WorldWideScience

Sample records for complex brain evolution

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The evolution of the complex sensory and motor systems of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaas, Jon H

    2008-03-18

    Inferences about how the complex sensory and motor systems of the human brain evolved are based on the results of comparative studies of brain organization across a range of mammalian species, and evidence from the endocasts of fossil skulls of key extinct species. The endocasts of the skulls of early mammals indicate that they had small brains with little neocortex. Evidence from comparative studies of cortical organization from small-brained mammals of the six major branches of mammalian evolution supports the conclusion that the small neocortex of early mammals was divided into roughly 20-25 cortical areas, including primary and secondary sensory fields. In early primates, vision was the dominant sense, and cortical areas associated with vision in temporal and occipital cortex underwent a significant expansion. Comparative studies indicate that early primates had 10 or more visual areas, and somatosensory areas with expanded representations of the forepaw. Posterior parietal cortex was also expanded, with a caudal half dominated by visual inputs, and a rostral half dominated by somatosensory inputs with outputs to an array of seven or more motor and visuomotor areas of the frontal lobe. Somatosensory areas and posterior parietal cortex became further differentiated in early anthropoid primates. As larger brains evolved in early apes and in our hominin ancestors, the number of cortical areas increased to reach an estimated 200 or so in present day humans, and hemispheric specializations emerged. The large human brain grew primarily by increasing neuron number rather than increasing average neuron size.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  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. Comparative genomics of brain size evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Enard, Wolfgang

    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 ...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. Genetic basis of human brain evolution

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    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 b...

  12. Epigenetics and brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keverne, Eric B

    2011-04-01

    Fundamental aspects of mammalian brain evolution occurred in the context of viviparity and placentation brought about by the epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes. Since the fetal placenta hormonally primes the maternal brain, two genomes in one individual are transgenerationally co-adapted to ensure maternal care and nurturing. Advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution has shown very few genetic changes between monkeys and humans. Although these lineages diverged at approximately the same time as the rat and mouse (20 million years ago), synonymous sequence divergence between the rat and mouse is double that when comparing monkey with human sequences. Paradoxically, encephalization of rat and mouse are remarkably similar, while comparison of the human and monkey shows the human cortex to be three times the size of the monkey. This suggests an element of genetic stability between the brains of monkey and man with a greater emphasis on epigenetics providing adaptable variability.

  13. Evolution of biological complexity

    OpenAIRE

    Adami, Christoph; Ofria, Charles; Travis C. Collier

    2000-01-01

    In order to make a case for or against a trend in the evolution of complexity in biological evolution, complexity needs to be both rigorously defined and measurable. A recent information-theoretic (but intuitively evident) definition identifies genomic complexity with the amount of information a sequence stores about its environment. We investigate the evolution of genomic complexity in populations of digital organisms and monitor in detail the evolutionary transitions that increase complexit...

  14. 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.

  15. Cortical complexity in cetacean brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hof, Patrick R; Chanis, Rebecca; Marino, Lori

    2005-11-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) have a long, dramatically divergent evolutionary history compared with terrestrial mammals. Throughout their 55-60 million years of evolution, cetaceans acquired a compelling set of characteristics that include echolocation ability (in odontocetes), complex auditory and communicative capacities, and complex social organization. Moreover, although cetaceans have not shared a common ancestor with primates for over 90 million years, they possess a set of cognitive attributes that are strikingly convergent with those of many primates, including great apes and humans. In contrast, cetaceans have evolved a highly unusual combination of neurobiological features different from that of primates. As such, cetacean brains offer a critical opportunity to address questions about how complex behavior can be based on very different neuroanatomical and neurobiological evolutionary products. Cetacean brains and primate brains are arguably most meaningfully conceived as alternative evolutionary routes to neurobiological and cognitive complexity. In this article, we summarize data on brain size and hemisphere surface configuration in several cetacean species and present an overview of the cytoarchitectural complexity of the cerebral cortex of the bottlenose dolphin.

  16. Comparative genomics of brain size evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang eEnard

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 search space of mammalian genomes. Hence, it is crucial to add functional information, for example by limiting the search space to genes and regulatory elements known to play a role in the relevant cell types during brain development. Similarly, it is crucial to experimentally follow up on hypotheses generated by such a comparative approach. Recent progress in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of mammalian brain development, in genome sequencing and in genome editing, promises to make a close integration of evolutionary and experimental methods a fruitful approach to better understand the genetics of mammalian brain size evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Richard C

    2007-04-29

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

  18. A model for brain life history evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Forero, Mauricio; Faulwasser, Timm; Lehmann, Laurent

    2017-03-01

    Complex cognition and relatively large brains are distributed across various taxa, and many primarily verbal hypotheses exist to explain such diversity. Yet, mathematical approaches formalizing verbal hypotheses would help deepen the understanding of brain and cognition evolution. With this aim, we combine elements of life history and metabolic theories to formulate a metabolically explicit mathematical model for brain life history evolution. We assume that some of the brain's energetic expense is due to production (learning) and maintenance (memory) of energy-extraction skills (or cognitive abilities, knowledge, information, etc.). We also assume that individuals use such skills to extract energy from the environment, and can allocate this energy to grow and maintain the body, including brain and reproductive tissues. The model can be used to ask what fraction of growth energy should be allocated at each age, given natural selection, to growing brain and other tissues under various biological settings. We apply the model to find uninvadable allocation strategies under a baseline setting ("me vs nature"), namely when energy-extraction challenges are environmentally determined and are overcome individually but possibly with maternal help, and use modern-human data to estimate model's parameter values. The resulting uninvadable strategies yield predictions for brain and body mass throughout ontogeny and for the ages at maturity, adulthood, and brain growth arrest. We find that: (1) a me-vs-nature setting is enough to generate adult brain and body mass of ancient human scale and a sequence of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood stages; (2) large brains are favored by intermediately challenging environments, moderately effective skills, and metabolically expensive memory; and (3) adult skill is proportional to brain mass when metabolic costs of memory saturate the brain metabolic rate allocated to skills.

  19. Evolution of brain and language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenemann, P Thomas

    2012-01-01

    In this chapter evolutionary changes in the human brain that are relevant to language are reviewed. Most of what is known involves assessments of the relative sizes of brain regions. Overall brain size is associated with some key behavioral features relevant to language, including complexity of the social environment and the degree of conceptual complexity. Prefrontal cortical and temporal lobe areas relevant to language appear to have increased disproportionately. Areas relevant to language production and perception have changed less dramatically. The extent to which these changes were a consequence specifically of language versus other behavioral adaptations is a good question, but the process may best be viewed as a complex adaptive system, whereby cultural learning interacts with biology iteratively over time to produce language. Overall, language appears to have adapted to the human brain more so than the reverse. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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...

  1. On the evolution of the mammalian brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Steven Torday

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Evolution and genomics of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales-Reynoso, M A; Juárez-Vázquez, C I; Barros-Núñez, P

    2015-08-21

    Most living beings are able to perform actions that can be considered intelligent or, at the very least, the result of an appropriate reaction to changing circumstances in their environment. However, the intelligence or intellectual processes of humans are vastly superior to those achieved by all other species. The adult human brain is a highly complex organ weighing approximately 1500g, which accounts for only 2% of the total body weight but consumes an amount of energy equal to that required by all skeletal muscle at rest. Although the human brain displays a typical primate structure, it can be identified by its specific distinguishing features. The process of evolution and humanisation of the Homo sapiens brain resulted in a unique and distinct organ with the largest relative volume of any animal species. It also permitted structural reorganization of tissues and circuits in specific segments and regions. These steps explain the remarkable cognitive abilities of modern humans compared not only with other species in our genus, but also with older members of our own species. Brain evolution required the coexistence of two adaptation mechanisms. The first involves genetic changes that occur at the species level, and the second occurs at the individual level and involves changes in chromatin organisation or epigenetic changes. The genetic mechanisms include: a) genetic changes in coding regions that lead to changes in the sequence and activity of existing proteins; b) duplication and deletion of previously existing genes; c) changes in gene expression through changes in the regulatory sequences of different genes; and d) synthesis of non-coding RNAs. Lastly, this review describes some of the main documented chromosomal differences between humans and great apes. These differences have also contributed to the evolution and humanisation process of the H. sapiens brain. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights

  3. The relevance of brain evolution for the biomedical sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smulders, Tom V

    2009-02-23

    Most biomedical neuroscientists realize the importance of the study of brain evolution to help them understand the differences and similarities between their animal model of choice and the human brains in which they are ultimately interested. Many think of evolution as a linear process, going from simpler brains, as those of rats, to more complex ones, as those of humans. However, in reality, every extant species' brain has undergone as long a period of evolution as has the human brain, and each brain has its own species-specific adaptations. By understanding the variety of existing brain types, we can more accurately reconstruct the brains of common ancestors, and understand which brain traits (of humans as well as other species) are derived and which are ancestral. This understanding also allows us to identify convergently evolved traits, which are crucial in formulating hypotheses about structure-function relationships in the brain. A thorough understanding of the processes and patterns of brain evolution is essential to generalizing findings from 'model species' to humans, which is the backbone of modern biomedical science.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the the...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel A. Hofman

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 brain and its underlying neuronal network. The object of this review is to present current perspectives on primate brain evolution, especially in humans, and to examine some hypothetical organizing principles that underlie the brain’s complex organization. Some of the design principles and operational modes that underlie the information processing capacity of the cerebral cortex in primates will be explored. It is shown that the development of the cortex coordinates folding with connectivity in a way that produces smaller and faster brains, then otherwise would have been possible. In view of the central importance placed on brain evolution in explaining the success of our own species, one may wonder whether there are physical limits that constrain its processing power and evolutionary potential. It will be argued that at a brain size of about 3500 cm3, corresponding to a brain volume two to three times that of modern man, the brain seems to reach its maximum processing capacity. The larger the brain grows beyond this critical size, the less efficient it will become, thus limiting any improvement in cognitive power.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2013 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  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. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The social brain hypothesis and its implications for social evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, R I M

    2009-01-01

    The social brain hypothesis was proposed as an explanation for the fact that primates have unusually large brains for body size compared to all other vertebrates: Primates evolved large brains to manage their unusually complex social systems. Although this proposal has been generalized to all vertebrate taxa as an explanation for brain evolution, recent analyses suggest that the social brain hypothesis takes a very different form in other mammals and birds than it does in anthropoid primates. In primates, there is a quantitative relationship between brain size and social group size (group size is a monotonic function of brain size), presumably because the cognitive demands of sociality place a constraint on the number of individuals that can be maintained in a coherent group. In other mammals and birds, the relationship is a qualitative one: Large brains are associated with categorical differences in mating system, with species that have pairbonded mating systems having the largest brains. It seems that anthropoid primates may have generalized the bonding processes that characterize monogamous pairbonds to other non-reproductive relationships ('friendships'), thereby giving rise to the quantitative relationship between group size and brain size that we find in this taxon. This raises issues about why bonded relationships are cognitively so demanding (and, indeed, raises questions about what a bonded relationship actually is), and when and why primates undertook this change in social style.

  12. The Molecular Basis of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enard, Wolfgang

    2016-10-24

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

  13. Diffusion tensor imaging reveals evolution of primate brain architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Degang; Guo, Lei; Zhu, Dajiang; Li, Kaiming; Li, Longchuan; Chen, Hanbo; Zhao, Qun; Hu, Xiaoping; Liu, Tianming

    2013-11-01

    Evolution of the brain has been an inherently interesting problem for centuries. Recent studies have indicated that neuroimaging is a powerful technique for studying brain evolution. In particular, a variety of reports have demonstrated that consistent white matter fiber connection patterns derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography reveal common brain architecture and are predictive of brain functions. In this paper, based on our recently discovered 358 dense individualized and common connectivity-based cortical landmarks (DICCCOL) defined by consistent fiber connection patterns in DTI datasets of human brains, we derived 65 DICCCOLs that are common in macaque monkey, chimpanzee and human brains and 175 DICCCOLs that exhibit significant discrepancies amongst these three primate species. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations not only demonstrated the consistencies of anatomical locations and structural fiber connection patterns of these 65 common DICCCOLs across three primates, suggesting an evolutionarily preserved common brain architecture but also revealed regional patterns of evolutionarily induced complexity and variability of those 175 discrepant DICCCOLs across the three species.

  14. 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.

