C. M.; Contini, T.; Kneib, J. -P; Lilly, S. J.; Mainieri, V.; Renzini, A.; Sanders, D.; Scodeggio, M.; Scoville, N. Z.; Taniguchi, Y.; Zamorani, G.; Aussel, H.; Bardelli, S.; Bolzonella, M.; Bongiorno, A.; Capak, P.; Caputi, K.; de la Torre, S.; de Ravel, L.; Franzetti, P.; Garilli, B.; Iovino, A.; Knobel, C.; Kovač, K.; Lamareille, F.; Le Borgne, J. -F; Le Brun, V.; Le Floc'h, E.; Maier, C.; McCracken, H. J.; Mignoli, M.; Pelló, R.; Peng, Y.; Pérez-Montero, E.; Presotto, V.; Ricciardelli, E.; Salvato, M.; Silverman, J. D.; Tanaka, M.; Tresse, L.; Vergani, D.; Zucca, E.; Barnes, L.; Bordoloi, R.; Cappi, A.; Cimatti, A.; Coppa, G.; Koekemoer, A.; Liu, C.T.; Moresco, M.; Nair, P.; Oesch, P.; Schawinski, K.; Welikala, N.

    2012-01-01

    Aims. The role of galaxy mergers in massive galaxy evolution, and in particular to mass assembly and size growth, remains an open question. In this paper we measure the merger fraction and rate, both minor and major, of massive early-type galaxies (M-star >= 10(11) M-circle dot) in the COSMOS field,

  7. Organization and evolution of brain lipidome revealed by large-scale analysis of human, chimpanzee, macaque, and mouse tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozek, Katarzyna; Wei, Yuning; Yan, Zheng; Liu, Xiling; Xiong, Jieyi; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Tomita, Masaru; Pääbo, Svante; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Ely, John J; Li, Yan; Steinhauser, Dirk; Willmitzer, Lothar; Giavalisco, Patrick; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2015-02-18

    Lipids are prominent components of the nervous system. Here we performed a large-scale mass spectrometry-based analysis of the lipid composition of three brain regions as well as kidney and skeletal muscle of humans, chimpanzees, rhesus macaques, and mice. The human brain shows the most distinct lipid composition: 76% of 5,713 lipid compounds examined in our study are either enriched or depleted in the human brain. Concentration levels of lipids enriched in the brain evolve approximately four times faster among primates compared with lipids characteristic of non-neural tissues and show further acceleration of change in human neocortical regions but not in the cerebellum. Human-specific concentration changes are supported by human-specific expression changes for corresponding enzymes. These results provide the first insights into the role of lipids in human brain evolution.

  8. Précis of Foundations of language: brain, meaning, grammar, evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackendoff, Ray

    2003-12-01

    The goal of this study is to reintegrate the theory of generative grammar into the cognitive sciences. Generative grammar was right to focus on the child's acquisition of language as its central problem, leading to the hypothesis of an innate Universal Grammar. However, generative grammar was mistaken in assuming that the syntactic component is the sole course of combinatoriality, and that everything else is "interpretive." The proper approach is a parallel architecture, in which phonology, syntax, and semantics are autonomous generative systems linked by interface components. The parallel architecture leads to an integration within linguistics, and to a far better integration with the rest of cognitive neuroscience. It fits naturally into the larger architecture of the mind/brain and permits a properly mentalistic theory of semantics. It results in a view of linguistic performance in which the rules of grammar are directly involved in processing. Finally, it leads to a natural account of the incremental evolution of the language capacity.

  9. Maximum (prior brain size, not atrophy, correlates with cognition in community-dwelling older people: a cross-sectional neuroimaging study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deary Ian J

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain size is associated with cognitive ability in adulthood (correlation ~ .3, but few studies have investigated the relationship in normal ageing, particularly beyond age 75 years. With age both brain size and fluid-type intelligence decline, and regional atrophy is often suggested as causing decline in specific cognitive abilities. However, an association between brain size and intelligence may be due to the persistence of this relationship from earlier life. Methods We recruited 107 community-dwelling volunteers (29% male aged 75–81 years for cognitive testing and neuroimaging. We used principal components analysis to derived a 'general cognitive factor' (g from tests of fluid-type ability. Using semi-automated analysis, we measured whole brain volume, intracranial area (ICA (an estimate of maximal brain volume, and volume of frontal and temporal lobes, amygdalo-hippocampal complex, and ventricles. Brain atrophy was estimated by correcting WBV for ICA. Results Whole brain volume (WBV correlated with general cognitive ability (g (r = .21, P Conclusion The association between brain regions and specific cognitive abilities in community dwelling people of older age is due to the life-long association between whole brain size and general cognitive ability, rather than atrophy of specific regions. Researchers and clinicians should therefore be cautious of interpreting global or regional brain atrophy on neuroimaging as contributing to cognitive status in older age without taking into account prior mental ability and brain size.

  10. Evolution of mutation rates in hypermutable populations of Escherichia coli propagated at very small effective population size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Tanya; Hyun, Meredith; Sniegowski, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Mutation is the ultimate source of the genetic variation-including variation for mutation rate itself-that fuels evolution. Natural selection can raise or lower the genomic mutation rate of a population by changing the frequencies of mutation rate modifier alleles associated with beneficial and deleterious mutations. Existing theory and observations suggest that where selection is minimized, rapid systematic evolution of mutation rate either up or down is unlikely. Here, we report systematic evolution of higher and lower mutation rates in replicate hypermutable Escherichia coli populations experimentally propagated at very small effective size-a circumstance under which selection is greatly reduced. Several populations went extinct during this experiment, and these populations tended to evolve elevated mutation rates. In contrast, populations that survived to the end of the experiment tended to evolve decreased mutation rates. We discuss the relevance of our results to current ideas about the evolution, maintenance and consequences of high mutation rates.

  11. 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.

  12. Correlated evolution of life-history with size at maturity in Daphnia pulicaria: patterns within and between populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Charles F; Lynch, Michael

    2003-04-01

    Explaining the repeated evolution of similar sets of traits under similar environmental conditions is an important issue in evolutionary biology. The extreme alternative classes of explanations for correlated suites of traits are optimal adaptation and genetic constraint resulting from pleiotropy. Adaptive explanations presume that individual traits are free to evolve to their local optima and that convergent evolution represents particularly adaptive combinations of traits. Alternatively, if pleiotropy is strong and difficult to break, strong selection on one or a few particularly important characters would be expected to result in consistent correlated evolution of associated traits. If pleiotropy is common, we predict that the pattern of divergence among populations will consistently reflect the within-population genetic architecture. To test the idea that the multivariate life-history phenotype is largely a byproduct of strong selection on body size, we imposed divergent artificial selection on size at maturity upon two populations of the cladoceran Daphnia pulicaria, chosen on the basis of their extreme divergence in body size. Overall, the trajectory of divergence between the two natural populations did not differ from that predicted by the genetic architecture within each population. However, the pattern of correlated responses suggested the presence of strong pleiotropic constraints only for adult body size and not for other life-history traits. One trait, offspring size, appears to have evolved in a way different from that expected from the within-population genetic architecture and may be under stabilizing selection.

  13. 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.

  14. Directed evolution of brain-derived neurotrophic factor for improved folding and expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Michael L; Malott, Thomas M; Metcalf, Kevin J; Hackel, Benjamin J; Chan, Jonah R; Shusta, Eric V

    2014-09-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in nervous system function and has therapeutic potential. Microbial production of BDNF has resulted in a low-fidelity protein product, often in the form of large, insoluble aggregates incapable of binding to cognate TrkB or p75 receptors. In this study, employing Saccharomyces cerevisiae display and secretion systems, it was found that BDNF was poorly expressed and partially inactive on the yeast surface and that BDNF was secreted at low levels in the form of disulfide-bonded aggregates. Thus, for the purpose of increasing the compatibility of yeast as an expression host for BDNF, directed-evolution approaches were employed to improve BDNF folding and expression levels. Yeast surface display was combined with two rounds of directed evolution employing random mutagenesis and shuffling to identify BDNF mutants that had 5-fold improvements in expression, 4-fold increases in specific TrkB binding activity, and restored p75 binding activity, both as displayed proteins and as secreted proteins. Secreted BDNF mutants were found largely in the form of soluble homodimers that could stimulate TrkB phosphorylation in transfected PC12 cells. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicated that a particularly important mutational class involved the introduction of cysteines proximal to the native cysteines that participate in the BDNF cysteine knot architecture. Taken together, these findings show that yeast is now a viable alternative for both the production and the engineering of BDNF.

  15. Effect of PLGA NP size on efficiency to target traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Luis J; Stammes, Marieke A; Que, Ivo; van Beek, Ermond R; Knol-Blankevoort, Vicky T; Snoeks, Thomas J A; Chan, Alan; Kaijzel, Eric L; Löwik, Clemens W G M

    2016-02-10

    Necrotic cell death occurs exclusively under pathological conditions, such as ischemic diseases. Necrosis imaging is of diagnostic value and enables early measurement of treatment efficiency in ischemic patients. Here we explored the targeted delivery of particles, with diameters of approximately 100nm, 200nm and 800nm, consisting of a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle (NP) core coated with a polyethylene glycol-lipid (PEG) layer. Targeted delivery was facilitated by coupling the amino end group of the polyethylene glycol-layer to 800CW imaging agent, which specifically binds to intracellular proteins of cells that have lost membrane integrity, thus revealing the extent of the damaged area. We found that smaller NPs (100nm), with an appropriate coating, diffuse throughout the traumatic brain injury (TBI) in mice. Optical imaging revealed that smaller (100-nm) PEG-coated NPs carrying 800CW penetrated deeper into the mouse brain than large 800CW containing NPs (800nm). The importance of the 800CW as a ligand to target the necrotic tissue was further confirmed in living mice. The ability to achieve brain penetration with smaller NPs is expected to allow more uniform, longer-lasting, and effective delivery of drugs within the brain, and may find application in the treatment of stroke, brain tumors, neuroinflammation, and other brain diseases where the blood-brain barrier is compromised or where local delivery strategies are feasible.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa, Alexandra A; Proulx, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    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 an absolutely larger 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.

  18. Perinatal complications and reduced size of brain limbic structures in familial schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLisi, L E; Dauphinais, I D; Gershon, E S

    1988-01-01

    Both genetic and nongenetic risk factors for schizophrenia have been described. Specifically, perinatal complications have been suggested as a factor in the later development of schizophrenia. These appear to be increased among schizophrenic patients with a clear genetic vulnerability for illness. While reduced brain tissue localized to the temporal lobe is also present in these individuals, it is unknown whether brain structural differences are a consequence of perinatal insults to the developing brain. Initial analyses on magnetic resonance imaging scans from siblings with schizophrenia are presented in an attempt to examine this issue.