  15. Building complex brains--missing pieces in an evolutionary puzzle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaaro, Hanna; Fainzilber, Mike

    2006-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying evolution of complex nervous systems are not well understood. In recent years there have been a number of attempts to correlate specific gene families or evolutionary processes with increased brain complexity in the vertebrate lineage. Candidates for evocation of complexity include genes involved in regulating brain size, such as neurotrophic factors or microcephaly-related genes; or wider evolutionary processes, such as accelerated evolution of brain-expressed genes or enhanced RNA splicing or editing events in primates. An inherent weakness of these studies is that they are correlative by nature, and almost exclusively focused on the mammalian and specifically the primate lineage. Another problem with genomic analyses is that it is difficult to identify functionally similar yet non-homologous molecules such as different families of cysteine-rich neurotrophic factors in different phyla. As long as comprehensive experimental studies of these questions are not feasible, additional perspectives for evolutionary and genomic studies will be very helpful. Cephalopod mollusks represent the most complex nervous systems outside the vertebrate lineage, thus we suggest that genome sequencing of different mollusk models will provide useful insights into the evolution of complex brains.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Life history, cognition and the evolution of complex foraging niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuppli, Caroline; Graber, Sereina M; Isler, Karin; van Schaik, Carel P

    2016-03-01

    Animal species that live in complex foraging niches have, in general, improved access to energy-rich and seasonally stable food sources. Because human food procurement is uniquely complex, we ask here which conditions may have allowed species to evolve into such complex foraging niches, and also how niche complexity is related to relative brain size. To do so, we divided niche complexity into a knowledge-learning and a motor-learning dimension. Using a sample of 78 primate and 65 carnivoran species, we found that two life-history features are consistently correlated with complex niches: slow, conservative development or provisioning of offspring over extended periods of time. Both act to buffer low energy yields during periods of learning, and may thus act as limiting factors for the evolution of complex niches. Our results further showed that the knowledge and motor dimensions of niche complexity were correlated with pace of development in primates only, and with the length of provisioning in only carnivorans. Accordingly, in primates, but not carnivorans, living in a complex foraging niche requires enhanced cognitive abilities, i.e., a large brain. The patterns in these two groups of mammals show that selection favors evolution into complex niches (in either the knowledge or motor dimension) in species that either develop more slowly or provision their young for an extended period of time. These findings help to explain how humans constructed by far the most complex niche: our ancestors managed to combine slow development (as in other primates) with systematic provisioning of immatures and even adults (as in carnivorans). This study also provides strong support for the importance of ecological factors in brain size evolution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Mathematical Analysis of Evolution, Information, and Complexity

    CERN Document Server

    Arendt, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    Mathematical Analysis of Evolution, Information, and Complexity deals with the analysis of evolution, information and complexity. The time evolution of systems or processes is a central question in science, this text covers a broad range of problems including diffusion processes, neuronal networks, quantum theory and cosmology. Bringing together a wide collection of research in mathematics, information theory, physics and other scientific and technical areas, this new title offers elementary and thus easily accessible introductions to the various fields of research addressed in the book.

  3. 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

  4. Brain reorganization, not relative brain size, primarily characterizes anthropoid brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smaers, J B; Soligo, C

    2013-05-22

    Comparative analyses of primate brain evolution have highlighted changes in size and internal organization as key factors underlying species diversity. It remains, however, unclear (i) how much variation in mosaic brain reorganization versus variation in relative brain size contributes to explaining the structural neural diversity observed across species, (ii) which mosaic changes contribute most to explaining diversity, and (iii) what the temporal origin, rates and processes are that underlie evolutionary shifts in mosaic reorganization for individual branches of the primate tree of life. We address these questions by combining novel comparative methods that allow assessing the temporal origin, rate and process of evolutionary changes on individual branches of the tree of life, with newly available data on volumes of key brain structures (prefrontal cortex, frontal motor areas and cerebrocerebellum) for a sample of 17 species (including humans). We identify patterns of mosaic change in brain evolution that mirror brain systems previously identified by electrophysiological and anatomical tract-tracing studies in non-human primates and functional connectivity MRI studies in humans. Across more than 40 Myr of anthropoid primate evolution, mosaic changes contribute more to explaining neural diversity than changes in relative brain size, and different mosaic patterns are differentially selected for when brains increase or decrease in size. We identify lineage-specific evolutionary specializations for all branches of the tree of life covered by our sample and demonstrate deep evolutionary roots for mosaic patterns associated with motor control and learning.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Manipulation complexity in primates coevolved with brain size and terrestriality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldstab, Sandra A; Kosonen, Zaida K; Koski, Sonja E; Burkart, Judith M; van Schaik, Carel P; Isler, Karin

    2016-04-14

    Humans occupy by far the most complex foraging niche of all mammals, built around sophisticated technology, and at the same time exhibit unusually large brains. To examine the evolutionary processes underlying these features, we investigated how manipulation complexity is related to brain size, cognitive test performance, terrestriality, and diet quality in a sample of 36 non-human primate species. We categorized manipulation bouts in food-related contexts into unimanual and bimanual actions, and asynchronous or synchronous hand and finger use, and established levels of manipulative complexity using Guttman scaling. Manipulation categories followed a cumulative ranking. They were particularly high in species that use cognitively challenging food acquisition techniques, such as extractive foraging and tool use. Manipulation complexity was also consistently positively correlated with brain size and cognitive test performance. Terrestriality had a positive effect on this relationship, but diet quality did not affect it. Unlike a previous study on carnivores, we found that, among primates, brain size and complex manipulations to acquire food underwent correlated evolution, which may have been influenced by terrestriality. Accordingly, our results support the idea of an evolutionary feedback loop between manipulation complexity and cognition in the human lineage, which may have been enhanced by increasingly terrestrial habits.

  8. 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...

  9. (R)evolution of complex regulatory systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linding, Rune

    2010-01-01

    Signaling systems are exciting to study precisely because they are some of the most complex and dynamical systems that we know. The cell needs operational freedom and, thus, many motif-domain interactions might not be "hard-wired" through evolution, but instead may be like the Linux operating...

  10. Understanding complexity in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassett, Danielle S; Gazzaniga, Michael S

    2011-05-01

    Although the ultimate aim of neuroscientific enquiry is to gain an understanding of the brain and how its workings relate to the mind, the majority of current efforts are largely focused on small questions using increasingly detailed data. However, it might be possible to successfully address the larger question of mind-brain mechanisms if the cumulative findings from these neuroscientific studies are coupled with complementary approaches from physics and philosophy. The brain, we argue, can be understood as a complex system or network, in which mental states emerge from the interaction between multiple physical and functional levels. Achieving further conceptual progress will crucially depend on broad-scale discussions regarding the properties of cognition and the tools that are currently available or must be developed in order to study mind-brain mechanisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  12. Complexity, organization, evolution, and constructal law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejan, A.; Errera, M. R.

    2016-02-01

    Physics is concise, simple, unambiguous, and constantly improving. Yet, confusion reigns in the field especially with respect to complexity and the second law of thermodynamics. In this paper, we step back and take a look at these notions—their meaning and definition—on the background provided by nature and thermodynamics. We review the central concepts and words that underpin the physics of evolutionary design today: information, knowledge, evolution, change, arrow of time, pattern, organization, drawings, complexity, fractal dimension, object, icon, model, empiricism, theory, disorder, second law, the "any" system in thermodynamics, morphing freely, and the constructal law. We show, for example, that information is not knowledge, fractal dimension is not a measure of complexity, and pattern is not a live flow architecture. Drawings, as physical means to facilitate the flow of knowledge, are subject to the natural tendency toward design evolution. Complexity, organization, and evolution in nature are most powerful and useful when pursued as a discipline, with precise terms, rules, and principles.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolution Properties of Modules in Complex Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Ke-Ping; GAO Zi-You

    2008-01-01

    In complex networks, network modules play a center role, which carry out a key function. In this paper, we introduce the spatial correlation function to describe the relationships among the network modules. Our focus is to investigate how the network modules evolve, and what the evolution properties of the modules are. In order to test the proposed method, as the examples, we use our method to analyze and discuss the ER random network and scale-free network. Rigorous analysis of the existing data shows that the introduced correlation function is suitable for describing the evolution properties of network modules. Remarkably, the numerical simulations indicate that the ER random network and scale-free network have different evolution properties.

  15. 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.

  16. Evolution and the complexity of bacteriophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serwer Philip

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genomes of both long-genome (> 200 Kb bacteriophages and long-genome eukaryotic viruses have cellular gene homologs whose selective advantage is not explained. These homologs add genomic and possibly biochemical complexity. Understanding their significance requires a definition of complexity that is more biochemically oriented than past empirically based definitions. Hypothesis Initially, I propose two biochemistry-oriented definitions of complexity: either decreased randomness or increased encoded information that does not serve immediate needs. Then, I make the assumption that these two definitions are equivalent. This assumption and recent data lead to the following four-part hypothesis that explains the presence of cellular gene homologs in long bacteriophage genomes and also provides a pathway for complexity increases in prokaryotic cells: (1 Prokaryotes underwent evolutionary increases in biochemical complexity after the eukaryote/prokaryote splits. (2 Some of the complexity increases occurred via multi-step, weak selection that was both protected from strong selection and accelerated by embedding evolving cellular genes in the genomes of bacteriophages and, presumably, also archaeal viruses (first tier selection. (3 The mechanisms for retaining cellular genes in viral genomes evolved under additional, longer-term selection that was stronger (second tier selection. (4 The second tier selection was based on increased access by prokaryotic cells to improved biochemical systems. This access was achieved when DNA transfer moved to prokaryotic cells both the more evolved genes and their more competitive and complex biochemical systems. Testing the hypothesis I propose testing this hypothesis by controlled evolution in microbial communities to (1 determine the effects of deleting individual cellular gene homologs on the growth and evolution of long genome bacteriophages and hosts, (2 find the environmental conditions that

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain eWillemet

    2013-07-01

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

  18. Defining nodes in complex brain networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Lawrence Stanley

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Network science holds great promise for expanding our understanding of the human brain in health, disease, development, and aging. Network analyses are quickly becoming the method of choice for analyzing functional MRI data. However, many technical issues have yet to be confronted in order to optimize results. One particular issue that remains controversial in functional brain network analyses is the definition of a network node. In functional brain networks a node represents some predefined collection of brain tissue, and an edge measures the functional connectivity between pairs of nodes. The characteristics of a node, chosen by the researcher, vary considerably in the literature. This manuscript reviews the current state of the art based on published manuscripts and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of three main methods for defining nodes. Voxel-wise networks are constructed by assigning a node to each, equally sized brain area (voxel. The fMRI time-series recorded from each voxel is then used to create the functional network. Anatomical methods utilize atlases to define the nodes based on brain structure. The fMRI time-series from all voxels within the anatomical area are averaged and subsequently used to generate the network. Functional activation methods rely on data from traditional fMRI activation studies, often from databases, to identify network nodes. Such methods identify the peaks or centers of mass from activation maps to determine the location of the nodes. Small (~10-20 millimeter diameter spheres located at the coordinates of the activation foci are then applied to the data being used in the network analysis. The fMRI time-series from all voxels in the sphere are then averaged, and the resultant time series is used to generate the network. We attempt to clarify the discussion and move the study of complex brain networks forward. While the correct method to be used remains an open, possibly unsolvable question that

  19. Measuring multiple evolution mechanisms of complex networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian-Ming; Xu, Xiao-Ke; Zhu, Yu-Xiao; Zhou, Tao

    2015-01-01

    Numerous concise models such as preferential attachment have been put forward to reveal the evolution mechanisms of real-world networks, which show that real-world networks are usually jointly driven by a hybrid mechanism of multiplex features instead of a single pure mechanism. To get an accurate simulation for real networks, some researchers proposed a few hybrid models by mixing multiple evolution mechanisms. Nevertheless, how a hybrid mechanism of multiplex features jointly influence the network evolution is not very clear. In this study, we introduce two methods (link prediction and likelihood analysis) to measure multiple evolution mechanisms of complex networks. Through tremendous experiments on artificial networks, which can be controlled to follow multiple mechanisms with different weights, we find the method based on likelihood analysis performs much better and gives very accurate estimations. At last, we apply this method to some real-world networks which are from different domains (including technology networks and social networks) and different countries (e.g., USA and China), to see how popularity and clustering co-evolve. We find most of them are affected by both popularity and clustering, but with quite different weights.

  20. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Kaas, John

    2017-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemet, Romain

    2013-01-01

    Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behavior of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. “Brain” and “cognition” are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behavior are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioral differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behavior appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists' preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind. PMID:23847570

  4. Selection for smaller brains in Holocene human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Hawks, John

    2011-01-01

    Background: Human populations during the last 10,000 years have undergone rapid decreases in average brain size as measured by endocranial volume or as estimated from linear measurements of the cranium. A null hypothesis to explain the evolution of brain size is that reductions result from genetic correlation of brain size with body mass or stature. Results: The absolute change of endocranial volume in the study samples was significantly greater than would be predicted from observed changes i...

  5. 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.

  6. Identifying modular relations in complex brain networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Kasper Winther; Mørup, Morten; Siebner, Hartwig

    2012-01-01

    We evaluate the infinite relational model (IRM) against two simpler alternative nonparametric Bayesian models for identifying structures in multi subject brain networks. The models are evaluated for their ability to predict new data and infer reproducible structures. Prediction and reproducibility...... are measured within the data driven NPAIRS split-half framework. Using synthetic data drawn from each of the generative models we show that the IRM model outperforms the two competing models when data contain relational structure. For data drawn from the other two simpler models the IRM does not overfit...... and obtains comparable reproducibility and predictability. For resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 30 healthy controls the IRM model is also superior to the two simpler alternatives, suggesting that brain networks indeed exhibit universal complex relational structure...

  7. Multipartite Quantum Entanglement Evolution in Photosynthetic Complexes

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Jing; Aspuru-Guzik, Alán; Rodriques, Sam; Brock, Ben; Love, Peter J

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the evolution of entanglement in the Fenna-Matthew-Olson (FMO) complex based on simulations using the scaled hierarchy equation of motion (HEOM) approach. We examine the role of multipartite entanglement in the FMO complex by direct computation of the convex roof optimization for a number of measures, including some that have not been previously evaluated. We also consider the role of monogamy of entanglement in these simulations. We utilize the fact that the monogamy bounds are saturated in the single exciton subspace. This enables us to compute more measures of entanglement exactly and also to validate the evaluation of the convex roof. We then use direct computation of the convex roof to evaluate measures that are not determined by monogamy. This approach provides a more complete account of the entanglement in these systems than has been available to date. Our results support the hypothesis that multipartite entanglement is maximum primary along the two distinct electronic energy transfer pa...

  8. Multipartite quantum entanglement evolution in photosynthetic complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jing; Kais, Sabre; Aspuru-Guzik, Alán; Rodriques, Sam; Brock, Ben; Love, Peter J

    2012-08-21

    We investigate the evolution of entanglement in the Fenna-Matthew-Olson (FMO) complex based on simulations using the scaled hierarchical equations of motion approach. We examine the role of entanglement in the FMO complex by direct computation of the convex roof. We use monogamy to give a lower bound for entanglement and obtain an upper bound from the evaluation of the convex roof. Examination of bipartite measures for all possible bipartitions provides a complete picture of the multipartite entanglement. Our results support the hypothesis that entanglement is maximum primary along the two distinct electronic energy transfer pathways. In addition, we note that the structure of multipartite entanglement is quite simple, suggesting that there are constraints on the mixed state entanglement beyond those due to monogamy.

  9. 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.

  10. Defining nodes in complex brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Matthew L; Moussa, Malaak N; Paolini, Brielle M; Lyday, Robert G; Burdette, Jonathan H; Laurienti, Paul J

    2013-11-22

    Network science holds great promise for expanding our understanding of the human brain in health, disease, development, and aging. Network analyses are quickly becoming the method of choice for analyzing functional MRI data. However, many technical issues have yet to be confronted in order to optimize results. One particular issue that remains controversial in functional brain network analyses is the definition of a network node. In functional brain networks a node represents some predefined collection of brain tissue, and an edge measures the functional connectivity between pairs of nodes. The characteristics of a node, chosen by the researcher, vary considerably in the literature. This manuscript reviews the current state of the art based on published manuscripts and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of three main methods for defining nodes. Voxel-wise networks are constructed by assigning a node to each, equally sized brain area (voxel). The fMRI time-series recorded from each voxel is then used to create the functional network. Anatomical methods utilize atlases to define the nodes based on brain structure. The fMRI time-series from all voxels within the anatomical area are averaged and subsequently used to generate the network. Functional activation methods rely on data from traditional fMRI activation studies, often from databases, to identify network nodes. Such methods identify the peaks or centers of mass from activation maps to determine the location of the nodes. Small (~10-20 millimeter diameter) spheres located at the coordinates of the activation foci are then applied to the data being used in the network analysis. The fMRI time-series from all voxels in the sphere are then averaged, and the resultant time series is used to generate the network. We attempt to clarify the discussion and move the study of complex brain networks forward. While the "correct" method to be used remains an open, possibly unsolvable question that deserves extensive

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolution of the land plant Exocyst complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatima eCvrckova

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Exocyst is an evolutionarily conserved vesicle tethering complex functioning especially in the last stage of exocytosis. Homologs of its eight canonical subunits -Sec3, Sec5, Sec6, Sec8, Sec10, Sec15, Exo70 and Exo84 - were found also in higher plants and confirmed to form complexes in vivo, and to participate in cell growth including polarized expansion of pollen tubes and root hairs. Here we present results of a phylogenetic study of land plant exocyst subunits encoded by a selection of completely sequenced genomes representing a variety of plant, mostly angiosperm, lineages. According to their evolution histories, plant exocyst subunits can be divided into several groups. The core subunits Sec6, Sec8 and Sec10, together with Sec3 and Sec5, underwent few, if any fixed duplications in the tracheophytes (though they did amplify in the moss Physcomitrella patens, while others form larger families, with the number of paralogs ranging typically from two to eight per genome (Sec15, Exo84 to several dozens per genome (Exo70. Most of the diversity, which can be in some cases traced down to the origins of land plants, can be attributed to the peripheral subunits Exo84 and, in particular, Exo70. As predicted previously, early land plants (including possibly also the Rhyniophytes encoded three basal Exo70 paralogs which further diversified in the course of land plant evolution. Our results imply that plants do not have a single "Exocyst complex" – instead, they appear to possess a diversity of exocyst variants unparalleled among other organisms studied so far. This feature might perhaps be directly related to the demands of building and maintenance of the complicated and spatially diverse structures of the endomembranes and cell surfaces in multicellular land plants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Planetary Atmospheres and Evolution of Complex Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catling, D.

    2014-04-01

    Let us define "complex life" as actively mobile organisms exceeding tens of centimeter size scale with specialized, differentiated anatomy comparable to advanced metazoans. Such organisms on any planet will need considerable energy for growth and metabolism, and an atmosphere is likely to play a key role. The history of life on Earth suggests that there were at least two major hurdles to overcome before complex life developed. The first was biological. Large, three-dimensional multicellular animals and plants are made only of eukaryotic cells, which are the only type that can develop into a large, diverse range of cell types unlike the cells of microbes. Exactly how eukaryotes allow 3D multicellularity and how they originated are matters of debate. But the internal structure and bigger and more modular genomes of eukaryotes are important factors. The second obstacle for complex life was having sufficient free, diatomic oxygen (O2). Aerobic metabolism provides about an order of magnitude more energy for a given intake of food than anaerobic metabolism, so anaerobes don't grow multicellular beyond filaments because of prohibitive growth efficiencies. A precursor to a 2.4 Ga rise of oxygen was the evolution of water-splitting, oxygen-producing photosynthesis. But although the atmosphere became oxidizing at 2.4 Ga, sufficient atmospheric O2 did not occur until about 0.6 Ga. Earth-system factors were involved including planetary outgassing (as affected by size and composition), hydrogen escape, and processing of organic carbon. An atmosphere rich in O2 provides the largest feasible energy source per electron transfer in the Periodic Table, which suggests that O2 would be important for complex life on exoplanets. But plentiful O2 is unusual in a planetary atmosphere because O2 is easily consumed in chemical reactions with reducing gases or surface materials. Even with aerobic metabolism, the partial pressure of O2 (pO2) must exceed ~10^3 Pa to allow organisms that rely

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Approach of Complex Networks for the Determination of Brain Death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei-Gang; Cao, Jian-Ting; Wang, Ru-Bin

    2011-06-01

    In clinical practice, brain death is the irreversible end of all brain activity. Compared to current statistical methods for the determination of brain death, we focus on the approach of complex networks for real-world electroencephalography in its determination. Brain functional networks constructed by correlation analysis are derived, and statistical network quantities used for distinguishing the patients in coma or brain death state, such as average strength, clustering coefficient and average path length, are calculated. Numerical results show that the values of network quantities of patients in coma state are larger than those of patients in brain death state. Our findings might provide valuable insights on the determination of brain death.

  3. Convergent evolution of vocal cooperation without convergent evolution of brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borjon, Jeremy I; Ghazanfar, Asif A

    2014-01-01

    One pragmatic underlying successful vocal communication is the ability to take turns. Taking turns - a form of cooperation - facilitates the transmission of signals by reducing the amount of their overlap. This allows vocalizations to be better heard. Until recently, non-human primates were not thought of as particularly cooperative, especially in the vocal domain. We recently demonstrated that common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), a small New World primate species, take turns when they exchange vocalizations with both related and unrelated conspecifics. As the common marmoset is distantly related to humans (and there is no documented evidence that Old World primates exhibit vocal turn taking), we argue that this ability arose as an instance of convergent evolution, and is part of a suite of prosocial behavioral tendencies. Such behaviors seem to be, at least in part, the outcome of the cooperative breeding strategy adopted by both humans and marmosets. Importantly, this suite of shared behaviors occurs without correspondence in encephalization. Marmoset vocal turn taking demonstrates that a large brain size and complex cognitive machinery is not needed for vocal cooperation to occur. Consistent with this idea, the temporal structure of marmoset vocal exchanges can be described in terms of coupled oscillator dynamics, similar to quantitative descriptions of human conversations. We propose a simple neural circuit mechanism that may account for these dynamics and, at its core, involves vocalization-induced reductions of arousal. Such a mechanism may underlie the evolution of vocal turn taking in both marmoset monkeys and humans. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-29

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

  5. Dynamic analysis of the human brain with complex cerebral sulci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Jung-Ge; Huang, Bo-Wun; Ou, Yi-Wen; Yen, Ke-Tien; Wu, Yi-Te

    2016-07-03

    The brain is one of the most vulnerable organs inside the human body. Head accidents often appear in daily life and are easy to cause different level of brain damage inside the skull. Once the brain suffered intense locomotive impact, external injuries, falls, or other accidents, it will result in different degrees of concussion. This study employs finite element analysis to compare the dynamic characteristics between the geometric models of an assumed simple brain tissue and a brain tissue with complex cerebral sulci. It is aimed to understand the free vibration of the internal brain tissue and then to protect the brain from injury caused by external influences. Reverse engineering method is used for a Classic 5-Part Brain (C18) model produced by 3B Scientific Corporation. 3D optical scanner is employed to scan the human brain structure model with complex cerebral sulci and imported into 3D graphics software to construct a solid brain model to simulate the real complex brain tissue. Obtaining the normal mode analysis by inputting the material properties of the true human brain into finite element analysis software, and then to compare the simplified and the complex of brain models.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Comparative studies of brain evolution: a critical insight from the Chiroptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechmann, Dina K N; Safi, Kamran

    2009-02-01

    Comparative studies of brain size have a long history and contributed much to our understanding of the evolution and function of the brain and its parts. Recently, bats have been used increasingly as model organisms for such studies because of their large number of species, high diversity of life-history strategies, and a comparatively detailed knowledge of their neuroanatomy. Here, we draw attention to inherent problems of comparative brain size studies, highlighting limitations but also suggesting alternative approaches. We argue that the complexity and diversity of neurological tasks that the brain and its functional regions (subdivisions) must solve cannot be explained by a single or few variables representing selective pressures. Using an example we show that by adding a single relevant variable, morphological adaptation to foraging strategy, to a previous analysis a correlation between brain and testes mass disappears completely and changes entirely the interpretation of the study. Future studies should not only look for novel determinants of brain size but also include known correlates in order to add to our current knowledge. We believe that comparisons at more detailed anatomical, taxonomic, and geographical levels will continue to contribute to our understanding of the function and evolution of mammalian brains.

  13. 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.

  14. EVOLUTION COMPLEXITY OF THEELEMENTARY CELLULAR AUTOMATON OF RULE 22

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WangYi; JiangZhisong

    2002-01-01

    Cellular automata are the discrete dynamical systems of simple construction but with complex and varied behaviors. In this paper, the elementary cellular automaton of rule 22 is studied by the tools of formal language theory and symbolic dynamics. Its temporal evolution orbits are coarse-grained into evolution sequences and the evolution languages are defined. It is proved that for every n≥2 its width n evolution language is not regular.

  15. DNA computing, computation complexity and problem of biological evolution rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melkikh, Alexey V

    2008-12-01

    An analogy between the evolution of organisms and some complex computational problems (cryptosystem cracking, determination of the shortest path in a graph) is considered. It is shown that in the absence of a priori information about possible species of organisms such a problem is complex (is rated in the class NP) and cannot be solved in a polynomial number of steps. This conclusion suggests the need for re-examination of evolution mechanisms. Ideas of a deterministic approach to the evolution are discussed.

  16. Approach of Complex Networks for the Determination of Brain Death

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Wei-Gang; CAO Jian-Ting; WANG Ru-Bin

    2011-01-01

    In clinical practice, brain death is the irreversible end of all brain activity. Compared to current statistical methods for the determination of brain death, we focus on the approach of complex networks for real-world electroencephalography in its determination. Brain functional networks constructed by correlation analysis are derived, and statistical network quantities used for distinguishing the patients in coma or brain death state, such as average strength, clustering coefficient and average path length, are calculated. Numerical results show that the values of network quantities of patients in coma state are larger than those of patients in brain death state. Our Sndings might provide valuable insights on the determination of brain death.%@@ In clinical practice, brain death is the irreversible end of all brain activity.Compared to current statistical methods for the determination of brain death, we focus on the approach of complex networks for real-world electroencephalography in its determination.Brain functional networks constructed by correlation analysis axe derived, and statistical network quantities used for distinguishing the patients in coma or brain death state, such as average strength, clustering coefficient and average path length, are calculated.Numerical results show that the values of network quantities of patients in coma state are larger than those of patients in brain death state.Our findings might provide valuable insights on the determination of brain death.

  17. Clinical evolution of epileptic seizures in children with perinatal brain pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Morozova

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The complex mechanism of epileptogenesis has not been adequately explored. Perinatal brain pathology is one of the most important triggers of epilepsy in children. The paper gives data on the course and transformation of epileptic seizures in children who have verified perinatal problems. A study of 66 children with perinatally induced epileptic seizures has provided evidence for the evolution of impairments in cerebral hemodynamics and neuroimaging phenomena in the examined contingent of patients.

  18. 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.

  19. Origin and evolution of deep brain stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. The Evolution of Lateralized Brain Circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C. Corballis

    2017-06-01

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

  1. The Evolution of Lateralized Brain Circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corballis, Michael C

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Evolution of Brain Tumor and Stability of Geometric Invariants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Tawbe

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kang K. L. Liu

    2015-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Complexity induced solar wind turbulence and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, T.