  19. Why size matters: differences in brain volume account for apparent sex differences in callosal anatomy: the sexual dimorphism of the corpus callosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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 examined callosal morphology in 24 male and 24 female brains carefully matched for overall size. In addition, we selected 24 extremely large male brains and 24 extremely small female brains to explore if observed sex effects might vary depending on the degree to which male and female groups differed in brain size. Using the individual T1-weighted brain images (n=96), we delineated the corpus callosum at midline and applied a well-validated surface-based mesh-modeling approach to compare callosal thickness at 100 equidistant points between groups determined by brain size and sex. The corpus callosum was always thicker in men than in women. However, this callosal sex difference was strongly determined by the cerebral sex difference overall. That is, the larger the discrepancy in brain size between men and women, the more pronounced the sex difference in callosal thickness, with hardly any callosal differences remaining between brain-size matched men and women. Altogether, these findings suggest that individual differences in brain size account for apparent sex differences in the anatomy of the corpus callosum.

  20. How Do the Size, Charge and Shape of Nanoparticles Affect Amyloid β Aggregation on Brain Lipid Bilayer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yuna; Park, Ji-Hyun; Lee, Hyojin; Nam, Jwa-Min

    2016-01-19

    Here, we studied the effect of the size, shape, and surface charge of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) on amyloid beta (Aβ) aggregation on a total brain lipid-based supported lipid bilayer (brain SLB), a fluid platform that facilitates Aβ-AuNP aggregation process. We found that larger AuNPs induce large and amorphous aggregates on the brain SLB, whereas smaller AuNPs induce protofibrillar Aβ structures. Positively charged AuNPs were more strongly attracted to Aβ than negatively charged AuNPs, and the stronger interactions between AuNPs and Aβ resulted in fewer β-sheets and more random coil structures. We also compared spherical AuNPs, gold nanorods (AuNRs), and gold nanocubes (AuNCs) to study the effect of nanoparticle shape on Aβ aggregation on the brain SLB. Aβ was preferentially bound to the long axis of AuNRs and fewer fibrils were formed whereas all the facets of AuNCs interacted with Aβ to produce the fibril networks. Finally, it was revealed that different nanostructures induce different cytotoxicity on neuroblastoma cells, and, overall, smaller Aβ aggregates induce higher cytotoxicity. The results offer insight into the roles of NPs and brain SLB in Aβ aggregation on the cell membrane and can facilitate the understanding of Aβ-nanostructure co-aggregation mechanism and tuning Aβ aggregate structures.

  1. Visual information about object size and object position are retained differently in the visual brain: Evidence from grasping studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Constanze; Miller, Louisa; Buckingham, Gavin

    2016-10-01

    Many experiments have examined how the visual information used for action control is represented in our brain, and whether or not visually-guided and memory-guided hand movements rely on dissociable visual representations that are processed in different brain areas (dorsal vs. ventral). However, little is known about how these representations decay over longer time periods and whether or not different visual properties are retained in a similar fashion. In three experiments we investigated how information about object size and object position affect grasping as visual memory demands increase. We found that position information decayed rapidly with increasing delays between viewing the object and initiating subsequent actions - impacting both the accuracy of the transport component (lower end-point accuracy) and the grasp component (larger grip apertures) of the movement. In contrast, grip apertures and fingertip forces remained well-adjusted to target size in conditions in which positional information was either irrelevant or provided, regardless of delay, indicating that object size is encoded in a more stable manner than object position. The findings provide evidence that different grasp-relevant properties are encoded differently by the visual system. Furthermore, we argue that caution is required when making inferences about object size representations based on alterations in the grip component as these variations are confounded with the accuracy with which object position is represented. Instead fingertip forces seem to provide a reliable and confound-free measure to assess internal size estimations in conditions of increased visual uncertainty.

  2. 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.

  3. The evolution of biomass-burning aerosol size distributions due to coagulation: dependence on fire and meteorological details and parameterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Kimiko M.; Laing, James R.; Stevens, Robin G.; Jaffe, Daniel A.; Pierce, Jeffrey R.

    2016-06-01

    Biomass-burning aerosols have a significant effect on global and regional aerosol climate forcings. To model the magnitude of these effects accurately requires knowledge of the size distribution of the emitted and evolving aerosol particles. Current biomass-burning inventories do not include size distributions, and global and regional models generally assume a fixed size distribution from all biomass-burning emissions. However, biomass-burning size distributions evolve in the plume due to coagulation and net organic aerosol (OA) evaporation or formation, and the plume processes occur on spacial scales smaller than global/regional-model grid boxes. The extent of this size-distribution evolution is dependent on a variety of factors relating to the emission source and atmospheric conditions. Therefore, accurately accounting for biomass-burning aerosol size in global models requires an effective aerosol size distribution that accounts for this sub-grid evolution and can be derived from available emission-inventory and meteorological parameters. In this paper, we perform a detailed investigation of the effects of coagulation on the aerosol size distribution in biomass-burning plumes. We compare the effect of coagulation to that of OA evaporation and formation. We develop coagulation-only parameterizations for effective biomass-burning size distributions using the SAM-TOMAS large-eddy simulation plume model. For the most-sophisticated parameterization, we use the Gaussian Emulation Machine for Sensitivity Analysis (GEM-SA) to build a parameterization of the aged size distribution based on the SAM-TOMAS output and seven inputs: emission median dry diameter, emission distribution modal width, mass emissions flux, fire area, mean boundary-layer wind speed, plume mixing depth, and time/distance since emission. This parameterization was tested against an independent set of SAM-TOMAS simulations and yields R2 values of 0.83 and 0.89 for Dpm and modal width, respectively. The

  4. 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.

  5. The impact of kleptoparasitic invasions on the evolution of gall-size in social and solitary Australian Acacia thrips

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    THOMAS WILLIAM CHAPMAN; KAREN LEAH FRANCIS-GEYER; MICHAEL PHILIP SCHWARZ

    2006-01-01

    Many species of gall-inducing Acacia thrips are attacked by kleptoparasitic thrips who enter the gall, destroy the occupants, and then use the gall for producing their own offspring. The hypothesis tested here is that pressure exerted by kleptoparasites (genus Koptothrips) not only provoked the evolution of soldiers in the gall-inducing clade, but have also influenced the evolution of gall size and morphology. Various size dimensions of invaded galls were compared to those of uninvaded galls using data from six gall-inducing species and their kleptoparasites. For the non-social gall-inducing species (K. ellobus and K.nicholsoni) invaded galls showed no significant size differences from galls that had not been invaded. For the four social gall-inducingspecies (K. habrus, K. intermedius, K. waterhousei and K. morrisi) invaded galls were significantly narrower and/or shorter than uninvaded galls. Galls of social species that had not been invaded and contained adult soldiers were significantly larger than galls where soldiers were still at a larval stage, suggesting that gall size is related to gall age in these species. An hypothesis is proposed that links the timing of invasion by kleptoparasites to size of the host gall: induction of a smaller gall by host founders will reduce the period of vulnerability to invasion (before soldiers become adults)for social thrips by allowing foundresses in these smaller galls to begin laying soldierdestined eggs relatively sooner.

  6. 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.

  7. Avian sleep homeostasis: convergent evolution of complex brains, cognition and sleep functions in mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattenborg, Niels C; Martinez-Gonzalez, Dolores; Lesku, John A

    2009-03-01

    Birds are the only taxonomic group other than mammals that exhibit high-amplitude slow-waves in the electroencephalogram (EEG) during sleep. This defining feature of slow-wave sleep (SWS) apparently evolved independently in mammals and birds, as reptiles do not exhibit similar EEG activity during sleep. In mammals, the level of slow-wave activity (SWA) (low-frequency spectral power density) during SWS increases and decreases as a function of prior time spent awake and asleep, respectively, and therefore reflects homeostatically regulated sleep processes potentially tied to the function of SWS. Although birds also exhibit SWS, previous sleep deprivation studies in birds did not detect a compensatory increase in SWS-related SWA during recovery, as observed in similarly sleep-deprived mammals. This suggested that, unlike mammalian SWS, avian SWS is not homeostatically regulated, and therefore might serve a different function. However, we recently demonstrated that SWA during SWS increases in pigeons following short-term sleep deprivation. Herein we summarize research on avian sleep homeostasis, and cast our evidence for this phenomenon within the context of theories for the function of SWS in mammals. We propose that the convergent evolution of homeostatically regulated SWS in mammals and birds was directly linked to the convergent evolution of large, heavily interconnected brains capable of performing complex cognitive processes in each group. Specifically, as has been proposed for mammals, the interconnectivity that forms the basis of complex cognition in birds may also instantiate slow, synchronous network oscillations during SWS that in turn maintain interconnectivity and cognition at an optimal level.

  8. 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.

  9. Automatic Evolution of Multimodal Behavior with Multi-Brain HyperNEAT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrum, Jacob; Lehman, Joel; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    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...

  10. Size-dependent long-term tissue response to biostable nanowires in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gällentoft, Lina; Pettersson, Lina M E; Danielsen, Nils; Schouenborg, Jens; Prinz, Christelle N; Linsmeier, Cecilia Eriksson

    2015-02-01

    Nanostructured neural interfaces, comprising nanotubes or nanowires, have the potential to overcome the present hurdles of achieving stable communication with neuronal networks for long periods of time. This would have a strong impact on brain research. However, little information is available on the brain response to implanted high-aspect-ratio nanoparticles, which share morphological similarities with asbestos fibres. Here, we investigated the glial response and neuronal loss in the rat brain after implantation of biostable and structurally controlled nanowires of different lengths for a period up to one year post-surgery. Our results show that, as for lung and abdominal tissue, the brain is subject to a sustained, local inflammation when biostable and high-aspect-ratio nanoparticles of 5 μm or longer are present in the brain tissue. In addition, a significant loss of neurons was observed adjacent to the 10 μm nanowires after one year. Notably, the inflammatory response was restricted to a narrow zone around the nanowires and did not escalate between 12 weeks and one year. Furthermore, 2 μm nanowires did not cause significant inflammatory response nor significant loss of neurons nearby. The present results provide key information for the design of future neural implants based on nanomaterials.