    2003-04-01

    "Complexity" has become a hot topic in nearly every field of modern physics. Solar wind plasmas are of no exception. Recently, Chang [2002], in analogy with theories developed for phenomena observed in the magnetotail and the auroral zone [Chang, 1999; 2001], demonstrated that the sporadic and localized interactions of magnetic coherent structures arising from plasma resonances could be the origin of "complexity" of nonresonant pseudo-2D spatiotemporal fluctuations in solar wind turbulence and in the coronal hole base. Such nonresonant fluctuations were shown to exist in the solar wind by Matthaeus et al. [1990] in terms of the two-dimensional correlation as a function of distance parallel and perpendicular to the mean magnetic field based on the ISEE-3 magnetometer data. Other evidences indicating the existence of such type of fluctuations in the solar wind have been reported by Tu et al. [1989], Tu and Marsch [1990, 1991], Bruno and Bavassano [1991], Bavassano and Bruno [1992], Bruno et al. [2001], and others. These results explain [Tu and Marsch, 1991] why the Alfvén ratio (a quantitative measure of Alfvénicity) is often found to be less than one in the solar wind [Belcher and Davis 1971, Solodyna et al., 1977, Bruno et al, 1985, Roberts et al., 1990], particularly for the space range farther than 0.3 AU. The above observational results are also consistent with the conclusions obtained from 2D MHD numerical simulations [Matthaeus and Larkin, 1986, Roberts and Goldstein, 1988, Goldstein et al., 1989, Roberts et al., 1991, and Roberts, 1992]. Such findings have led Chang [2002] to suggest the following evolutional scenario for the plasma turbulence in the generic fast solar wind. In and near the coronal hole base, the turbulent fluctuations are predominantly nonresonantly generated by pseudo-2D nonlinear interactions. As the fluctuations emerge from the coronal hole base, they propagate resonantly in the field-aligned direction primarily as Alfvén waves

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Genevieve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2010-10-21

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

  9. Complex positive maps and quaternionic unitary evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asorey, M [Departamento de Fisica Teorica, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza (Spain); Scolarici, G [Dipartimento di Fisica dell' Universita di Lecce and INFN, Sezione di Lecce, I-73100 Lecce (Italy)

    2006-08-04

    The complex projection of any n-dimensional quaternionic unitary dynamics defines a one-parameter positive semigroup dynamics. We show that the converse is also true, i.e. that any one-parameter positive semigroup dynamics of complex density matrices with maximal rank can be obtained as the complex projection of suitable quaternionic unitary dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Complex networks: new trends for the analysis of brain connectivity

    CERN Document Server

    Chavez, Mario; Latora, Vito; Martinerie, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    Today, the human brain can be studied as a whole. Electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, or functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques provide functional connectivity patterns between different brain areas, and during different pathological and cognitive neuro-dynamical states. In this Tutorial we review novel complex networks approaches to unveil how brain networks can efficiently manage local processing and global integration for the transfer of information, while being at the same time capable of adapting to satisfy changing neural demands.

  12. Development and evaluation of vinpocetine inclusion complex for brain targeting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaojiao Ding

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper is to prepare vinpocetine (VIN inclusion complex and evaluate its brain targeting effect after intranasal administration. In the present study, VIN inclusion complex was prepared in order to increase its solubility. Stability constant (Kc was used for host selection. Factors influencing properties of the inclusion complex was investigated. Formation of the inclusion complex was identified by solubility study and DSC analysis. The brain targeting effect of the complex after intranasal administration was studied in rats. It was demonstrated that properties of the inclusion complex was mainly influenced by cyclodextrin type, organic acids type, system pH and host/guest molar ratio. Multiple component complexes can be formed by the addition of citric acid, with solubility improved for more than 23 times. Furthermore, In vivo study revealed that after intranasal administration, the absolute bioavailability of vinpocetine inclusion complex was 88%. Compared with intravenous injection, significant brain targeting effect was achieved after intranasal delivery, with brain targeting index 1.67. In conclusion, by intranasal administration of VIN inclusion complex, a fast onset of action and good brain targeting effect can be achieved. Intranasal route is a promising approach for the treatment of CNS diseases.

  13. Measuring multiple evolution mechanisms of complex networks

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Qian-Ming; Zhu, Yu-Xiao; Zhou, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally, numerous simple models such as preferential attachment have been put forward to reveal the evolution mechanisms of real networks. However, previous simulations show that real networks usually are driven by various features instead of single pure mechanism. To solve this problem, some pioneers proposed a few hybrid models of mixing multiple evolution mechanisms and tried to uncover the contributions of different mechanisms. In this paper, we introduce two methods which can tackle this problem: one is based on link prediction model, and the other is based on likelihood analysis. To examine the effectiveness, we generate plenty of artificial networks which can be controlled to follow multiple mechanisms with different weights, so that we can compare the estimated weights with the true values. The experimental results show the method based on likelihood analysis performs much better and gives very accurate estimations. At last, we apply this method to real networks to see how popularity and cluster...

  14. Autocatalysis as the Natural Philosophy Underlying Complexity and Biological Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güngör Gündüz

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The importance and different aspects of autocatalysis in evolution was analyzed. The behaviour of autocatalytic reactions mainly the Lotka-Volterra and the Schlögl equations were discussed in terms of phase change, entropy, and their oscillation frequency. The increase of complexity as the general direction of evolution was examined on some patterns in terms of both their entropy and information content. In addition, the relation between stability and functionality, stability and cohesion were discussed. It was concluded that evolution drifts in the direction of increasing complexity as a kind of natural philosophy to counteract the increase of entropy in the universe.

  15. Passive and Driven Trends in the Evolution of Complexity

    CERN Document Server

    Yaeger, Larry; Sporns, Olaf

    2011-01-01

    The nature and source of evolutionary trends in complexity is difficult to assess from the fossil record, and the driven vs. passive nature of such trends has been debated for decades. There are also questions about how effectively artificial life software can evolve increasing levels of complexity. We extend our previous work demonstrating an evolutionary increase in an information theoretic measure of neural complexity in an artificial life system (Polyworld), and introduce a new technique for distinguishing driven from passive trends in complexity. Our experiments show that evolution can and does select for complexity increases in a driven fashion, in some circumstances, but under other conditions it can also select for complexity stability. It is suggested that the evolution of complexity is entirely driven---just not in a single direction---at the scale of species. This leaves open the question of evolutionary trends at larger scales.

  16. Brain signal complexity rises with repetition suppression in visual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafontaine, Marc Philippe; Lacourse, Karine; Lina, Jean-Marc; McIntosh, Anthony R; Gosselin, Frédéric; Théoret, Hugo; Lippé, Sarah

    2016-06-21

    Neuronal activity associated with visual processing of an unfamiliar face gradually diminishes when it is viewed repeatedly. This process, known as repetition suppression (RS), is involved in the acquisition of familiarity. Current models suggest that RS results from interactions between visual information processing areas located in the occipito-temporal cortex and higher order areas, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Brain signal complexity, which reflects information dynamics of cortical networks, has been shown to increase as unfamiliar faces become familiar. However, the complementarity of RS and increases in brain signal complexity have yet to be demonstrated within the same measurements. We hypothesized that RS and brain signal complexity increase occur simultaneously during learning of unfamiliar faces. Further, we expected alteration of DLPFC function by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to modulate RS and brain signal complexity over the occipito-temporal cortex. Participants underwent three tDCS conditions in random order: right anodal/left cathodal, right cathodal/left anodal and sham. Following tDCS, participants learned unfamiliar faces, while an electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. Results revealed RS over occipito-temporal electrode sites during learning, reflected by a decrease in signal energy, a measure of amplitude. Simultaneously, as signal energy decreased, brain signal complexity, as estimated with multiscale entropy (MSE), increased. In addition, prefrontal tDCS modulated brain signal complexity over the right occipito-temporal cortex during the first presentation of faces. These results suggest that although RS may reflect a brain mechanism essential to learning, complementary processes reflected by increases in brain signal complexity, may be instrumental in the acquisition of novel visual information. Such processes likely involve long-range coordinated activity between prefrontal and lower order visual

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2012-03-01

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

  19. Structure, dynamics, assembly, and evolution of protein complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Joseph A; Teichmann, Sarah A

    2015-01-01

    The assembly of individual proteins into functional complexes is fundamental to nearly all biological processes. In recent decades, many thousands of homomeric and heteromeric protein complex structures have been determined, greatly improving our understanding of the fundamental principles that control symmetric and asymmetric quaternary structure organization. Furthermore, our conception of protein complexes has moved beyond static representations to include dynamic aspects of quaternary structure, including conformational changes upon binding, multistep ordered assembly pathways, and structural fluctuations occurring within fully assembled complexes. Finally, major advances have been made in our understanding of protein complex evolution, both in reconstructing evolutionary histories of specific complexes and in elucidating general mechanisms that explain how quaternary structure tends to evolve. The evolution of quaternary structure occurs via changes in self-assembly state or through the gain or loss of protein subunits, and these processes can be driven by both adaptive and nonadaptive influences.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Polyploidy and the Evolution of Complex Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Huminiecki

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We explore how whole-genome duplications (WGDs may have given rise to complex innovations in cellular networks, innovations that could not have evolved through sequential single-gene duplications. We focus on two classical WGD events, one in bakers’ yeast and the other at the base of vertebrates (i.e., two rounds of whole-genome duplication: 2R-WGD. Two complex adaptations are discussed in detail: aerobic ethanol fermentation in yeast and the rewiring of the vertebrate developmental regulatory network through the 2R-WGD. These two examples, derived from diverged branches on the eukaryotic tree, boldly underline the evolutionary potential of WGD in facilitating major evolutionary transitions. We close by arguing that the evolutionary importance of WGD may require updating certain aspects of modern evolutionary theory, perhaps helping to synthesize a new evolutionary systems biology.

  4. Evolution, Complex Systems and the Dialectic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Knapp

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The status of large scale historical macro-theories is contested both in world-systems theory and in sociology as a whole. I distinguish three types of such dynamic models: evolutionary models, systems models and dialectical models. I define dialectical models as a family of complex systems models characterized by positive feedback (self-reinforcement or auto-catalysis. Such models lead to processes of accumulation and polarization, leading to system crisis. The games of Monopoly and Risk provide popular examples. This paper investigates the dynamic properties of three examples of such models: Myrdal's model of cumulative causation; Collins's models of Marxian transformations and geopolitics; and Chaso-Dunn and Hall's iterative model of world-systems transformations. A combination of evolutionary, complex systems and dialectical analyses has consideralble overlap with chaotic, far-from-equilibrium types of models and with analyses of complex adaptive systems. Such discontinuous, nonlinear dynamic models show great potential for solving problems of dynamic analysis both within world-systems theory and within sociology as a whole.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Brain architecture and social complexity in modern and ancient birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burish, Mark J; Kueh, Hao Yuan; Wang, Samuel S-H

    2004-01-01

    Vertebrate brains vary tremendously in size, but differences in form are more subtle. To bring out functional contrasts that are independent of absolute size, we have normalized brain component sizes to whole brain volume. The set of such volume fractions is the cerebrotype of a species. Using this approach in mammals we previously identified specific associations between cerebrotype and behavioral specializations. Among primates, cerebrotypes are linked principally to enlargement of the cerebral cortex and are associated with increases in the complexity of social structure. Here we extend this analysis to include a second major vertebrate group, the birds. In birds the telencephalic volume fraction is strongly correlated with social complexity. This correlation accounts for almost half of the observed variation in telencephalic size, more than any other behavioral specialization examined, including the ability to learn song. A prominent exception to this pattern is owls, which are not social but still have very large forebrains. Interpolating the overall correlation for Archaeopteryx, an ancient bird, suggests that its social complexity was likely to have been on a par with modern domesticated chickens. Telencephalic volume fraction outperforms residuals-based measures of brain size at separating birds by social structure. Telencephalic volume fraction may be an anatomical substrate for social complexity, and perhaps cognitive ability, that can be generalized across a range of vertebrate brains, including dinosaurs.

  11. Brain size at birth throughout human evolution: a new method for estimating neonatal brain size in hominins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSilva, Jeremy M; Lesnik, Julie J

    2008-12-01

    An increase in brain size is a hallmark of human evolution. Questions regarding the evolution of brain development and obstetric constraints in the human lineage can be addressed with accurate estimates of the size of the brain at birth in hominins. Previous estimates of brain size at birth in fossil hominins have been calculated from regressions of neonatal body or brain mass to adult body mass, but this approach is problematic for two reasons: modern humans are outliers for these regressions, and hominin adult body masses are difficult to estimate. To accurately estimate the brain size at birth in extinct human ancestors, an equation is needed for which modern humans fit the anthropoid regression and one in which the hominin variable entered into the regression equation has limited error. Using phylogenetically sensitive statistics, a resampling approach, and brain-mass data from the literature and from National Primate Research Centers on 362 neonates and 2802 adults from eight different anthropoid species, we found that the size of the adult brain can strongly predict the size of the neonatal brain (r2=0.97). This regression predicts human brain size, indicating that humans have precisely the brain size expected as an adult given the size of the brain at birth. We estimated the size of the neonatal brain in fossil hominins from a reduced major axis regression equation using published cranial capacities of 89 adult fossil crania. We suggest that australopiths gave birth to infants with cranial capacities that were on average 180cc (95% CI: 158-205cc), slightly larger than the average neonatal brain size of chimpanzees. Neonatal brain size increased in early Homo to 225cc (95% CI: 198-257cc) and in Homo erectus to approximately 270cc (95% CI: 237-310cc). These results have implications for interpreting the evolution of the birth process and brain development in all hominins from the australopiths and early Homo, through H. erectus, to Homo sapiens.