  11. Impact of Maternal Thyroperoxidase Status on Fetal Body and Brain Size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roneé E. Wilson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The obstetric consequences of abnormal thyroid function during pregnancy have been established. Less understood is the influence of maternal thyroid autoantibodies on infant outcomes. The objective of this study was to examine the influence of maternal thyroperoxidase (TPO status on fetal/infant brain and body growth. Six-hundred thirty-one (631 euthyroid pregnant women were recruited from prenatal clinics in Tampa Bay, Florida, and the surrounding area between November 2007 and December 2010. TPO status was determined during pregnancy and fetal/infant brain and body growth variables were assessed at delivery. Regression analysis revealed maternal that TPO positivity was significantly associated with smaller head circumference, reduced brain weight, and lower brain-to-body ratio among infants born to TPO+ white, non-Hispanic mothers only, distinguishing race/ethnicity as an effect modifier in the relationship. No significant differences were noted in body growth measurements among infants born to TPO positive mothers of any racial/ethnic group. Currently, TPO antibody status is not assessed as part of the standard prenatal care laboratory work-up, but findings from this study suggest that fetal brain growth may be impaired by TPO positivity among certain populations; therefore autoantibody screening among high-risk subgroups may be useful for clinicians to determine whether prenatal thyroid treatment is warranted.

  12. 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.

  13. Brain evolution, the determinates of food choice, and the omnivore's dilemma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armelagos, George J

    2014-01-01

    A coevolutionary paradigm using a biocultural perspective can help to unravel the complex interactions that led to the contemporary pattern of eating. Evolutionary history helps to understand the adaptation of diet and its nutritional implications. Anatomical and behavioral changes linked to changing dietary patterns in the Paleolithic resulted in an adaptive framework that affects modern diet. The evolution of an expanding brain, a shrinking large intestine, and lengthening small intestine necessitated a demand for nutritionally dense foods. The key to these changes is an understanding of the response to the omnivore's dilemma. Omnivores in their search for new items to feed their varied diet (neophilia) have a challenge when they fear (neophobia) novel items that may be poisonous and can cause death. The inborn mechanism initiates palate fatigue (sensory-specific satiety) ensuring a variety of foods will be eaten. Variety will limit the impact of toxins ingested and provide a more balanced diet. The development of cuisine, a momentous event in history, mediated the conflict, and changed the course of human evolution. The cuisine, a biocultural construct, defines which items found in nature are edible, how these products are transformed into food, the flavors used to add a sensory dimension to foods, and rules of eating or etiquette. Etiquette defines how, when, and with whom we eat. Patterns of eating in the modern setting are the end product of the way that Homo sapiens evolved and resolved the omnivore's dilemma. Control of fire and cooking expanded the range of available foods by creating a class of foods that are "predigested." An essential element to the evolution of the human diet was the transition to agriculture as the primary mode of subsistence. The Neolithic revolution dramatically narrowed the dietary niche by decreasing the variety of available foods, with the shift to intensive agriculture creating a dramatic decline in human nutrition. The recent

  14. 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.

  15. Reducing Dataset Size in Frequency Domain for Brain Computer Interface Motor Imagery Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ch.Aparna

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Brain computer interface is an emerging area of research where the BCI system is able to detect and interpret the mental activity into computer interpretable signals opening a wide area of applications where activities can be completed without using muscular movement. In Brain Computer Interface research, for classification of EEG signals the raw signals captured has to undergo some preprocessing, to obtain the right attributes for classification. In this paper, we present a system which allows for classification of mental tasks based on a statistical data obtained in frequency domain using Discrete cosine transform and extracting useful frequencies from the same with application of decision tree algorithms for classification.

  16. The Effect of Abiotic Factors on Marine Animal Body Size Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X. F.; Wong, W.; Heim, N.; Payne, J.

    2015-12-01

    While there is evidence of a general increase in body size over time, there has been no comprehensive attempt to determine the influence of abiotic factors on body size. Although an increase in maximum body size has been observed during and after the Precambrian oxidation events in the Late Archean and at the onset of the Cambrian, these observations took into account the appearance of eukaryotic life and multicellular life respectively. Using a database of marine animal body sizes spanning the Phanerozoic, we conducted a series of Pearson product-moment correlation tests with igneous rock weathering (Strontium-87: Strontium-86), rate of carbon cycle (δ13C), temperature (δ18O), CO2 concentration, sulfate mineral weathering (δ34S), atmospheric oxygen concentration, and sea level as independent variables, and mean body size as the dependent variable. Our test yielded a correlation coefficient of 0.81 between δ18O and body size, and -0.78 between rCO2 and body size; since δ18O is inversely correlated with temperature, these results indicate that both temperature and CO2 have strong inverse relationships with body size. Atmospheric oxygen yielded a correlation coefficient of 0.09, demonstrating that it ceased to play an influential role in shaping body sizes following the start of the Phanerozoic.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 3D-HST+CANDELS: The evolution of the galaxy size-mass distribution since z = 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van der Wel, A.; Rix, H.-W.; Chang, Yu-Yen [Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Franx, M.; Fumagalli, M. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, NL-2300 AA Leiden (Netherlands); Van Dokkum, P. G.; Momcheva, I. G. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Skelton, R. E. [South African Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 9, Observatory 7935 (South Africa); Whitaker, K. E. [Astrophysics Science Division, Goddard Space Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Brammer, G. B.; Ferguson, H. C.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Behroozi, P. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Bell, E. F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Wuyts, S. [Max-Planck Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Holden, B. P.; Barro, G. [University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); McGrath, E. J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Colby College, Waterville, ME 0490 (United States); Häussler, B. [Physics Department, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Dekel, A., E-mail: vdwel@mpia.de [Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904 (Israel); and others

    2014-06-10

    Spectroscopic+photometric redshifts, stellar mass estimates, and rest-frame colors from the 3D-HST survey are combined with structural parameter measurements from CANDELS imaging to determine the galaxy size-mass distribution over the redshift range 0 < z < 3. Separating early- and late-type galaxies on the basis of star-formation activity, we confirm that early-type galaxies are on average smaller than late-type galaxies at all redshifts, and we find a significantly different rate of average size evolution at fixed galaxy mass, with fast evolution for the early-type population, R {sub eff}∝(1 + z){sup –1.48}, and moderate evolution for the late-type population, R {sub eff}∝(1 + z){sup –0.75}. The large sample size and dynamic range in both galaxy mass and redshift, in combination with the high fidelity of our measurements due to the extensive use of spectroscopic data, not only fortify previous results but also enable us to probe beyond simple average galaxy size measurements. At all redshifts the slope of the size-mass relation is shallow, R{sub eff}∝M{sub ∗}{sup 0.22}, for late-type galaxies with stellar mass >3 × 10{sup 9} M {sub ☉}, and steep, R{sub eff}∝M{sub ∗}{sup 0.75}, for early-type galaxies with stellar mass >2 × 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}. The intrinsic scatter is ≲0.2 dex for all galaxy types and redshifts. For late-type galaxies, the logarithmic size distribution is not symmetric but is skewed toward small sizes: at all redshifts and masses, a tail of small late-type galaxies exists that overlaps in size with the early-type galaxy population. The number density of massive (∼10{sup 11} M {sub ☉}), compact (R {sub eff} < 2 kpc) early-type galaxies increases from z = 3 to z = 1.5-2 and then strongly decreases at later cosmic times.

  20. 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 whic

  1. 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.

  2. Dietary protein content affects evolution for body size, body fat and viability in Drosophila melanogaster

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Torsten N; Overgaard, Johannes; Loeschcke, Volker;

    2011-01-01

    The ability to use different food sources is likely to be under strong selection if organisms are faced with natural variation in macro-nutrient (protein, carbohydrate and lipid) availabilities. Here, we use experimental evolution to study how variable dietary protein content affects adult body c...

  3. Single-locus tests of microsatellite evolution : Multi-step mutations and constraints on allele size

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, R; Palsboll, PJ

    1999-01-01

    We evaluate some common simulation procedures as well as a recently developed likelihood method used for testing hypotheses regarding microsatellite evolution. Results from simulated data revealed that the tests for the detection of multi-step mutations in general have some power, whereas tests for

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Sediment Distribution in the Nearshore Zone: Grain Size Evolution in Response to Shoreface Nourishment (Island of Terschelling, The Netherlands)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillén, J.; Hoekstra, P.

    1997-11-01

    The natural sediment distribution in the littoral zone of Terschelling, The Netherlands was disturbed by a shoreface nourishment carried out off the central part of the island. The sedimentological impact of this shoreface nourishment, i.e. the grain size evolution and the sediment dynamics, is studied in order to increase understanding of coastal processes. The variability of the sediment during the study period is due to both natural processes and the nourishment. Immediately after implementation of the nourishment, the sediment distribution was measurably affected. The sediment supplied caused a coarsening (20-40 μm) of the sediment in the zone directly affected by the nourishment. Six months after the nourishment, the grain size distribution across the profile was nearly the same as the original, and no significant effects of the nourishment could be recognized in the median grain size. Individual grain size fractions displayed a temporal evolution more complex than the median size, and significant changes, unrelated to the sand supplied, were observed. Results of the sediment analysis from the coastal zone of Terschelling indicate that the shoreface nourishment only had a short-term and very local impact on the sediment distribution. Some months after the nourishment, the former grain size distribution was re-established. This implies that the nourished sediment was quickly dispersed and mixed with the original deposits, and that it only represents a small part of the volume of sediment involved in the dynamics of the littoral zone. On a yearly perspective, the natural variability of the sediment was higher than the changes caused by the nourishment.

  7. Insights into the dynamics of genome size and chromosome evolution in the early diverging angiosperm lineage Nymphaeales (water lilies).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicer, J; Kelly, L J; Magdalena, C; Leitch, I J

    2013-08-01

    Nymphaeales are the most species-rich lineage of the earliest diverging angiosperms known as the ANA grade (Amborellales, Nymphaeales, Austrobaileyales), and they have received considerable attention from morphological, physiological, and ecological perspectives. Although phylogenetic relationships between these three lineages of angiosperms are mainly well resolved, insights at the whole genome level are still limited because of a dearth of information. To address this, genome sizes and chromosome numbers in 34 taxa, comprising 28 species were estimated and analysed together with previously published data to provide an overview of genome size and chromosome diversity in Nymphaeales. Overall, genome sizes were shown to vary 10-fold and chromosome numbers and ploidy levels ranged from 2n = 2x = 18 to 2n = 16x = ∼224. Distinct patterns of genome diversity were apparent, reflecting the differential incidence of polyploidy, changes in repetitive DNA content, and chromosome rearrangements within and between genera. Using model-based approaches, ancestral genome size and basic chromosome numbers were reconstructed to provide insights into the dynamics of genome size and chromosome number evolution. Finally, by combining additional data from Amborellales and Austrobaileyales, a comprehensive overview of genome sizes and chromosome numbers in these early diverging angiosperms is presented.

  8. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in urbanized landscapes: evolution, species sorting and the change in zooplankton body size along urbanization gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brans, Kristien I; Govaert, Lynn; Engelen, Jessie M T; Gianuca, Andros T; Souffreau, Caroline; De Meester, Luc

    2017-01-19

    Urbanization causes both changes in community composition and evolutionary responses, but most studies focus on these responses in isolation. We performed an integrated analysis assessing the relative contribution of intra- and interspecific trait turnover to the observed change in zooplankton community body size in 83 cladoceran communities along urbanization gradients quantified at seven spatial scales (50-3200 m radii). We also performed a quantitative genetic analysis on 12 Daphnia magna populations along the same urbanization gradient. Body size in zooplankton communities generally declined with increasing urbanization, but the opposite was observed for communities dominated by large species. The contribution of intraspecific trait variation to community body size turnover with urbanization strongly varied with the spatial scale considered, and was highest for communities dominated by large cladoceran species and at intermediate spatial scales. Genotypic size at maturity was smaller for urban than for rural D. magna populations and for animals cultured at 24°C compared with 20°C. While local genetic adaptation likely contributed to the persistence of D. magna in the urban heat islands, buffering for the phenotypic shift to larger body sizes with increasing urbanization, community body size turnover was mainly driven by non-genetic intraspecific trait change.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  9. A stereoscopic system for viewing the temporal evolution of brain activity clusters in response to linguistic stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Angus; Villegas, Javier; Almryde, Kyle R.; Plante, Elena

    2014-03-01

    In this paper, we present a novel application, 3D+Time Brain View, for the stereoscopic visualization of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data gathered from participants exposed to unfamiliar spoken languages. An analysis technique based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is used to identify statistically significant clusters of brain activity and their changes over time during different testing sessions. That is, our system illustrates the temporal evolution of participants' brain activity as they are introduced to a foreign language through displaying these clusters as they change over time. The raw fMRI data is presented as a stereoscopic pair in an immersive environment utilizing passive stereo rendering. The clusters are presented using a ray casting technique for volume rendering. Our system incorporates the temporal information and the results of the ICA into the stereoscopic 3D rendering, making it easier for domain experts to explore and analyze the data.

  10. A stereoscopic system for viewing the temporal evolution of brain activity clusters in response to linguistic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Angus; Villegas, Javier; Almryde, Kyle R; Plante, Elena

    2014-03-06

    In this paper, we present a novel application, 3D+Time Brain View, for the stereoscopic visualization of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data gathered from participants exposed to unfamiliar spoken languages. An analysis technique based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is used to identify statistically significant clusters of brain activity and their changes over time during different testing sessions. That is, our system illustrates the temporal evolution of participants' brain activity as they are introduced to a foreign language through displaying these clusters as they change over time. The raw fMRI data is presented as a stereoscopic pair in an immersive environment utilizing passive stereo rendering. The clusters are presented using a ray casting technique for volume rendering. Our system incorporates the temporal information and the results of the ICA into the stereoscopic 3D rendering, making it easier for domain experts to explore and analyze the data.

  11. Geochemical indicator of original eolian grain size and implications on winter monsoon evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    彭淑贞; 郭正堂

    2001-01-01

    Grain size of eolian deposits from the Loess Plateau in China has been widely used to reconstruct the history of the East Asian winter monsoon. However, the grain size of bulk samples is only partially indicative to the strength of the winter monsoon because post-depositional weathering processes have significantly changed the grain size of original eolian particles. Here, non-weathered loess samples were separated into eight different particle fractions, and major chemical elements were determined in order to establish a geochemical indicator of original eolian grain size. The results show that SiO2and AI2O3contents and the SiO2/AI203 ratio in different fractions vary regularly with grain size, and that a good linear relation exists between the SiO2/AI2O3 ratio and grain size for the fractions<50μm. Because Al and Si are among the most stable elements and pedogenic processes in the Loess Plateau cannot affect the SiO2/AI2O3 ratio, this index can be used to reflect the grain size of original eolian part

  12. 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 magnet

  13. Terrestrial Planet Evolution in the Stagnant-Lid Regime: Size Effects and the Formation of Self-Destabilizing Crust

    CERN Document Server

    O'Rourke, Joseph G

    2012-01-01

    The ongoing discovery of terrestrial exoplanets accentuates the importance of studying planetary evolution for a wide range of initial conditions. We perform thermal evolution simulations for generic terrestrial planets with masses ranging from that of Mars to 10 Earth-masses in the stagnant-lid regime, the most natural mode of convection with strongly temperature- dependent viscosity. Given considerable uncertainty surrounding the dependency of mantle rheology on pressure, we choose to focus on the end-member case of pressure-independent potential viscosity, where viscosity does not change with depth along an adiabatic temperature gradient. We employ principal component analysis and linear regression to capture the first-order systematics of possible evolutionary scenarios from a large number of simulation runs. With increased planetary mass, crustal thickness and the degree of mantle processing are both predicted to decrease, and such size effects can also be derived with simple scaling analyses. The likeli...

  14. Comparing the Evolution of the Galaxy Disk Sizes with CDM Models The Hubble Deep Field

    CERN Document Server

    Giallongo, E; Poli, F; D'Odorico, S; Fontana, A

    2000-01-01

    The intrinsic sizes of the field galaxies with I-19) galaxies is skewed with respect to the CDM predictions and an excess of small-size disks (R_d<2 kpc) is already present at z~ 0.5. The excess persists up to z~3 and involves brighter galaxies . Such an excess may be reduced if luminosity-dependent effects, like starburst activity in interacting galaxies, are included in the physical mechanisms governing the star formation history in CDM models.

  15. The battle of the sexes over seed size: support for both kinship genomic imprinting and interlocus contest evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willi, Yvonne

    2013-06-01

    Outcrossing creates a venue for parental conflict. When one sex provides parental care to offspring fertilized by several partners, the nonproviding sex is under selection to maximally exploit the caring sex. The caring sex may counteradapt, and a coevolutionary arms race ensues. Genetic models of this conflict include the kinship theory of genomic imprinting (parent-of-origin-specific expression of maternal-care effectors) and interlocus conflict evolution (interaction between male selfish signals and female abatement). Predictions were tested by measuring the sizes of seeds produced by within-population crosses (diallel design) and between-population crosses in outcrossing and selfing populations of Arabidopsis lyrata. Within-population diallel crosses revealed substantial maternal variance in seed size in most populations. The comparison of between- and within-population crosses showed that seeds were larger when pollen came from another outcrossing population than when pollen came from a selfing or the same population, supporting interlocus contest evolution between male selfish genes and female recognition genes. Evidence for kinship genomic imprinting came from complementary trait means of seed size in reciprocal between-population crosses independent of whether populations were predominantly selfing or outcrossing. Hence, both kinship genomic imprinting and interlocus contest are supported in outcrossing Arabidopsis, whereas only kinship genomic imprinting is important in selfing populations.

  16. The influence of body size and net diversification rate on molecular evolution during the radiation of animal phyla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Welch John J

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular clock dates, which place the origin of animal phyla deep in the Precambrian, have been used to reject the hypothesis of a rapid evolutionary radiation of animal phyla supported by the fossil record. One possible explanation of the discrepancy is the potential for fast substitution rates early in the metazoan radiation. However, concerted rate variation, occurring simultaneously in multiple lineages, cannot be detected by "clock tests", and so another way to explore such variation is to look for correlated changes between rates and other biological factors. Here we investigate two possible causes of fast early rates: change in average body size or diversification rate of deep metazoan lineages. Results For nine genes for phylogenetically independent comparisons between 50 metazoan phyla, orders, and classes, we find a significant correlation between average body size and rate of molecular evolution of mitochondrial genes. The data also indicate that diversification rate may have a positive effect on rates of mitochondrial molecular evolution. Conclusion If average body sizes were significantly smaller in the early history of the Metazoa, and if rates of diversification were much higher, then it is possible that mitochondrial genes have undergone a slow-down in evolutionary rate, which could affect date estimates made from these genes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Reptiles: a group of transition in the evolution of genome size and of the nucleotypic effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmo, E

    2003-01-01

    A comparison between genome size and some phenotypic parameters, such as developmental length and metabolic rate, showed in reptiles a nucleotypic correlation similar to the one observed in birds and mammals. Indeed, like homeotherms, reptiles exhibit a highly significant, inverse correlation of genome size with metabolic rate but unlike amphibians, no relationship with developmental length. Several lines of evidence suggest that these nucleotypic correlations are influenced by body temperature, which also affects the guanine + cytosine nuclear percentage, and that they play an important role in the adaptation of these amniotes. However, the reptilian suborders exhibit differences in the quantitative and compositional characters of the genome that do not completely correspond to differences in the phenotypic parameters commonly involved in the nucleotypic effect. Thus, additional factors could have influenced genome size in this class. These data could be explained with the model of Hartl and Petrov, who observed an inverse correlation between genome size, non-coding portion of the genome and rate of DNA loss and hypothesized a strong role for different spectra of spontaneous insertions and deletions (indels) in the variations of genome size. It is thus reasonable to surmise that variations in the reptilian genome were initially influenced by different indels spectra typical of the diverse lineages, possibly related to different chromosome compartmentalizations. The consequent size increases or decreases would have influenced various morphological and functional cell parameters, and through these some phenotypic characteristics of the whole organism, especially the metabolic rate, very important for environmental adaptation and thus subject to natural selection. Through this "nucleotypic" bond, natural selection would also have controlled genome size variations.

  1. The evolution of nonimmune histological injury and its clinical relevance in adult-sized kidney grafts in pediatric recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naesens, M; Kambham, N; Concepcion, W; Salvatierra, O; Sarwal, M

    2007-11-01

    To describe the evolution, risk factors and impact of nonimmune histological injury after pediatric kidney transplantation, we analyzed 245 renal allograft protocol biopsies taken regularly from the time of transplantation to 2 years thereafter in 81 consecutive rejection-free pediatric recipients of an adult-sized kidney. Isometric tubular vacuolization was present early after transplantation was not progressive, and was associated with higher tacrolimus pre-dose trough levels. Chronic tubulo-interstitial damage and tubular microcalcifications were already noted at 3 months, were progressive and had a greater association with small recipient size, male donor gender, higher donor age and female recipient gender, but not with tacrolimus exposure. Renal function assessment showed that older recipients had a significant increase in absolute glomerular filtration rate with time after transplantation, which differed from small recipients who showed no increase. It is concluded that progressive, functionally relevant, nonimmune injury is detected early after adult-sized kidney transplantation in pediatric recipients. Renal graft ischemia associated with the donor-recipient size discrepancy appears to be a greater risk factor for this chronic histological injury, suggesting that the exploration of additional therapeutic approaches to increase allograft perfusion could further extend the graft survival benefit of adult-sized kidneys transplanted into small children.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 3D-HST + CANDELS: the Evolution of the Galaxy Size-mass Distribution Since Z=3

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanDerWel, A.; Franx, M.; vanDokkum, P. G.; Skelton, R. E.; Momcheva, I. G.; Whitaker, K. E.; Brammer, G. B.; Bell, E. F.; Rix, H.-W.; Wuyts, S.; Ferguson, H. C.; Holden, B. P.; Barro, G.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Chang, Yu-Yen; McGrath, E. J.; Haussler, B.; Dekel, A.; Behroozi, P.; Fumagalli, M.; Leja, J.; Lundgren, B. F.; Maseda, M. V.; Nelson, E. J.; Wake, D. A.