  12. 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.

  13. Stochastic dynamics of complex systems: from glasses to evolution (series on complexity science)

    CERN Document Server

    Sibani, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    Dynamical evolution over long time scales is a prominent feature of all the systems we intuitively think of as complex - for example, ecosystems, the brain or the economy. In physics, the term ageing is used for this type of slow change, occurring over time scales much longer than the patience, or indeed the lifetime, of the observer. The main focus of this book is on the stochastic processes which cause ageing, and the surprising fact that the ageing dynamics of systems which are very different at the microscopic level can be treated in similar ways. The first part of this book provides the necessary mathematical and computational tools and the second part describes the intuition needed to deal with these systems. Some of the first few chapters have been covered in several other books, but the emphasis and selection of the topics reflect both the authors' interests and the overall theme of the book. The second part contains an introduction to the scientific literature and deals in some detail with the desc...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Hierarchical Model for the Evolution of Cloud Complexes

    CERN Document Server

    Sánchez, N; Sanchez, Nestor; Parravano, Antonio

    1999-01-01

    The structure of cloud complexes appears to be well described by a "tree structure" representation when the image is partitioned into "clouds". In this representation, the parent-child relationships are assigned according to containment. Based on this picture, a hierarchical model for the evolution of Cloud Complexes, including star formation, is constructed, that follows the mass evolution of each sub-structure by computing its mass exchange (evaporation or condensation) with its parent and children, which depends on the radiation density at the interphase. For the set of parameters used as a reference model, the system produces IMFs with a maximum at too high mass (~2 M_sun) and the characteristic times for evolution seem too long. We show that these properties can be improved by adjusting model parameters. However, the emphasis here is to illustrate some general properties of this nonlinear model for the star formation process. Notwithstanding the simplifications involved, the model reveals an essential fe...

  17. The Evolution of Biological Complexity in Digital Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofria, Charles

    2013-03-01

    When Darwin first proposed his theory of evolution by natural selection, he realized that it had a problem explaining the origins of traits of ``extreme perfection and complication'' such as the vertebrate eye. Critics of Darwin's theory have latched onto this perceived flaw as a proof that Darwinian evolution is impossible. In anticipation of this issue, Darwin described the perfect data needed to understand this process, but lamented that such data are ``scarcely ever possible'' to obtain. In this talk, I will discuss research where we use populations of digital organisms (self-replicating and evolving computer programs) to elucidate the genetic and evolutionary processes by which new, highly-complex traits arise, drawing inspiration directly from Darwin's wistful thinking and hypotheses. During the process of evolution in these fully-transparent computational environments we can measure the incorporation of new information into the genome, a process akin to a natural Maxwell's Demon, and identify the original source of any such information. We show that, as Darwin predicted, much of the information used to encode a complex trait was already in the genome as part of simpler evolved traits, and that many routes must be possible for a new complex trait to have a high probability of successfully evolving. In even more extreme examples of the evolution of complexity, we are now using these same principles to examine the evolutionary dynamics the drive major transitions in evolution; that is transitions to higher-levels of organization, which are some of the most complex evolutionary events to occur in nature. Finally, I will explore some of the implications of this research to other aspects of evolutionary biology and as well as ways that these evolutionary principles can be applied toward solving computational and engineering problems.

  18. 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.

  19. Hydrogen storage and evolution catalysed by metal hydride complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuzumi, Shunichi; Suenobu, Tomoyoshi

    2013-01-07

    The storage and evolution of hydrogen are catalysed by appropriate metal hydride complexes. Hydrogenation of carbon dioxide by hydrogen is catalysed by a [C,N] cyclometalated organoiridium complex, [Ir(III)(Cp*)(4-(1H-pyrazol-1-yl-κN(2))benzoic acid-κC(3))(OH(2))](2)SO(4) [Ir-OH(2)](2)SO(4), under atmospheric pressure of H(2) and CO(2) in weakly basic water (pH 7.5) at room temperature. The reverse reaction, i.e., hydrogen evolution from formate, is also catalysed by [Ir-OH(2)](+) in acidic water (pH 2.8) at room temperature. Thus, interconversion between hydrogen and formic acid in water at ambient temperature and pressure has been achieved by using [Ir-OH(2)](+) as an efficient catalyst in both directions depending on pH. The Ir complex [Ir-OH(2)](+) also catalyses regioselective hydrogenation of the oxidised form of β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) to produce the 1,4-reduced form (NADH) under atmospheric pressure of H(2) at room temperature in weakly basic water. In weakly acidic water, the complex [Ir-OH(2)](+) also catalyses the reverse reaction, i.e., hydrogen evolution from NADH to produce NAD(+) at room temperature. Thus, interconversion between NADH (and H(+)) and NAD(+) (and H(2)) has also been achieved by using [Ir-OH(2)](+) as an efficient catalyst and by changing pH. The iridium hydride complex formed by the reduction of [Ir-OH(2)](+) by H(2) and NADH is responsible for the hydrogen evolution. Photoirradiation (λ > 330 nm) of an aqueous solution of the Ir-hydride complex produced by the reduction of [Ir-OH(2)](+) with alcohols resulted in the quantitative conversion to a unique [C,C] cyclometalated Ir-hydride complex, which can catalyse hydrogen evolution from alcohols in a basic aqueous solution (pH 11.9). The catalytic mechanisms of the hydrogen storage and evolution are discussed by focusing on the reactivity of Ir-hydride complexes.

  20. Abnormal EEG Complexity and Functional Connectivity of Brain in Patients with Acute Thalamic Ischemic Stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuang; Guo, Jie; Meng, Jiayuan; Wang, Zhijun; Yao, Yang; Yang, Jiajia; Qi, Hongzhi; Ming, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Ischemic thalamus stroke has become a serious cardiovascular and cerebral disease in recent years. To date the existing researches mostly concentrated on the power spectral density (PSD) in several frequency bands. In this paper, we investigated the nonlinear features of EEG and brain functional connectivity in patients with acute thalamic ischemic stroke and healthy subjects. Electroencephalography (EEG) in resting condition with eyes closed was recorded for 12 stroke patients and 11 healthy subjects as control group. Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC), Sample Entropy (SampEn), and brain network using partial directed coherence (PDC) were calculated for feature extraction. Results showed that patients had increased mean LZC and SampEn than the controls, which implied the stroke group has higher EEG complexity. For the brain network, the stroke group displayed a trend of weaker cortical connectivity, which suggests a functional impairment of information transmission in cortical connections in stroke patients. These findings suggest that nonlinear analysis and brain network could provide essential information for better understanding the brain dysfunction in the stroke and assisting monitoring or prognostication of stroke evolution. PMID:27403202

  1. Getting a handle on how the brain generates complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesenhuber, Maximilian

    2012-01-01

    Sensory processing in cortex across modalities appears to rely on a "simple-to-complex" hierarchical computational strategy in which neurons at later levels in the hierarchy combine inputs from earlier levels to create more complex neuronal selectivities. The specifics of this process are still poorly understood, however. In this issue of Network, Plebe shows how computational modeling of experimental data on neuronal tuning in secondary visual cortex can help us understand how the brain increases neuronal tuning complexity across the visual cortical hierarchy.

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

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    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. Rate of Evolution in Brain-Expressed Genes in Humans and Other Primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hurng-Yi; Chien, Huan-Chieh; Osada, Naoki; Hashimoto, Katsuyuki; Sugano, Sumio; Gojobori, Takashi; Chou, Chen-Kung; Tsai, Shih-Feng; Wu, Chung-I; Shen, C.-K. James

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17194215

  4. "Synergistic selection": a Darwinian frame for the evolution of complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corning, Peter A; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-04-21

    Non-Darwinian theories about the emergence and evolution of complexity date back at least to Lamarck, and include those of Herbert Spencer and the "emergent evolution" theorists of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In recent decades, this approach has mostly been espoused by various practitioners in biophysics and complexity theory. However, there is a Darwinian alternative - in essence, an economic theory of complexity - proposing that synergistic effects of various kinds have played an important causal role in the evolution of complexity, especially in the "major transitions". This theory is called the "synergism hypothesis". We posit that otherwise unattainable functional advantages arising from various cooperative phenomena have been favored over time in a dynamic that the late John Maynard Smith characterized and modeled as "synergistic selection". The term highlights the fact that synergistic "wholes" may become interdependent "units" of selection. We provide some historical perspective on this issue, as well as a brief explication of the underlying theory and the concept of synergistic selection, and we describe two relevant models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The Role of Reticulate Evolution in Creating Innovation and Complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen S. Swithers

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reticulate evolution encompasses processes that conflict with traditional Tree of Life efforts. These processes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT, gene and whole-genome duplications through allopolyploidization, are some of the main driving forces for generating innovation and complexity. HGT has a profound impact on prokaryotic and eukaryotic evolution. HGTs can lead to the invention of new metabolic pathways and the expansion and enhancement of previously existing pathways. It allows for organismal adaptation into new ecological niches and new host ranges. Although many HGTs appear to be selected for because they provide some benefit to their recipient lineage, other HGTs may be maintained by chance through random genetic drift. Moreover, some HGTs that may initially seem parasitic in nature can cause complexity to arise through pathways of neutral evolution. Another mechanism for generating innovation and complexity, occurring more frequently in eukaryotes than in prokaryotes, is gene and genome duplications, which often occur through allopolyploidizations. We discuss how these different evolutionary processes contribute to generating innovation and complexity.

  6. Evolution of DNA replication protein complexes in eukaryotes and Archaea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Chia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The replication of DNA in Archaea and eukaryotes requires several ancillary complexes, including proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA, replication factor C (RFC, and the minichromosome maintenance (MCM complex. Bacterial DNA replication utilizes comparable proteins, but these are distantly related phylogenetically to their archaeal and eukaryotic counterparts at best. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: While the structures of each of the complexes do not differ significantly between the archaeal and eukaryotic versions thereof, the evolutionary dynamic in the two cases does. The number of subunits in each complex is constant across all taxa. However, they vary subtly with regard to composition. In some taxa the subunits are all identical in sequence, while in others some are homologous rather than identical. In the case of eukaryotes, there is no phylogenetic variation in the makeup of each complex-all appear to derive from a common eukaryotic ancestor. This is not the case in Archaea, where the relationship between the subunits within each complex varies taxon-to-taxon. We have performed a detailed phylogenetic analysis of these relationships in order to better understand the gene duplications and divergences that gave rise to the homologous subunits in Archaea. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This domain level difference in evolution suggests that different forces have driven the evolution of DNA replication proteins in each of these two domains. In addition, the phylogenies of all three gene families support the distinctiveness of the proposed archaeal phylum Thaumarchaeota.

  7. 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.

  8. Complex evolution of the DAL5 transporter family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellborg, Linda; Woolfit, Megan; Arthursson-Hellborg, Mattias; Piškur, Jure

    2008-01-01

    Background Genes continuously duplicate and the duplicated copies remain in the genome or get deleted. The DAL5 subfamily of transmembrane transporter genes has eight known members in S. cerevisiae. All are putative anion:cation symporters of vitamins (such as allantoate, nicotinate, panthotenate and biotin). The DAL5 subfamily is an old and important group since it is represented in both Basidiomycetes ("mushrooms") and Ascomycetes ("yeast"). We studied the complex evolution of this group in species from the kingdom of fungi particularly the Ascomycetes. Results We identified numerous gene duplications creating sets of orthologous and paralogous genes. In different lineages the DAL5 subfamily members expanded or contracted and in some lineages a specific member could not be found at all. We also observed a close relationship between the gene YIL166C and its homologs in the Saccharomyces sensu stricto species and two "wine spoiler" yeasts, Dekkera bruxellensis and Candida guilliermondi, which could possibly be the result of horizontal gene transfer between these distantly related species. In the analyses we detect several well defined groups without S. cerevisiae representation suggesting new gene members in this subfamily with perhaps altered specialization or function. Conclusion The transmembrane DAL5 subfamily was found to have a very complex evolution in yeast with intra- and interspecific duplications and unusual relationships indicating specialization, specific deletions and maybe even horizontal gene transfer. We believe that this group will be important in future investigations of evolution in fungi and especially the evolution of transmembrane proteins and their specialization. PMID:18405355

  9. Analyzing complex networks evolution through Information Theory quantifiers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carpi, Laura C., E-mail: Laura.Carpi@studentmail.newcastle.edu.a [Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308 (Australia); Departamento de Fisica, Instituto de Ciencias Exatas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte (31270-901), MG (Brazil); Rosso, Osvaldo A., E-mail: rosso@fisica.ufmg.b [Departamento de Fisica, Instituto de Ciencias Exatas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte (31270-901), MG (Brazil); Chaos and Biology Group, Instituto de Calculo, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellon II, Ciudad Universitaria, 1428 Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Saco, Patricia M., E-mail: Patricia.Saco@newcastle.edu.a [Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308 (Australia); Departamento de Hidraulica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Ingenieria y Agrimensura, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Avenida Pellegrini 250, Rosario (Argentina); Ravetti, Martin Gomez, E-mail: martin.ravetti@dep.ufmg.b [Departamento de Engenharia de Producao, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte (31270-901), MG (Brazil)

    2011-01-24

    A methodology to analyze dynamical changes in complex networks based on Information Theory quantifiers is proposed. The square root of the Jensen-Shannon divergence, a measure of dissimilarity between two probability distributions, and the MPR Statistical Complexity are used to quantify states in the network evolution process. Three cases are analyzed, the Watts-Strogatz model, a gene network during the progression of Alzheimer's disease and a climate network for the Tropical Pacific region to study the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dynamic. We find that the proposed quantifiers are able not only to capture changes in the dynamics of the processes but also to quantify and compare states in their evolution.