    2014-01-01

    Spectroscopic and photometric redshifts, stellar mass estimates, and rest-frame colors from the 3D-HST survey are combined with structural parameter measurements from CANDELS imaging to determine the galaxy size-mass distribution over the redshift (z) range 0 z z) (sup -1.48), and moderate evolution for the late-type population, effective radius is in proportion to (1 + z) (sup -0.75). The large sample size and dynamic range in both galaxy mass and redshift, in combination with the high fidelity of our measurements due to the extensive use of spectroscopic data, not only fortify previous results, but also enable us to probe beyond simple average galaxy size measurements. At all redshifts the slope of the size-mass relation is shallow, effective radius in proportion to mass of a black hole (sup 0.22), for late-type galaxies with stellar mass > 3 x 10 (sup 9) solar masses, and steep, effective radius in proportion to mass of a black hole (sup 0.75), for early-type galaxies with stellar mass > 2 x 10 (sup 10) solar masses. The intrinsic scatter is approximately or less than 0.2 decimal exponents for all galaxy types and redshifts. For late-type galaxies, the logarithmic size distribution is not symmetric, but skewed toward small sizes: at all redshifts and masses a tail of small late-type galaxies exists that overlaps in size with the early-type galaxy population. The number density of massive (approximately 10 (sup 11) solar masses), compact (effective radius less than 2 kiloparsecs) early-type galaxies increases from z = 3 to z = 1.5 - 2 and then strongly decreases at later cosmic times.

  5. Cell-Based in Vitro Blood–Brain Barrier Model Can Rapidly Evaluate Nanoparticles’ Brain Permeability in Association with Particle Size and Surface Modification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanshiro Hanada

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The possibility of nanoparticle (NP uptake to the human central nervous system is a major concern. Recent reports showed that in animal models, nanoparticles (NPs passed through the blood–brain barrier (BBB. For the safe use of NPs, it is imperative to evaluate the permeability of NPs through the BBB. Here we used a commercially available in vitro BBB model to evaluate the permeability of NPs for a rapid, easy and reproducible assay. The model is reconstructed by culturing both primary rat brain endothelial cells and pericytes to support the tight junctions of endothelial cells. We used the permeability coefficient (Papp to determine the permeability of NPs. The size dependency results, using fluorescent silica NPs (30, 100, and 400 nm, revealed that the Papp for the 30 nm NPs was higher than those of the larger silica. The surface charge dependency results using Qdots® (amino-, carboxyl-, and PEGylated-Qdots, showed that more amino-Qdots passed through the model than the other Qdots. Usage of serum-containing buffer in the model resulted in an overall reduction of permeability. In conclusion, although additional developments are desired to elucidate the NPs transportation, we showed that the BBB model could be useful as a tool to test the permeability of nanoparticles.

  6. Cell-based in vitro blood-brain barrier model can rapidly evaluate nanoparticles' brain permeability in association with particle size and surface modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, Sanshiro; Fujioka, Kouki; Inoue, Yuriko; Kanaya, Fumihide; Manome, Yoshinobu; Yamamoto, Kenji

    2014-01-24

    The possibility of nanoparticle (NP) uptake to the human central nervous system is a major concern. Recent reports showed that in animal models, nanoparticles (NPs) passed through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). For the safe use of NPs, it is imperative to evaluate the permeability of NPs through the BBB. Here we used a commercially available in vitro BBB model to evaluate the permeability of NPs for a rapid, easy and reproducible assay. The model is reconstructed by culturing both primary rat brain endothelial cells and pericytes to support the tight junctions of endothelial cells. We used the permeability coefficient (P(app)) to determine the permeability of NPs. The size dependency results, using fluorescent silica NPs (30, 100, and 400 nm), revealed that the Papp for the 30 nm NPs was higher than those of the larger silica. The surface charge dependency results using Qdots® (amino-, carboxyl-, and PEGylated-Qdots), showed that more amino-Qdots passed through the model than the other Qdots. Usage of serum-containing buffer in the model resulted in an overall reduction of permeability. In conclusion, although additional developments are desired to elucidate the NPs transportation, we showed that the BBB model could be useful as a tool to test the permeability of nanoparticles.

  7. On the evolution of nanocluster size distribution in a nanocluster aggregation source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Turkin, A.A.; Dutka, M.V.; Pei, Y.T.; Vainchtein, David; Hosson, J.Th.M. De

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a detailed model of cluster formation from a supersaturated atomic vapor in an inert buffer gas. The population balance equations for the cluster size distribution are based on the Smoluchowski coagulation equation and take into account (i) convective diffusion of clusters, (ii)

  8. The Evolution of the Galaxy Sizes in the NTT Deep Field a Comparison with CDM Models

    CERN Document Server

    Poli, F; Menci, N; D'Odorico, S; Fontana, A

    1999-01-01

    The sizes of the field galaxies with I<25 have been measured in the NTT Deep Field. Intrinsic sizes have been obtained after deconvolution of the PSF with a multigaussian method. The reliability of the method has been tested using both simulated data and HST observations of the same field. The distribution of the half light radii is peaked at r_{hl} 0.3 arcsec, in good agreement with that derived from HST images at the same magnitude. An approximate morphological classification has been obtained using the asymmetry and concentration parameters. The intrinsic sizes of the galaxies are shown as a function of their redshifts and absolute magnitudes using photometric redshifts derived from the multicolor catalog. While the brighter galaxies with morphological parameters typical of the normal spirals show a flat distribution in the range r_{d}=1-6 kpc, the fainter population at 0.4sizes. To explore the significance of this behaviour, an analytical rendition of the standard CDM mo...

  9. Dissecting the size evolution of elliptical galaxies since z~1: puffing up vs minor merging scenarios

    CERN Document Server

    Trujillo, Ignacio; de la Rosa, Ignacio G

    2011-01-01

    We have explored the buildup of the local mass-size relation of elliptical galaxies using two visually classified samples. At low redshift we compiled a subsample of 2,656 elliptical galaxies from SDSS, whereas at higher redshift (up to z~1) we extracted a sample of 228 object from the HST/ACS images of the GOODS. All the galaxies in our study have spectroscopic data, allowing us to determine the age and mass of the stellar component. Using the fossil record information contained in the stellar populations of our local sample, we do not find any evidence for an age segregation at a given stellar mass depending on the size of the galaxies. At a fixed dynamical mass there is only a <9% size difference in the two extreme age quartiles of our sample. Consequently, the local evidence does not support a scenario whereby the present-day mass-size relation has been progressively established via a bottom-up sequence, where older galaxies occupy the lower part this relation, remaining in place since their formation....

  10. 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.

  11. Orbital evolution of colliding star and pulsar winds in 2D and 3D: dimensionality, resolution, and grid size effects

    CERN Document Server

    Bosch-Ramon, V; Perucho, M

    2014-01-01

    The structure formed by the shocked winds of a massive star and a non-accreting pulsar in a binary system suffers periodic and random variations of orbital and non-linear dynamical origin. The characterization of the evolution of the two-wind interaction region is necessary to understand the non-thermal emission from radio to gamma rays. For the first time, we simulate in 3D the interaction of isotropic stellar and relativistic pulsar winds along one full orbit, on scales well beyond the binary size. We also investigate the impact of grid resolution and size. We carry out, with the code PLUTO, relativistic hydrodynamical simulations in 2 and 3D of the interaction of a slow dense wind and a mildly relativistic wind along one full orbit, up to ~100 times the binary size. The 2-dimensional simulations are carried out with equal and larger grid resolution and size than in 3D. The simulations in 3D confirm previous results in 2D, showing a strong shock induced by Coriolis forces that terminates the pulsar wind in ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2014-06-07

    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.

  14. Morphologies of ˜190,000 Galaxies at z = 0-10 Revealed with HST Legacy Data. I. Size Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibuya, Takatoshi; Ouchi, Masami; Harikane, Yuichi

    2015-08-01

    We present the redshift evolution of the galaxy effective radius re obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) samples of ˜190,000 galaxies at z = 0-10. Our HST samples consist of 176,152 photo-z galaxies at z = 0-6 from the 3D-HST+CANDELS catalog and 10,454 Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) at z = 4-10 identified in the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), HUDF 09/12, and HFF parallel fields, providing the largest data set to date for galaxy size evolution studies. We derive re with the same technique over the wide redshift range of z = 0-10, evaluating the optical-to-UV morphological K correction and the selection bias of photo-z galaxies+LBGs as well as the cosmological surface-brightness dimming effect. We find that re values at a given luminosity significantly decrease toward high z, regardless of statistics choices (e.g., {r}{{e}}\\propto {(1+z)}-1.10+/- 0.06 for median). For star-forming galaxies, there is no evolution of the power-law slope of the size-luminosity relation and the median Sérsic index (n˜ 1.5). Moreover, the re distribution is well represented by log-normal functions whose standard deviation {σ }{ln{r}{{e}}} does not show significant evolution within the range of {σ }{ln{r}{{e}}}˜ 0.45-0.75. We calculate the stellar-to-halo size ratio from our re measurements and the dark-matter halo masses estimated from the abundance-matching study, and we obtain a nearly constant value of {r}{{e}}/{r}{vir}=1.0%-3.5% at z = 0-8. The combination of the re-distribution shape+standard deviation, the constant {r}{{e}}/{r}{vir}, and n˜ 1.5 suggests a picture in which typical high-z star-forming galaxies have disk-like stellar components in a sense of dynamics and morphology over cosmic time of z˜ 0-6. If high-z star-forming galaxies are truly dominated by disks, the {r}{{e}}/{r}{vir} value and the disk-formation model indicate that the specific angular momentum of the disk normalized by the host halo is {j

  15. Variation, evolution, and correlation analysis of C+G content and genome or chromosome size in different kingdoms and phyla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiu-Qing; Du, Donglei

    2014-01-01

    C+G content (GC content or G+C content) is known to be correlated with genome/chromosome size in bacteria but the relationship for other kingdoms remains unclear. This study analyzed genome size, chromosome size, and base composition in most of the available sequenced genomes in various kingdoms. Genome size tends to increase during evolution in plants and animals, and the same is likely true for bacteria. The genomic C+G contents were found to vary greatly in microorganisms but were quite similar within each animal or plant subkingdom. In animals and plants, the C+G contents are ranked as follows: monocot plants>mammals>non-mammalian animals>dicot plants. The variation in C+G content between chromosomes within species is greater in animals than in plants. The correlation between average chromosome C+G content and chromosome length was found to be positive in Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria (but not in other analyzed bacterial phyla), Ascomycota fungi, and likely also in some plants; negative in some animals, insignificant in two protist phyla, and likely very weak in Archaea. Clearly, correlations between C+G content and chromosome size can be positive, negative, or not significant depending on the kingdoms/groups or species. Different phyla or species exhibit different patterns of correlation between chromosome-size and C+G content. Most chromosomes within a species have a similar pattern of variation in C+G content but outliers are common. The data presented in this study suggest that the C+G content is under genetic control by both trans- and cis- factors and that the correlation between C+G content and chromosome length can be positive, negative, or not significant in different phyla.

  16. Monolayer-precision synthesis of molybdenum sulfide nanoparticles and their nanoscale size effects in the hydrogen evolution reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Bora; Jung, Gwan Yeong; Sa, Young Jin; Jeong, Hu Young; Cheon, Jae Yeong; Lee, Jeong Hyeon; Kim, Ho Young; Kim, Jin Chul; Shin, Hyeon Suk; Kwak, Sang Kyu; Joo, Sang Hoon

    2015-04-28

    Metal sulfide-based nanostructured materials have emerged as promising catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), and significant progress has been achieved in enhancing their activity and durability for the HER. The understanding of nanoscale size-dependent catalytic activities can suggest critical information regarding catalytic reactivity, providing the scientific basis for the design of advanced catalysts. However, nanoscale size effects in metal sulfide-based HER catalysts have not yet been established fully, due to the synthetic difficulty in precisely size-controlled metal sulfide nanoparticles. Here we report the preparation of molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) nanoparticles with monolayer precision from one to four layers with the nearly constant basal plane size of 5 nm, and their size-dependent catalytic activity in the HER. Using density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we identified the most favorable single-, double-, and triple-layer MoS2 model structures for the HER, and calculated elementary step energetics of the HER over these three model structures. Combining HER activity measurements and the DFT calculation results, we establish that the turnover frequency of MoS2 nanoparticles in the HER increases in a quasi-linear manner with decreased layer numbers. Cobalt-promoted MoS2 nanoparticles also exhibited similar HER activity trend. We attribute the higher HER activity of smaller metal sulfide nanoparticles to the higher degree of oxidation, higher Mo-S coordination number, formation of the 1T phase, and lower activation energy required to overcome transition state. This insight into the nanoscale size-dependent HER activity trend will facilitate the design of advanced HER catalysts as well as other hydrotreating catalysts.

  17. Breaking symmetry: the marine environment, prey size, and the evolution of asymmetry in cetacean skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, C D; Reidenberg, J S; Weller, M; Santos, M B; Herman, J; Goold, J; Pierce, G J

    2007-06-01

    Skulls of odontocetes (toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises) are typified by directional asymmetry, particularly in elements associated with the airway. Generally, it is assumed this asymmetry is related to biosonar production. However, skull asymmetry may actually be a by-product of selection pressure for an asymmetrically positioned larynx. The odontocete larynx traverses the pharynx and is held permanently in place by a ring of muscle. This allows prey swallowing while remaining underwater without risking water entering the lungs and causing injury or death. However, protrusion of the larynx through the pharynx causes a restriction around which prey must pass to reach the stomach. The larynx and associated hyoid apparatus has, therefore, been shifted to the left to provide a larger right piriform sinus (lateral pharyngeal food channel) for swallowing larger prey items. This asymmetry is reflected in the skull, particularly the dorsal openings of the nares. It is hypothesized that there is a relationship between prey size and skull asymmetry. This relationship was examined in 13 species of odontocete cetaceans from the northeast Atlantic, including four narrow-gaped genera (Mesoplodon, Ziphius, Hyperoodon, and Kogia) and eight wide-gaped genera (Phocoena, Delphinus, Stenella, Lagenorhynchus, Tursiops, Grampus, Globicephala, and Orcinus). Skulls were examined from 183 specimens to assess asymmetry of the anterior choanae. Stomach contents were examined from 294 specimens to assess prey size. Results show there is a significant positive relationship between maximum relative prey size consumed and average asymmetry relative to skull size in odontocete species (wide-gape species: R2 = 0.642, P = 0.006; narrow-gape species: R2 = 0.909, P = 0.031). This finding provides support for the hypothesis that the directional asymmetry found in odontocete skulls is related to an aquatic adaptation enabling swallowing large, whole prey while maintaining respiratory

  18. The time evolution of aerosol size distribution over the Mexico City plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. I. Kleinman

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Localization of cerebellin-2 in late embryonic chicken brain: implications for a role in synapse formation and for brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiner, Anton; Yang, Mao; Cagle, Michael C; Honig, Marcia G

    2011-08-01

    Cerebellin-1 (Cbln1), the most studied member of the cerebellin family of secreted proteins, is necessary for the formation and maintenance of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. However, the roles of the other Cblns have received little attention. We previously identified the chicken homolog of Cbln2 and examined its expression in dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord (Yang et al. [2010] J Comp Neurol 518:2818-2840). Interestingly, Cbln2 is expressed by mechanoreceptive and proprioceptive neurons and in regions of the spinal cord where those afferents terminate, as well as by preganglionic sympathetic neurons and their sympathetic ganglia targets. These findings suggest that Cbln2 may demonstrate a tendency to be expressed by synaptically connected neuronal populations. To further assess this possibility, we examined Cbln2 expression in chick brain. We indeed found that Cbln2 is frequently expressed by synaptically connected neurons, although there are exceptions, and we discuss the implications of these findings for Cbln2 function. Cbln2 expression tends to be more common in primary sensory neurons and in second-order sensory regions than it is in motor areas of the brain. Moreover, we found that the level of Cbln2 expression for many regions of the chicken brain is very similar to that of the mammalian homologs, consistent with the view that the expression patterns of molecules playing fundamental roles in processes such as neuronal communication are evolutionarily conserved. There are, however, large differences in the pattern of Cbln2 expression in avian as compared to mammalian telencephalon and in other regions that show the most divergence between the two lineages.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Developmental features of the neonatal brain: MR imaging. Part II. Ventricular size and extracerebral space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McArdle, C B; Richardson, C J; Nicholas, D A; Mirfakhraee, M; Hayden, C K; Amparo, E G

    1987-01-01

    Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with a 0.6-T magnet was performed on 51 neonates, aged 29-42 weeks postconception. In 45 neonates, the ventricular/brain ratio (V/B) at the level of the frontal horns and midbody of the lateral ventricles ranged from 0.26 to 0.34. In six other infants a V/B of 0.36 or greater was associated with either cerebral atrophy or obstructive hydrocephalus. The width of the extracerebral space measured along specified points varied little in the neonatal period and ranged from 0 to 4 mm in 48 infants. Extracerebral space widths of 5-6 mm were seen in three other infants with severe asphyxia. Prominence of the subarachnoid space overlying the posterior parietal lobes is normal in neonates and should not be confused with cerebral atrophy. The authors conclude that V/B ratios of 0.26-0.34 and extracerebral space widths of 0-4 mm represent the normal range, and that neonates whose measurements exceed these values should be followed up.

  3. The Effects of Orbital Inclination on the Scale Size and Evolution of Tidally Filling Star Clusters

    CERN Document Server

    Webb, Jeremy J; Harris, William E; Hurley, Jarrod R

    2014-01-01

    We have performed N-body simulations of tidally filling star clusters with a range of orbits in a Milky Way-like potential to study the effects of orbital inclination and eccentricity on their structure and evolution. At small galactocentric distances Rgc, a non-zero inclination results in increased mass loss rates. Tidal heating and disk shocking, the latter sometimes consisting of two shocking events as the cluster moves towards and away from the disk, help remove stars from the cluster. Clusters with inclined orbits at large Rgc have decreased mass loss rates than the non-inclined case, since the strength the disk potential decreases with Rgc. Clusters with inclined and eccentric orbits experience increased tidal heating due to a constantly changing potential, weaker disk shocks since passages occur at higher Rgc, and an additional tidal shock at perigalacticon. The effects of orbital inclination decrease with orbital eccentricity, as a highly eccentric cluster spends the majority of its lifetime at a larg...

  4. 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.

  5. The potential for adaptive evolution of pollen grain size in Mimulus guttatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamborn, Ellen; Cresswell, James E; Macnair, Mark R

    2005-07-01

    We tested whether pollen grain size (PGS) shows heritable variation in three independent populations of Mimulus guttatus by imposing artificial selection for this character. In addition, we looked for correlated responses to selection in a range of 15 other floral characters. Heritable variation in PGS was found in all three populations, with heritabilities of between 19 and 40% (average 30%). After three generations, upward and downward lines differed on average by 30% in pollen volume. No consistent patterns of correlated response were found in other characters, indicating that PGS can respond to selective forces acting on PGS alone. Possible selection mechanisms on PGS in this species could include intermale selection, if large pollen grains produce more competitive gametophytes; or optimization of patterns of resource allocation, if local mate competition varies.

  6. Using Triangular Function To Improve Size Of Population In Quantum Evolution Algorithm For Fractal Image Compression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Qorbani

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Fractal Image Compression is a well-known problem which is in the class of NP-Hard problems.Quantum Evolutionary Algorithm is a novel optimization algorithm which uses a probabilisticrepresentation for solutions and is highly suitable for combinatorial problems like Knapsack problem.Genetic algorithms are widely used for fractal image compression problems, but QEA is not used for thiskind of problems yet. This paper improves QEA whit change population size and used it in fractal imagecompression. Utilizing the self-similarity property of a natural image, the partitioned iterated functionsystem (PIFS will be found to encode an image through Quantum Evolutionary Algorithm (QEA methodExperimental results show that our method has a better performance than GA and conventional fractalimage compression algorithms.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evolution of grain size distribution in high-redshift dusty quasars: Integrating large amounts of dust and unusual extinction curves

    CERN Document Server

    Nozawa, Takaya; Hirashita, Hiroyuki; Takeuchi, Tsutomu T

    2014-01-01

    The discoveries of huge amounts of dust and unusual extinction curves in high-redshift quasars (z > 4) cast challenging issues on the origin and properties of dust in the early universe. In this Letter, we investigate the evolutions of dust content and extinction curve in a high-z quasar, based on the dust evolution model taking account of grain size distribution. First, we show that the Milky-Way extinction curve is reproduced by introducing a moderate fraction (~0.2) of dense molecular-cloud phases in the interstellar medium for a graphite-silicate dust model. Then we show that the peculier extinction curves in high-z quasars can be explained by taking a much higher molecular-cloud fraction (>0.5), which leads to more efficient grain growth and coagulation, and by assuming amorphous carbon instead of graphite. The large dust content in high-z quasar hosts is also found to be a natural consequence of the enhanced dust growth. These results indicate that grain growth and coagulation in molecular clouds are ke...