  10. Metabolic syndrome--psycho neuropathogenesis and human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perumal, Madhusoothanan Bhagavathi

    2011-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Heightened hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activity is associated with pathogenesis of MS. Life style, food habits and physical activity also play critical role in the pathogenesis of MS. However, the precise neurophysiology behind chronic stress leading on to such effects is unknown. Review of recent animal and human studies have shown the subtle differences in morphological changes associated with chronic stress between medial prefrontal cortex and amygdaloid complex. The loss of dendritic spines in pyramidal neurons of medial prefrontal cortex, dendritic hypertrophy in basolateral amygdala and dendritic loss in central nucleus of amygdala causes increased basal output from amygdaloid complex to HPA axis and other targets whose networks are evolutionarily well conserved. The increased HPA axis activity, elevated blood pressure and appetite for high calorie diet leads to MS. The evolution of isocortex in primates and associated regression in size of limbic structures predisposed to increased synaptic noise in amygdaloid complex which in turn cause heighetened output from amygdala during chronic stress. Copyright © 2010 Diabetes India. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Brain structural complexity and life course cognitive change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustafa, Nazahah; Ahearn, Trevor S; Waiter, Gordon D; Murray, Alison D; Whalley, Lawrence J; Staff, Roger T

    2012-07-02

    Fractal measures such as fractal dimension (FD) can quantify the structural complexity of the brain. These have been used in clinical neuroscience to investigate brain development, ageing and in studies of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Here, we examined associations between the FD of white matter and cognitive changes across the life course in the absence of detectable brain disease. The FD was calculated from segmented cerebral white matter MR images in 217 subjects aged about 68years, in whom archived intelligence scores from age 11years were available. Cognitive test scores of fluid and crystallised intelligence were obtained at the time of MR imaging. Significant differences were found (intracranial volume, brain volume, white matter volume and Raven's Progressive Matrices score) between men and women at age 68years and novel associations were found between FD and measures of cognitive change over the life course from age 11 to 68years. Those with greater FD were found to have greater than expected fluid abilities at age 68years than predicted by their childhood intelligence and less cognitive decline from age 11 to 68years. These results are consistent with other reports that FD measures of cortical structural complexity increase across the early life course during maturation of the cerebral cortex and add new data to support an association between FD and cognitive ageing.

  14. Hydrogen evolution catalyzed by cobalt diimine-dioxime complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeffer, Nicolas; Chavarot-Kerlidou, Murielle; Artero, Vincent

    2015-05-19

    Mimicking photosynthesis and producing solar fuels is an appealing way to store the huge amount of renewable energy from the sun in a durable and sustainable way. Hydrogen production through water splitting has been set as a first-ranking target for artificial photosynthesis. Pursuing that goal requires the development of efficient and stable catalytic systems, only based on earth abundant elements, for the reduction of protons from water to molecular hydrogen. Cobalt complexes based on glyoxime ligands, called cobaloximes, emerged 10 years ago as a first generation of such catalysts. They are now widely utilized for the construction of photocatalytic systems for hydrogen evolution. In this Account, we describe our contribution to the development of a second generation of catalysts, cobalt diimine-dioxime complexes. While displaying similar catalytic activities as cobaloximes, these catalysts prove more stable against hydrolysis under strongly acidic conditions thanks to the tetradentate nature of the diimine-dioxime ligand. Importantly, H2 evolution proceeds via proton-coupled electron transfer steps involving the oxime bridge as a protonation site, reproducing the mechanism at play in the active sites of hydrogenase enzymes. This feature allows H2 to be evolved at modest overpotentials, that is, close to the thermodynamic equilibrium over a wide range of acid-base conditions in nonaqueous solutions. Derivatization of the diimine-dioxime ligand at the hydrocarbon chain linking the two imine functions enables the covalent grafting of the complex onto electrode surfaces in a more convenient manner than for the parent bis-bidentate cobaloximes. Accordingly, we attached diimine-dioxime cobalt catalysts onto carbon nanotubes and demonstrated the catalytic activity of the resulting molecular-based electrode for hydrogen evolution from aqueous acetate buffer. The stability of immobilized catalysts was found to be orders of magnitude higher than that of catalysts in the

  15. Neurodevelopmental LincRNA Microsyteny Conservation and Mammalian Brain Size Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Lewitus

    Full Text Available The mammalian neocortex has undergone repeated selection for increases and decreases in size and complexity, often over relatively short evolutionary time. But because probing developmental mechanisms across many species is experimentally unfeasible, it is unknown whether convergent morphologies in distantly related species are regulated by conserved developmental programs. In this work, we have taken advantage of the abundance of available mammalian genomes to find evidence of selection on genomic regions putatively regulating neurogenesis in large- versus small-brained species. Using published fetal human RNA-seq data, we show that the gene-neighborhood (i.e., microsynteny of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs implicated in cortical development is differentially conserved in large-brained species, lending support to the hypothesis that lincRNAs regulating neurogenesis are selectively lost in small-brained species. We provide evidence that this is not a phenomenon attributable to lincRNA expressed in all tissue types and is therefore likely to represent an adaptive function in the evolution of neurogenesis. A strong correlation between transcription factor-adjacency and lincRNA sequence conservation reinforces this conclusion.

  16. Neurodevelopmental LincRNA Microsyteny Conservation and Mammalian Brain Size Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewitus, Eric; Huttner, Wieland B

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex has undergone repeated selection for increases and decreases in size and complexity, often over relatively short evolutionary time. But because probing developmental mechanisms across many species is experimentally unfeasible, it is unknown whether convergent morphologies in distantly related species are regulated by conserved developmental programs. In this work, we have taken advantage of the abundance of available mammalian genomes to find evidence of selection on genomic regions putatively regulating neurogenesis in large- versus small-brained species. Using published fetal human RNA-seq data, we show that the gene-neighborhood (i.e., microsynteny) of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) implicated in cortical development is differentially conserved in large-brained species, lending support to the hypothesis that lincRNAs regulating neurogenesis are selectively lost in small-brained species. We provide evidence that this is not a phenomenon attributable to lincRNA expressed in all tissue types and is therefore likely to represent an adaptive function in the evolution of neurogenesis. A strong correlation between transcription factor-adjacency and lincRNA sequence conservation reinforces this conclusion.

  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 the Human ASPM Gene, a Major Determinant of Brain Size

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zhang, Jianzhi

    2003-01-01

    ...% reduction in brain size. Here I provide evidence suggesting that human ASPM went through an episode of accelerated sequence evolution by positive Darwinian selection after the split of humans and chimpanzees but before...

  19. Microcephaly genes and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in primate brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, S H; Mundy, N I

    2013-04-01

    Microcephaly genes are amongst the most intensively studied genes with candidate roles in brain evolution. Early controversies surrounded the suggestion that they experienced differential selection pressures in different human populations, but several association studies failed to find any link between variation in microcephaly genes and brain size in humans. Recently, however, sex-dependent associations were found between variation in three microcephaly genes and human brain size, suggesting that these genes could contribute to the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits in the brain. Here, we test the hypothesis that microcephaly genes contribute to the evolution of sexual dimorphism in brain mass across anthropoid primates using a comparative approach. The results suggest a link between selection pressures acting on MCPH1 and CENPJ and different scores of sexual dimorphism. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

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

  1. Chaos as a Source of Complexity and Diversity in Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Kaneko, K

    1993-01-01

    The relevance of chaos to evolution is discussed in the context of the origin and maintenance of diversity and complexity. Evolution to the edge of chaos is demonstrated in an imitation game. As an origin of diversity, dynamic clustering of identical chaotic elements, globally coupled each to other, is briefly reviewed. The clustering is extended to nonlinear dynamics on hypercubic lattices, which enables us to construct a self-organizing genetic algorithm. A mechanism of maintenance of diversity, ``homeochaos", is given in an ecological system with interaction among many species. Homeochaos provides a dynamic stability sustained by high-dimensional weak chaos. A novel mechanism of cell differentiation is presented, based on dynamic clustering. Here, a new concept -- ``open chaos" -- is proposed for the instability in a dynamical system with growing degrees of freedom. It is suggested that studies based on interacting chaotic elements can replace both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-09

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

  3. Complex evolution of the DAL5 transporter family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woolfit Megan

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genes continuously duplicate and the duplicated copies remain in the genome or get deleted. The DAL5 subfamily of transmembrane transporter genes has eight known members in S. cerevisiae. All are putative anion:cation symporters of vitamins (such as allantoate, nicotinate, panthotenate and biotin. The DAL5 subfamily is an old and important group since it is represented in both Basidiomycetes ("mushrooms" and Ascomycetes ("yeast". We studied the complex evolution of this group in species from the kingdom of fungi particularly the Ascomycetes. Results We identified numerous gene duplications creating sets of orthologous and paralogous genes. In different lineages the DAL5 subfamily members expanded or contracted and in some lineages a specific member could not be found at all. We also observed a close relationship between the gene YIL166C and its homologs in the Saccharomyces sensu stricto species and two "wine spoiler" yeasts, Dekkera bruxellensis and Candida guilliermondi, which could possibly be the result of horizontal gene transfer between these distantly related species. In the analyses we detect several well defined groups without S. cerevisiae representation suggesting new gene members in this subfamily with perhaps altered specialization or function. Conclusion The transmembrane DAL5 subfamily was found to have a very complex evolution in yeast with intra- and interspecific duplications and unusual relationships indicating specialization, specific deletions and maybe even horizontal gene transfer. We believe that this group will be important in future investigations of evolution in fungi and especially the evolution of transmembrane proteins and their specialization.

  4. The evolution of cerebellum structure correlates with nest complexity

    OpenAIRE

    Hall, Zachary Jonas; Street, Sally; Healy, Susan Denise

    2013-01-01

    This article was made open access through RCUK OA block grant funds. The work was financially supported by the BBSRC (BB/I019502/1), NSERC (PGSD3-409582-2011 to Z.J.H.) and ERC (232823 to S.E.S.). Across the brains of different bird species, the cerebellum varies greatly in the amount of surface folding (foliation). The degree of cerebellar foliation is thought to correlate positively with the processing capacity of the cerebellum, supporting complex motor abilities, particularly manipulat...

  5. Evolution of genome size and complexity in Pinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M Morse

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowen, Michael R; Montgomery, Stephen H; Clark, Clay; Gatesy, John

    2011-04-14

    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. 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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Modular structure facilitates mosaic evolution of the brain in chimpanzees and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-22

    Different brain components can evolve in a coordinated manner or they can show divergent evolutionary trajectories according to a mosaic pattern of variation. Understanding the relationship between these brain evolutionary patterns, which are not mutually exclusive, can be informed by the examination of intraspecific variation. Our study evaluates patterns of brain anatomical covariation in chimpanzees and humans to infer their influence on brain evolution in the hominin clade. We show that chimpanzee and human brains have a modular structure that may have facilitated mosaic evolution from their last common ancestor. Spatially adjacent regions covary with one another to the strongest degree and separated regions are more independent from each other, which might be related to a predominance of local association connectivity. Despite the undoubted importance of developmental and functional factors in determining brain morphology, we find that these constraints are subordinate to the primary effect of local spatial interactions.

  10. Mars - A planet with a complex surface evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Coradini, M.

    1975-01-01

    The surface of Mars has evolved to its present form through a complex sequence of tectonism and associated volcanism, impact processes, water erosion, mass movements, and wind action. The diversity of geological processes active in past Martian history far exceeded most predictions. By the same token, predictions of processes modifying the satellites of the outer planets may fall far short of the true range of phenomena. A summary of present though with regard to Martian surface evolution is presented to serve as a case in point of the value of imagery and topography data in making interpretations of geological histories.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Lectures in Supercomputational Neurosciences Dynamics in Complex Brain Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Graben, Peter beim; Thiel, Marco; Kurths, Jürgen

    2008-01-01

    Computational Neuroscience is a burgeoning field of research where only the combined effort of neuroscientists, biologists, psychologists, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers and other specialists, e.g. from linguistics and medicine, seem to be able to expand the limits of our knowledge. The present volume is an introduction, largely from the physicists' perspective, to the subject matter with in-depth contributions by system neuroscientists. A conceptual model for complex networks of neurons is introduced that incorporates many important features of the real brain, such as various types of neurons, various brain areas, inhibitory and excitatory coupling and the plasticity of the network. The computational implementation on supercomputers, which is introduced and discussed in detail in this book, will enable the readers to modify and adapt the algortihm for their own research. Worked-out examples of applications are presented for networks of Morris-Lecar neurons to model the cortical co...