  11. 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].

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolution of brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels after autologous hematopietic stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Y; Saiz, A; Costa, M; Torres-Peraza, J F; Carreras, E; Alberch, J; Jaraquemada, D; Graus, F

    A neuroprotective role of inflammation has been suggested based on that immune cells are the main source of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). We investigated the 3-year evolution of BDNF levels in serum, CSF and culture supernatant of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), unstimulated and stimulated with anti-CD3 and soluble anti-CD28 antibodies, in 14 multiple sclerosis patients who underwent an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). BDNF levels were correlated with previously reported MRI measures that showed a reduction of T2 lesion load and increased brain atrophy, mainly at first year post-transplant. A significant decrease of serum BDNF levels was seen at 12 months post-transplant. BDNF values were found significantly lower in stimulated but not in unstimulated PBMC supernatants during the follow-up, supporting that AHSCT may induce a down-regulation of BDNF production. The only significant correlation was found between CSF BDNF levels and T2 lesion load before and 1 year after AHSCT, suggesting that BDNF reflects the past and ongoing inflammatory activity and demyelination of these highly active patients. Our study suggests that AHSCT can reduce BDNF levels to values associated with lower activity. This decrease does not seem to correlate with the brain atrophy measures observed in the MRI.

  15. Size Evolution of the Surface Short Fatigue Cracks of 1Cr18Ni9Ti Weld Metal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Size evolution of the surface short fatigue cracks of 1Cr18Ni9Ti weld metal was investigated. A local viewpoint is applied to be agreement with a so-called "effectively short fatigue crack criterion". Attention was paid to the dominant effectively short fatigue crack (DESFC) initiation zone and the zones ahead of the DESFC tips. The results revealed that the evolutionary size shows a significant character of microstructural short crack (MSC) and physical short crack (PSC) stages. In the MSC stage, fatigue damage is due to mainly the initiation and irregular growth of the effectively short fatigue cracks (ESFCs). In the PSC stage, the damage is conversely due to mainly the DESFC growth and partially, the growth of the ESFCs and the coalescence of the ESFCs themselves with the DESFC. The process involves from a non-ordered/chaotic state in the initiation of MSC stage, gradually to an independently random state at the transition point between the MSC and PSC stages and then, to an ordered/history-dependent random state. Interactive effect of the collective cracks is stronger and shows an increase in the MSC stage. It reaches a maximum value at the transition point and then, tends to a decrease in the PSC stage. The DESFC acts as a result of the interactive cracks and thus, is deemed suitable to describe the behaviour of collective cracks.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Dependence of the Ultrasound-Induced Blood-Brain Barrier Opening Characteristics on Microbubble Size In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, James J.; Feshitan, Jameel A.; Wang, Shougang; Tung, Yao-Sheng; Baseri, Babak; Borden, Mark A.; Konofagou, Elisa E.

    2009-04-01

    Recent neuropharmaceutical developments have led to potent disease-modifying drugs. In spite of these advancements, most agents cannot traverse the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and deposit in the brain. Focused ultrasound (FUS) with microbubbles has been shown to induce noninvasive, localized, and transient BBB opening. Although promising, safety and efficacy concerns still remain. Previously reported experiments used conventional imaging contrast agents that have a wide size distribution. In this study, we hypothesize that BBB opening characteristics are dependent on bubble diameter. A 25 μl bolus of in-house manufactured, lipid-shelled bubbles with either 1-2 or 4-5 μm diameter ranges was injected intravenously. Pulsed FUS (frequency: 1.5 MHz, peak-negative pressure: 146-607 kPa, duty cycle: 20%, duration: 1-min) was then applied to the left hippocampus of mice (n = 16) in vivo through the intact skin and skull. MRI or fluorescence microscopy was used to determine BBB opening. Contrast-enhanced (Omniscan™; 0.75 mL; molecular weight: 574 Da) MRI (9.4-T) was acquired on multiple days after sonication to determine BBB opening and closing. Fluorescence microscopy was also used to determine the feasibility of delivering large, 3 kDa dextran compounds through the BBB. The BBB opening acoustic pressure threshold for the 4-5μm bubbles was in the 146-304 kPa range while the threshold for the 1-2μm bubbles was higher. In conclusion, FUS-induced BBB opening and closing was shown to be dependent on the bubble diameter indicating the possibility of specifically designing bubbles to enhance this therapeutic application.

  19. Simulating the Evolution of Functional Brain Networks in Alzheimer’s Disease: Exploring Disease Dynamics from the Perspective of Global Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Wang, Miao; Zhu, Wenzhen; Qin, Yuanyuan; Huang, Yue; Chen, Xi

    2016-01-01

    Functional brain connectivity is altered during the pathological processes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but the specific evolutional rules are insufficiently understood. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging indicates that the functional brain networks of individuals with AD tend to be disrupted in hub-like nodes, shifting from a small world architecture to a random profile. Here, we proposed a novel evolution model based on computational experiments to simulate the transition of functional brain networks from normal to AD. Specifically, we simulated the rearrangement of edges in a pathological process by a high probability of disconnecting edges between hub-like nodes, and by generating edges between random pair of nodes. Subsequently, four topological properties and a nodal distribution were used to evaluate our model. Compared with random evolution as a null model, our model captured well the topological alteration of functional brain networks during the pathological process. Moreover, we implemented two kinds of network attack to imitate the damage incurred by the brain in AD. Topological changes were better explained by ‘hub attacks’ than by ‘random attacks’, indicating the fragility of hubs in individuals with AD. This model clarifies the disruption of functional brain networks in AD, providing a new perspective on topological alterations. PMID:27677360

  20. Prenatal Exposure to Autism-Specific Maternal Autoantibodies Alters Proliferation of Cortical Neural Precursor Cells, Enlarges Brain, and Increases Neuronal Size in Adult Animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Camacho, Jasmin; Fox, Elizabeth; Miller, Elaine; Ariza, Jeanelle; Kienzle, Devon; Plank, Kaela; Noctor, Stephen C; Van de Water, Judy

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect up to 1 in 68 children. Autism-specific autoantibodies directed against fetal brain proteins have been found exclusively in a subpopulation of mothers whose children were diagnosed with ASD or maternal autoantibody-related autism. We tested the impact of autoantibodies on brain development in mice by transferring human antigen-specific IgG directly into the cerebral ventricles of embryonic mice during cortical neurogenesis. We show that autoantibodies recognize radial glial cells during development. We also show that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies increased stem cell proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the embryonic neocortex, increased adult brain size and weight, and increased the size of adult cortical neurons. We propose that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies directly affects radial glial cell development and presents a viable pathologic mechanism for the maternal autoantibody-related prenatal ASD risk factor.

  1. Genetic basis of human brain evolution: accelerating along the primate speedway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Altheide, Tasha K; Varki, Ajit

    2005-01-01

    Using novel variations of traditional methods, report in the December 29(th) issue of Cell that diverse genes involved in neural biology (particularly those critical in development) show higher rates of protein evolution in primates than in rodents-particularly in the lineage leading to humans.

  2. Closed head experimental traumatic brain injury increases size and bone volume of callus in mice with concomitant tibial fracture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Rhys D; Grills, Brian L; Church, Jarrod E; Walsh, Nicole C; McDonald, Aaron C; Agoston, Denes V; Sun, Mujun; O’Brien, Terence J; Shultz, Sandy R; McDonald, Stuart J

    2016-01-01

    Concomitant traumatic brain injury (TBI) and long bone fracture are commonly observed in multitrauma and polytrauma. Despite clinical observations of enhanced bone healing in patients with TBI, the relationship between TBI and fracture healing remains poorly understood, with clinical data limited by the presence of several confounding variables. Here we developed a novel trauma model featuring closed-skull weight-drop TBI and concomitant tibial fracture in order to investigate the effect of TBI on fracture healing. Male mice were assigned into Fracture + Sham TBI (FX) or Fracture + TBI (MULTI) groups and sacrificed at 21 and 35 days post-injury for analysis of healing fractures by micro computed tomography (μCT) and histomorphometry. μCT analysis revealed calluses from MULTI mice had a greater bone and total tissue volume, and displayed higher mean polar moment of inertia when compared to calluses from FX mice at 21 days post-injury. Histomorphometric results demonstrated an increased amount of trabecular bone in MULTI calluses at 21 days post-injury. These findings indicate that closed head TBI results in calluses that are larger in size and have an increased bone volume, which is consistent with the notion that TBI induces the formation of a more robust callus. PMID:27682431

  3. The evolution of brain waves in altered states of consciousness (REM sleep and meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina E. Chiş

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the brain activity in REM sleep andmeditation; it was also studied in which way an appropriate musical background would affect theevolution of brain waves in these altered states of consciousness. Material and Method: The recordingswere done with a portable electroencephalograph, on a homogeneous group of human subjects (menaged 30-50 years. The subjects were monitored in their own bed, the length of sleep and how earlythey went to bed was up to them. This was made to avoid errors that could compromise the wholestudy. Results: It was shown that an appropriate musical background has a positive effect on brainactivity and especially on alpha waves. There were no significant results regarding REM sleep, althougha slight increase in the frequency by which the periods of REM sleep occurred was noticed. On theother hand, in meditation, the appropriate musical background had a major influence on the period inwhich the subjects entered the alpha state. This period was considerably reduced. Conclusion: Anadequate type of music can help our brain entering in, and maintaining the alpha state.

  4. RXJ0848.6+4453: The Evolution of Galaxy Sizes and Stellar Populations in a z=1.27 Cluster

    CERN Document Server

    Jorgensen, Inger; Toft, Sune; Bergmann, Marcel; Zirm, Andrew; Schiavon, Ricardo P; Grutzbauch, Ruth

    2014-01-01

    RXJ0848.6+4453 (Lynx W) at redshift 1.27 is part of the Lynx Supercluster of galaxies. Our analysis of stellar populations and star formation history in the cluster covers 24 members and is based on deep optical spectroscopy from Gemini North and imaging data from HST. Focusing on the 13 bulge-dominated galaxies for which we can determine central velocity dispersions, we find that these show a smaller evolution of sizes and velocity dispersions than reported for field galaxies and galaxies in poorer clusters. The galaxies in RXJ0848.6+4453 populate the Fundamental Plane similar to that found for lower redshift clusters with a zero point offset corresponding to an epoch of last star formation at z_form= 1.95+-0.2. The spectra of the galaxies in RXJ0848.6+4453 are dominated by young stellar populations at all galaxy masses and in many cases show emission indicating low level on-going star formation. The average age of the young stellar populations (estimated from H-zeta) is consistent with a major star formatio...