  16. Co-evolution of learning complexity and social foraging strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbilly, Michal; Motro, Uzi; Feldman, Marcus W; Lotem, Arnon

    2010-12-21

    Variation in learning abilities within populations suggests that complex learning may not necessarily be more adaptive than simple learning. Yet, the high cost of complex learning cannot fully explain this variation without some understanding of why complex learning is too costly for some individuals but not for others. Here we propose that different social foraging strategies can favor different learning strategies (that learn the environment with high or low resolution), thereby maintaining variable learning abilities within populations. Using a genetic algorithm in an agent-based evolutionary simulation of a social foraging game (the producer-scrounger game) we demonstrate how an association evolves between a strategy based on independent search for food (playing a producer) and a complex (high resolution) learning rule, while a strategy that combines independent search and following others (playing a scrounger) evolves an association with a simple (low resolution) learning rule. The reason for these associations is that for complex learning to have an advantage, a large number of learning steps, normally not achieved by scroungers, are necessary. These results offer a general explanation for persistent variation in cognitive abilities that is based on co-evolution of learning rules and social foraging strategies.

  17. 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.

  18. Bioenergetic Constraints on the Evolution of Complex Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Nick

    2014-01-01

    All morphologically complex life on Earth, beyond the level of cyanobacteria, is eukaryotic. All eukaryotes share a common ancestor that was already a complex cell. Despite their biochemical virtuosity, prokaryotes show little tendency to evolve eukaryotic traits or large genomes. Here I argue that prokaryotes are constrained by their membrane bioenergetics, for fundamental reasons relating to the origin of life. Eukaryotes arose in a rare endosymbiosis between two prokaryotes, which broke the energetic constraints on prokaryotes and gave rise to mitochondria. Loss of almost all mitochondrial genes produced an extreme genomic asymmetry, in which tiny mitochondrial genomes support, energetically, a massive nuclear genome, giving eukaryotes three to five orders of magnitude more energy per gene than prokaryotes. The requirement for endosymbiosis radically altered selection on eukaryotes, potentially explaining the evolution of unique traits, including the nucleus, sex, two sexes, speciation, and aging. PMID:24789818

  19. Evolution of Cooperation in Social Dilemmas on Complex Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, Swami; Killingback, Timothy

    2016-02-01

    Cooperation in social dilemmas is essential for the functioning of systems at multiple levels of complexity, from the simplest biological organisms to the most sophisticated human societies. Cooperation, although widespread, is fundamentally challenging to explain evolutionarily, since natural selection typically favors selfish behavior which is not socially optimal. Here we study the evolution of cooperation in three exemplars of key social dilemmas, representing the prisoner's dilemma, hawk-dove and coordination classes of games, in structured populations defined by complex networks. Using individual-based simulations of the games on model and empirical networks, we give a detailed comparative study of the effects of the structural properties of a network, such as its average degree, variance in degree distribution, clustering coefficient, and assortativity coefficient, on the promotion of cooperative behavior in all three classes of games.

  20. Evolution of Cooperation in Social Dilemmas on Complex Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swami Iyer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Cooperation in social dilemmas is essential for the functioning of systems at multiple levels of complexity, from the simplest biological organisms to the most sophisticated human societies. Cooperation, although widespread, is fundamentally challenging to explain evolutionarily, since natural selection typically favors selfish behavior which is not socially optimal. Here we study the evolution of cooperation in three exemplars of key social dilemmas, representing the prisoner's dilemma, hawk-dove and coordination classes of games, in structured populations defined by complex networks. Using individual-based simulations of the games on model and empirical networks, we give a detailed comparative study of the effects of the structural properties of a network, such as its average degree, variance in degree distribution, clustering coefficient, and assortativity coefficient, on the promotion of cooperative behavior in all three classes of games.

  1. Dynamical evolution of the community structure of complex earthquake network

    CERN Document Server

    Abe, Sumiyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Earthquake network is known to be complex in the sense that it is scale-free, small-world, hierarchically organized and assortatively mixed. Here, the time evolution of earthquake networks is analyzed around main shocks in the context of the community structure. It is found that the maximum of the modularity measure quantifying existence of communities exhibits a peculiar behavior: its maximum value stays at a large value before a main shock, suddenly drops to a small values at the main shock, and then increases to relax to a large value again relatively slowly. In this way, a main shock is characterized in the language of theory of complex networks. The result is also interpreted in terms of the clustering structure of the earthquake network.

  2. Evolution in students' understanding of thermal physics with increasing complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langbeheim, Elon; Safran, Samuel A.; Livne, Shelly; Yerushalmi, Edit

    2013-12-01

    We analyze the development in students’ understanding of fundamental principles in the context of learning a current interdisciplinary research topic—soft matter—that was adapted to the level of high school students. The topic was introduced in a program for interested 11th grade high school students majoring in chemistry and/or physics, in an off-school setting. Soft matter was presented in a gradual increase in the degree of complexity of the phenomena as well as in the level of the quantitative analysis. We describe the evolution in students’ use of fundamental thermodynamics principles to reason about phase separation—a phenomenon that is ubiquitous in soft matter. In particular, we examine the impact of the use of free energy analysis, a common approach in soft matter, on the understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The study used diagnostic questions and classroom observations to gauge the student’s learning. In order to gain insight on the aspects that shape the understanding of the basic principles, we focus on the responses and explanations of two case-study students who represent two trends of evolution in conceptual understanding in the group. We analyze changes in the two case studies’ management of conceptual resources used in their analysis of phase separation, and suggest how their prior knowledge and epistemological framing (a combination of their personal tendencies and their prior exposure to different learning styles) affect their conceptual evolution. Finally, we propose strategies to improve the instruction of these concepts.

  3. Complexity of Gene Expression Evolution after Duplication: Protein Dosage Rebalancing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor B. Rogozin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Ongoing debates about functional importance of gene duplications have been recently intensified by a heated discussion of the “ortholog conjecture” (OC. Under the OC, which is central to functional annotation of genomes, orthologous genes are functionally more similar than paralogous genes at the same level of sequence divergence. However, a recent study challenged the OC by reporting a greater functional similarity, in terms of gene ontology (GO annotations and expression profiles, among within-species paralogs compared to orthologs. These findings were taken to indicate that functional similarity of homologous genes is primarily determined by the cellular context of the genes, rather than evolutionary history. Subsequent studies suggested that the OC appears to be generally valid when applied to mammalian evolution but the complete picture of evolution of gene expression also has to incorporate lineage-specific aspects of paralogy. The observed complexity of gene expression evolution after duplication can be explained through selection for gene dosage effect combined with the duplication-degeneration-complementation model. This paper discusses expression divergence of recent duplications occurring before functional divergence of proteins encoded by duplicate genes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-10-01

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

  5. Approach of Complex-Systems Biology to Reproduction and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    Two basic issues in biology - the origin of life and evolution of phenotypes - are discussed on the basis of statistical physics and dynamical systems. In section "A Bridge Between Catalytic Reaction Networks and Reproducing Cells", we survey recent developments in the origin of reproducing cells from an ensemble of catalytic reactions. After surveying several models of catalytic reaction networks briefly, we provide possible answers to the following three questions: (1) How are nonequilibrium states sustained in catalytic reaction dynamics? (2) How is recursive production of a cell maintaining composition of a variety of chemicals possible? (3) How does a specific molecule species carry information for heredity? In section "Evolution", general relationships between plasticity, robustness, and evolvability are presented in terms of phenotypic fluctuations. First, proportionality between evolution speed, phenotypic plasticity, and isogenic phenotypic fluctuation is proposed by extending the fluctuation-response relationship in physics. We then derive a general proportionality relationship between the phenotypic fluctuations of epigenetic and genetic origin: the former is the variance of phenotype due to noise in the developmental process, and the latter due to genetic mutation. The relationship also suggests a link between robustness to noise and to mutation. These relationships are confirmed in models of gene expression dynamics, as well as in laboratory experiments, and then are explained by a theory based on an evolutionary stability hypothesis For both sections "A Bridge Between Catalytic Reaction Networks and Reproducing Cells" and "Evolution", consistency between two levels of hierarchy (i.e., molecular and cellular, or genetic and phenotypic levels) is stressed as a principle for complex-systems biology.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Gao

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

  12. 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.

  13. Laws of conservation as related to brain growth, aging, and evolution: symmetry of the minicolumn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel F. Casanova

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Development, aging, and evolution offer different time scales regarding possible anatomical transformations of the brain. This article expands on the perspective that the cerebral cortex exhibits a modular architecture with invariant properties in regards to these time scales. These properties arise from morphometric relations of the ontogentic minicolumn as expressed in Noether’s first theorem, i.e., that for each continuous symmetry there is a conserved quantity. Whenever minicolumnar symmetry is disturbed by either developmental or aging processes the principle of least action limits the scope of morphometric alterations. Alternatively, local and global divergences from these laws apply to acquired processes when the system is no longer isolated from its environment. The underlying precepts to these physical laws can be expressed in terms of mathematical equations that are conservative of quantity. Invariant properties of the brain include the rotational symmetry of minicolumns, a scaling proportion or even expansion between pyramidal cells and core minicolumnar size, and the translation of neuronal elements from the main axis of the minicolumn. It is our belief that a significant portion of the architectural complexity of the cerebral cortex, its response to injury, and its evolutionary transformation, can all be captured by a small set of basic physical laws dictated by the symmetry of minicolumns. The putative preservations of parameters related to the symmetry of the minicolumn suggest that the development and final organization of the cortex follows a deterministic process.

  14. A hierarchical model of the evolution of human brain specializations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, H Clark

    2012-06-26

    The study of information-processing adaptations in the brain is controversial, in part because of disputes about the form such adaptations might take. Many psychologists assume that adaptations come in two kinds, specialized and general-purpose. Specialized mechanisms are typically thought of as innate, domain-specific, and isolated from other brain systems, whereas generalized mechanisms are developmentally plastic, domain-general, and interactive. However, if brain mechanisms evolve through processes of descent with modification, they are likely to be heterogeneous, rather than coming in just two kinds. They are likely to be hierarchically organized, with some design features widely shared across brain systems and others specific to particular processes. Also, they are likely to be largely developmentally plastic and interactive with other brain systems, rather than canalized and isolated. This article presents a hierarchical model of brain specialization, reviewing evidence for the model from evolutionary developmental biology, genetics, brain mapping, and comparative studies. Implications for the search for uniquely human traits are discussed, along with ways in which conventional views of modularity in psychology may need to be revised.

  15. Modular color evolution facilitated by a complex nanostructure in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliason, Chad M; Maia, Rafael; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-02-01

    The way in which a complex trait varies, and thus evolves, is critically affected by the independence, or modularity, of its subunits. How modular designs facilitate phenotypic diversification is well studied in nonornamental (e.g., cichlid jaws), but not ornamental traits. Diverse feather colors in birds are produced by light absorption by pigments and/or light scattering by nanostructures. Such structural colors are deterministically related to the nanostructures that produce them and are therefore excellent systems to study modularity and diversity of ornamental traits. Elucidating if and how these nanostructures facilitate color diversity relies on understanding how nanostructural traits covary, and how these traits map to color. Both of these remain unknown in an evolutionary context. Most dabbling ducks (Anatidae) have a conspicuous wing patch with iridescent color caused by a two-dimensional photonic crystal of small (100-200 nm) melanosomes. Here, we ask how this complex nanostructure affects modularity of color attributes. Using a combination of electron microscopy, spectrophotometry, and comparative methods, we show that nanostructural complexity causes functional decoupling and enables independent evolution of different color traits. These results demonstrate that color diversity is facilitated by how nanostructures function and may explain why some birds are more color-diverse than others.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Paul D.

    1978-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Gorilla and orangutan brains conform to the primate cellular scaling rules: implications for human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Kaas, Jon H

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Pandora's growing box: Inferring the evolution and development of hominin brains from endocasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zollikofer, Christoph Peter Eduard; De León, Marcia Silvia Ponce

    2013-01-01

    The brain of modern humans is an evolutionary and developmental outlier: At birth, it has the size of an adult chimpanzee brain and expands by a factor of 2 during the first postnatal year. Large neonatal brain size and rapid initial growth contrast with slow maturation, which extends well into adolescence. When, how, and why this peculiar pattern of brain ontogeny evolved and how it is correlated with structural changes in the brain are key questions of paleoanthropology. Because brains and their ontogenies do not fossilize, indirect evidence from fossil hominin endocasts needs to be combined with evidence from modern humans and our closest living relatives, the great apes. New fossil finds permit a denser sampling of hominin endocranial morphologies along ontogenetic and evolutionary time lines. New brain imaging methods provide the basis for quantifying endocast-brain relationships and tracking endocranial and brain growth and development noninvasively. Combining this evidence with ever-more detailed knowledge about actual and fossil "brain genes," we are now beginning to understand how brain ontogeny and structure were modified during human evolution and what the adaptive significance of these modifications may have been. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Evolution of Integrated Causal Structures in Animats Exposed to Environments of Increasing Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albantakis, Larissa; Hintze, Arend; Koch, Christof; Adami, Christoph; Tononi, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection favors the evolution of brains that can capture fitness-relevant features of the environment's causal structure. We investigated the evolution of small, adaptive logic-gate networks (“animats”) in task environments where falling blocks of different sizes have to be caught or avoided in a ‘Tetris-like’ game. Solving these tasks requires the integration of sensor inputs and memory. Evolved networks were evaluated using measures of information integration, including the number of evolved concepts and the total amount of integrated conceptual information. The results show that, over the course of the animats' adaptation, i) the number of concepts grows; ii) integrated conceptual information increases; iii) this increase depends on the complexity of the environment, especially on the requirement for sequential memory. These results suggest that the need to capture the causal structure of a rich environment, given limited sensors and internal mechanisms, is an important driving force for organisms to develop highly integrated networks (“brains”) with many concepts, leading to an increase in their internal complexity. PMID:25521484

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Nonrandom Brain: Efficiency, Economy, and Complex Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olaf eSporns

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Modern anatomical tracing and imaging techniques are beginning to reveal the structural anatomy of neural circuits at small and large scales in unprecedented detail. When examined with analytic tools from graph theory and network science, neural connectivity exhibits highly nonrandom features, including high clustering and short path length, as well as modules and highly central hub nodes. These characteristic topological features of neural connections shape nonrandom dynamic interactions that occur during spontaneous activity or in response to external stimulation. Disturbances of connectivity and thus of neural dynamics are thought to underlie a number of disease states of the brain, and some evidence suggests that degraded functional performance of brain networks may be the outcome of a process of randomization affecting their nodes and edges. This article provides a survey of the nonrandom structure of neural connectivity, primarily at the large-scale of regions and pathways in the mammalian cerebral cortex. In addition, we will discuss how nonrandom connections can give rise to differentiated and complex patterns of dynamics and information flow. Finally, we will explore the idea that at least some disorders of the nervous system are associated with increased randomness of neural connections.