  5. The evolution of galaxy size and morphology at z~0.5-3.0 in the GOODS-N region with HST/WFC3 data

    CERN Document Server

    Morishita, Takahiro; Kajisawa, Masaru

    2014-01-01

    We analyze the recent released HST/WFC3 IR images in the GOODS-N region to study the formation and evolution of Quiescent galaxies (QGs). After examining the reliability with artificial galaxies, we obtain the morphological parameters with S'ersic profile of 299 QGs and 1,083 star-forming galaxies (SFGs) at z ~ 0.5-3.0, finding the evolution of re and n of massive (M* > 10^10.5 Msun) QGs while weaker evolution of SFGs and less massive (M* < 10^10.5 Msun) QGs. The regression of the size evolution of massive QGs follows re \\propto (1 + z)-{\\alpha}re with {\\alpha}re = 1.06 \\pm 0.19 (a factor of ~ 2.2 increase from z ~ 2.5 to ~ 0.5), which is consistent with the general picture of the significant size growth. For the further understanding of the evolution scenario, we study the evolution of S'ersic index, n, and find that of massive QGs to significantly evolve as n \\propto (1 + z)-{\\alpha}n with {\\alpha}n = 0.74 \\pm 0.23 (n ~ 1 at z ~ 2.5 to n ~ 4 at z ~ 0.5), while those of the other populations are unchanged...

  6. 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 notational systems to hominid brain evolution. By recognizing the importance of children's scribbles and drawings in…

  7. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-12

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language--the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices.

  8. 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?

  9. Evolution and current challenges in the teaching of functional MRI and functional brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savoy, Robert L

    2012-08-15

    The report of any new and successful method for studying the world triggers the need to train people in the use of that method. In the case of functional magnetic resonance imaging and its use for examining human brain function in vivo, expertise is required in a greater collection of domains than usual. Development of fMRI training programs started shortly after the announcement of BOLD-based fMRI in humans. These programs had a variety of durations and primary content areas. All programs had to deal with the challenge of bringing interested researchers from a wide variety of areas-many of whom had little or no understanding of MR physics, and/or experimental psychology, and/or the nuances of data analysis and modeling-to a sufficiently detailed level of knowledge that both the funding agencies, and the existing proprietors of the technology (often radiologists or MR physicists at hospitals) would take the research proposals of new investigators seriously. Now that fMRI-based research is well established, there are new educational challenges. Some have to do with the growing list of technologies used to study human brain function in vivo. But perhaps more daunting is the challenge of training consumers of the reports and claims based on fMRI and other brain imaging modalities. As fMRI becomes influential in contexts beyond the research environment-from the clinic to the courtroom to the legislature-training consumers of fMRI-based claims will take on increasing importance, and represents its own unique challenges for education.

  10. 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

  11. Causality, Symmetry, Brain, Evolution, DNA and a new Theory of Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pissanetzky, Sergio

    2012-10-01

    THEORY. Except for black holes, our world is causal. In Physics, causal sets formalize causality. The easiest way to explain the importance of causets is: all finite algorithms and computer programs are causets. Let S be a causet model of a dynamical system. S has a symmetry of the action: set P of legal permutations of S. Hence all causets have conservation laws. Permutations in P represent trajectories in state space. But P is non-conservative. New Physics: an action functional F was observed. When F is minimized over P, conservative subset P* is obtained. In P*, conserved quantities emerge as group-theoretical block systems over S. Block systems are also causets, and iteration leads to a network of blocks. This is a new theory of Physics. PREDICTIONS. (1) Brain's dendritic trees must be optimally short. Cuntz (June 2012) observed a 2/3 optimally short power law. (2) Causal hierarchies. Fuster(2005) observes identical hierarchies in cortex. DNA (Sept 2012) is described as hierarchical networks. (3) Action functional. Lerner (Aug 2012) proposed an action functional and minimum entropy on trajectories of dynamical processes. Friston (2003) proposed an energy functional. (4) Simple computer-brain experiments (Pissanetzky 2011a). REFERENCES: www.SciControls.com.

  12. Neocortical neuron types in Xenarthra and Afrotheria: implications for brain evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Chet C; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Butti, Camilla; Bonar, Christopher J; Newton, Alisa L; Allman, John M; Hof, Patrick R

    2009-02-01

    Interpreting the evolution of neuronal types in the cerebral cortex of mammals requires information from a diversity of species. However, there is currently a paucity of data from the Xenarthra and Afrotheria, two major phylogenetic groups that diverged close to the base of the eutherian mammal adaptive radiation. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the distribution and morphology of neocortical neurons stained for nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein, calbindin, calretinin, parvalbumin, and neuropeptide Y in three xenarthran species-the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla), and the two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)-and two afrotherian species-the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) and the black and rufous giant elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi). We also studied the distribution and morphology of astrocytes using glial fibrillary acidic protein as a marker. In all of these species, nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive neurons predominated in layer V. These neurons exhibited diverse morphologies with regional variation. Specifically, high proportions of atypical neurofilament-enriched neuron classes were observed, including extraverted neurons, inverted pyramidal neurons, fusiform neurons, and other multipolar types. In addition, many projection neurons in layers II-III were found to contain calbindin. Among interneurons, parvalbumin- and calbindin-expressing cells were generally denser compared to calretinin-immunoreactive cells. We traced the evolution of certain cortical architectural traits using phylogenetic analysis. Based on our reconstruction of character evolution, we found that the living xenarthrans and afrotherians show many similarities to the stem eutherian mammal, whereas other eutherian lineages display a greater number of derived traits.

  13. Hunter syndrome in an 11-year old girl on enzyme replacement therapy with idursulfase: brain magnetic resonance imaging features and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manara, Renzo; Rampazzo, Angelica; Cananzi, Mara; Salviati, Leonardo; Mardari, Rodica; Drigo, Paola; Tomanin, Rosella; Gasparotto, Nicoletta; Priante, Elena; Scarpa, Maurizio

    2010-12-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS-II, Hunter disease) is a X-linked recessive disorder. Affected females are extremely rare, mostly due to skewed X chromosome inactivation. A few papers outline MPS-II brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) "gestalt" in males, but neuroradiological reports on females are still lacking. We present an 11-year-old girl affected by the severe form of MPS-II who was followed up over a time span of 8 years, focusing on clinical and brain MRI evolution. In the last 2.5 years, the patient has been treated with enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with idursulfase (Elaprase™, Shire Human Genetic Therapies AB, Sweden). On brain and cervical MRI examination, abnormalities in our patient did not differ from those detected in male patients: J-shaped pituitary sella, enlargement of perivascular spaces, brain atrophy, mild T2-hyperintensity in the paratrigonal white matter, diffuse platyspondylia, and mild odontoid dysplasia with odontoid cup. Brain atrophy progressed despite ERT introduction, whereas perivascular space enlargement did not change significantly before and after ERT. Cognitive impairment worsened independently from the course of white matter abnormality. Despite a profound knowledge of genetic and biochemical aspects in MPS-II, neuroradiology is still poorly characterized, especially in female patients. Spinal and brain involvement and its natural course and evolution after ERT introduction still need to be clarified.

  14. What Dominates a Craters Size, the Largest Single Explosion of the Formation Process or the Cumulative Energy of Many? Results of Multiblast Crater Evolution Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonder, I.; Graettinger, A. H.; Valentine, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Craters of explosive volcanic eruptions are products of many explosions. Such craters are different than products of single events such as meteorite impacts or those produced by military testing because they typically result from multiple, rather than single, explosions. We analyzed the evolution of experimental craters that were created by several detonations of chemical explosives in layered aggregates. A method to calculate an effective explosion depth for non-flat topography (e.g. for explosions below existing craters) is derived, showing how multi-blast crater sizes differ from the single blast case. It is shown that sizes of natural caters (radii, volumes) are not characteristic of the number of explosions, and therefore not characteristic for the total acting energy, that formed a crater. Also the crater size is not simply related to the largest explosion in a sequence, but depends upon that explosion and the energy of that single blast and on the cumulative energy of all blasts that formed the crater. The two energies can be combined to form an effective number of explosions that is characteristic for the crater evolution. The multi-blast crater size evolution implies that it is not correct to estimate explosion energy of volcanic events from crater size using previously published relationships that were derived for single blast cases.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. On the space and time evolution of regular or irregular human heart or brain signals

    CERN Document Server

    Tuncay, Caglar

    2011-01-01

    A coupled map is suggested to investigate various spatial or temporal designs in biology: Several cells (or tissues) in an organ are considered as connected to each other in terms of some molecular diffusions or electrical potential differences and so on. The biological systems (groups of cells) start from various initial conditions for spatial designs (or initial signals for temporal designs) and they evolve in time in terms of the mentioned interactions (connections) besides some individual feedings. The basic aim of the present contribution is to mimic various empirical data for the heart (in normal, quasi-stable, unstable and post operative physiological conditions) or brain (regular or irregular; for epilepsy) signals. The mentioned empirical data are borrowed from various literatures which are cited. The suggested model (to be used besides or instead of the artificial network models) involves simple mathematics and the related software is easy. The results may be considered as in good agreement with the...

  18. Evolution of growth hormone neurosecretory disturbance after cranial irradiation for childhood brain tumours: a prospective study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spoudeas, H.A.; Hindmarsh, P.C.; Brook, C.G.D. [Middlesex Hospital, London (United Kingdom); Matthews, D.R. [Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    1996-08-01

    To determine the aetiopathology of post-irradiation growth hormone (GH) deficiency, we performed a mixed longitudinal analysis of 56 24 h serum GH concentration profiles and 45 paired insulin-induced hypoglycaemia tests (ITT) in 35 prepubertal children, aged 1.5-11.8 years, with brain tumours in the posterior foss (n = 25) or cerebral hemispheres (n 10). Assessments were made before (n = 16), 1 year (n = 25) and 2 to 5 years (n = 15) after a cranial irradiation (DXR) dose of at least 30 Gy. Fourier transforms, occupancy percentage, first-order derivatives (FOD) and mean concentrations were determined from the GH profiles taken after neurosurgery but before radiotherapy (n = 16) and in three treatment groups: Group 1: neurosurgery only without DXR (9n 9); Group 2: {>=} 30 Gy DXR only (n = 22); Group 3: {>=} 30 Gy DXR with additional chemotherapy (n = 9). Results were compared with those from 26 short normally growing (SN) children. (author).

  19. 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

  20. 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.