  6. Selfish cellular networks and the evolution of complex organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kourilsky, Philippe

    2012-03-01

    Human gametogenesis takes years and involves many cellular divisions, particularly in males. Consequently, gametogenesis provides the opportunity to acquire multiple de novo mutations. A significant portion of these is likely to impact the cellular networks linking genes, proteins, RNA and metabolites, which constitute the functional units of cells. A wealth of literature shows that these individual cellular networks are complex, robust and evolvable. To some extent, they are able to monitor their own performance, and display sufficient autonomy to be termed "selfish". Their robustness is linked to quality control mechanisms which are embedded in and act upon the individual networks, thereby providing a basis for selection during gametogenesis. These selective processes are equally likely to affect cellular functions that are not gamete-specific, and the evolution of the most complex organisms, including man, is therefore likely to occur via two pathways: essential housekeeping functions would be regulated and evolve during gametogenesis within the parents before being transmitted to their progeny, while classical selection would operate on other traits of the organisms that shape their fitness with respect to the environment.

  7. Evolution of the brain and intelligence in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Gerhard; Dicke, Ursula

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. Neanderthal brain size at birth provides insights into the evolution of human life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce de León, Marcia S; Golovanova, Lubov; Doronichev, Vladimir; Romanova, Galina; Akazawa, Takeru; Kondo, Osamu; Ishida, Hajime; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

    2008-09-16

    From birth to adulthood, the human brain expands by a factor of 3.3, compared with 2.5 in chimpanzees [DeSilva J and Lesnik J (2006) Chimpanzee neonatal brain size: Implications for brain growth in Homo erectus. J Hum Evol 51: 207-212]. How the required extra amount of human brain growth is achieved and what its implications are for human life history and cognitive development are still a matter of debate. Likewise, because comparative fossil evidence is scarce, when and how the modern human pattern of brain growth arose during evolution is largely unknown. Virtual reconstructions of a Neanderthal neonate from Mezmaiskaya Cave (Russia) and of two Neanderthal infant skeletons from Dederiyeh Cave (Syria) now provide new comparative insights: Neanderthal brain size at birth was similar to that in recent Homo sapiens and most likely subject to similar obstetric constraints. Neanderthal brain growth rates during early infancy were higher, however. This pattern of growth resulted in larger adult brain sizes but not in earlier completion of brain growth. Because large brains growing at high rates require large, late-maturing, mothers [Leigh SR and Blomquist GE (2007) in Campbell CJ et al. Primates in perspective; pp 396-407], it is likely that Neanderthal life history was similarly slow, or even slower-paced, than in recent H. sapiens.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolution of the brain and social behavior in chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2013-06-01

    The comparison of humans and chimpanzees is a unique way to highlight the evolutionary origins of human nature. This paper summarizes the most recent advances in the study of chimpanzee brains, cognition, and behavior. It covers the topics such as eye-tracking study, helping behavior, prefrontal WM volume increase during infancy, and fetal brain development. Based on the facts, the paper proposed the "social brain hypothesis". Chimpanzees are good at capturing images as a whole, while humans are better at understanding the meaning of what they see. Chimpanzees apparently focus on the salient objects, neglecting the social context. In contrast, humans always recognize things within the social context, paying preferential attention to people, as agents. This is consistent with the fact that humans are highly altruistic and collaborative from a very young age. Thus, humans have evolved towards increased collaboration and mutual support. This kind of evolutionary pressure may have provided the basis for the development of the human brain with its unique functions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. How Does Evolution Design a Brain Capable of Learning Language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage-Rumbaugh, E. Sue

    1993-01-01

    Discusses methods of assessing language comprehension in apes. Considers the possible effect of brain physiology on the differences between productive and receptive language skills. Examines the possibility that differences between synaptic transmission and volume transmission, or transmission across extracellular spaces, of neurological impulses…

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-27

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barton Robert A

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Polyploid evolution in Oryza officinalis complex of the genus Oryza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Changbao

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Polyploidization is a prominent process in plant evolution, whereas the mechanism and tempo-spatial process remained poorly understood. Oryza officinalis complex, a polyploid complex in the genus Oryza, could exemplify the issues not only for it covering a variety of ploidy levels, but also for the pantropical geographic pattern of its polyploids in Asia, Africa, Australia and Americas, in which a pivotal genome, the C-genome, witnessed all the polyploidization process. Results Tracing the C-genome evolutionary history in Oryza officinalis complex, this study revealed the genomic relationships, polyploid forming and diverging times, and diploidization process, based on phylogeny, molecular-clock analyses and fluorescent in situ hybridization using genome-specific probes. Results showed that C-genome split with B-genome at ca. 4.8 Mya, followed by a series of speciation of C-genome diploids (ca. 1.8-0.9 Mya, which then partook in successive polyploidization events, forming CCDD tetraploids in ca. 0.9 Mya, and stepwise forming BBCC tetraploids between ca. 0.3-0.6 Mya. Inter-genomic translocations between B- and C-genomes were identified in BBCC tetraploid, O. punctata. Distinct FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization patterns among three CCDD species were visualized by C-genome-specific probes. B-genome was modified before forming the BBCC tetraploid, O. malampuzhaensis. Conclusion C-genome, shared by all polyploid species in the complex, had experienced different evolutionary history particularly after polyploidization, e.g., inter-genomic exchange in BBCC and genomic invasion in CCDD tetraploids. It diverged from B-genome at 4.8 Mya, then participated in the tetraploid formation spanning from 0.9 to 0.3 Mya, and spread into tropics of the disjunct continents by transcontinentally long-distance dispersal, instead of vicariance, as proposed by this study, given that the continental splitting was much earlier than the C

  20. Positive selection on NIN, a gene involved in neurogenesis, and primate brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, S H; Mundy, N I

    2012-11-01

    A long-held dogma in comparative neurobiology has been that the number of neurons under a given area of cortical surface is constant. As such, the attention of those seeking to understand the genetic basis of brain evolution has focused on genes with functions in the lateral expansion of the developing cerebral cortex. However, new data suggest that cortical cytoarchitecture is not constant across primates, raising the possibility that changes in radial cortical development played a role in primate brain evolution. We present the first analysis of a gene with functions relevant to this dimension of brain evolution. We show that NIN, a gene necessary for maintaining asymmetric, neurogenic divisions of radial glial cells (RGCs), evolved adaptively during anthropoid evolution. We explored how this selection relates to neural phenotypes and find a significant association between selection on NIN and neonatal brain size in catarrhines. Our analyses suggest a relationship with prenatal neurogenesis and identify the human data point as an outlier, possibly explained by postnatal changes in development on the human lineage. A similar pattern is found in platyrrhines, but the highly encephalized genus Cebus departs from the general trend. We further show that the evolution of NIN may be associated with variation in neuron number not explained by increases in surface area, a result consistent with NIN's role in neurogenic divisions of RGCs. Our combined results suggest a role for NIN in the evolution of cortical development. © 2012 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  1. On the matter of mind: neural complexity and functional dynamics of the human brain.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Watanabe, Shigeru; Hofman, Michel; Shimizu, Toru

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Human Brain Expansion during Evolution Is Independent of Fire Control and Cooking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornélio, Alianda M; de Bittencourt-Navarrete, Ruben E; de Bittencourt Brum, Ricardo; Queiroz, Claudio M; Costa, Marcos R

    2016-01-01

    What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appealing hypothesis is only supported by a mathematical model suggesting that the increasing number of neurons in the brain would constrain body size among primates due to a limited amount of calories obtained from diets. Here, we show, by using a similar mathematical model, that a tradeoff between body mass and the number of brain neurons imposed by dietary constraints during hominin evolution is unlikely. Instead, the predictable number of neurons in the hominin brain varies much more in function of foraging efficiency than body mass. We also review archeological data to show that the expansion of the brain volume in the hominin lineage is described by a linear function independent of evidence of fire control, and therefore, thermal processing of food does not account for this phenomenon. Finally, we report experiments in mice showing that thermal processing of meat does not increase its caloric availability in mice. Altogether, our data indicate that cooking is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain hominin brain expansion.

  3. Human brain expansion during evolution is independent of fire control and cooking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alianda Maira Cornélio

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appealing hypothesis is only supported by a mathematical model suggesting that the increasing number of neurons in the brain would constrain body size among primates due to a limited amount of calories obtained from diets. Here, we show, by using a similar mathematical model, that a tradeoff between body mass and the number of brain neurons imposed by dietary constraints during hominin evolution is unlikely. Instead, the predictable number of neurons in the hominin brain varies much more in function of foraging efficiency than body mass. We also review archeological data to show that the expansion of the brain volume in the hominin lineage is described by a linear function independent of evidences of fire control, and therefore, thermal processing of food does not account for this phenomenon. Finally, we report experiments in mice showing that thermal processing of meat does not increase its caloric availability in mice. Altogether, our data indicate that cooking is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain hominin brain expansion.

  4. 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].

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. ICGC PedBrain: Dissecting the genomic complexity underlying medulloblastoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, David TW; Jäger, Natalie; Kool, Marcel; Zichner, Thomas; Hutter, Barbara; Sultan, Marc; Cho, Yoon-Jae; Pugh, Trevor J; Hovestadt, Volker; Stütz, Adrian M; Rausch, Tobias; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Ryzhova, Marina; Bender, Sebastian; Sturm, Dominik; Pleier, Sabrina; Cin, Huriye; Pfaff, Elke; Sieber, Laura; Wittmann, Andrea; Remke, Marc; Witt, Hendrik; Hutter, Sonja; Tzaridis, Theophilos; Weischenfeldt, Joachim; Raeder, Benjamin; Avci, Meryem; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Zapatka, Marc; Weber, Ursula D; Wang, Qi; Lasitschka, Bärbel; Bartholomae, Cynthia C; Schmidt, Manfred; von Kalle, Christof; Ast, Volker; Lawerenz, Chris; Eils, Jürgen; Kabbe, Rolf; Benes, Vladimir; van Sluis, Peter; Koster, Jan; Volckmann, Richard; Shih, David; Betts, Matthew J; Russell, Robert B; Coco, Simona; Tonini, Gian Paolo; Schüller, Ulrich; Hans, Volkmar; Graf, Norbert; Kim, Yoo-Jin; Monoranu, Camelia; Roggendorf, Wolfgang; Unterberg, Andreas; Herold-Mende, Christel; Milde, Till; Kulozik, Andreas E; von Deimling, Andreas; Witt, Olaf; Maass, Eberhard; Rössler, Jochen; Ebinger, Martin; Schuhmann, Martin U; Frühwald, Michael C; Hasselblatt, Martin; Jabado, Nada; Rutkowski, Stefan; von Bueren, André O; Williamson, Dan; Clifford, Steven C; McCabe, Martin G; Collins, V. Peter; Wolf, Stephan; Wiemann, Stefan; Lehrach, Hans; Brors, Benedikt; Scheurlen, Wolfram; Felsberg, Jörg; Reifenberger, Guido; Northcott, Paul A; Taylor, Michael D; Meyerson, Matthew; Pomeroy, Scott L; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Korbel, Jan O; Korshunov, Andrey; Eils, Roland; Pfister, Stefan M; Lichter, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Summary Medulloblastoma is an aggressively-growing tumour, arising in the cerebellum or medulla/brain stem. It is the most common malignant brain tumour in children, and displays tremendous biological and clinical heterogeneity1. Despite recent treatment advances, approximately 40% of children experience tumour recurrence, and 30% will die from their disease. Those who survive often have a significantly reduced quality of life. Four tumour subgroups with distinct clinical, biological and genetic profiles are currently discriminated2,3. WNT tumours, displaying activated wingless pathway signalling, carry a favourable prognosis under current treatment regimens4. SHH tumours show hedgehog pathway activation, and have an intermediate prognosis2. Group 3 & 4 tumours are molecularly less well-characterised, and also present the greatest clinical challenges2,3,5. The full repertoire of genetic events driving this distinction, however, remains unclear. Here we describe an integrative deep-sequencing analysis of 125 tumour-normal pairs. Tetraploidy was identified as a frequent early event in Group 3 & 4 tumours, and a positive correlation between patient age and mutation rate was observed. Several recurrent mutations were identified, both in known medulloblastoma-related genes (CTNNB1, PTCH1, MLL2, SMARCA4) and in genes not previously linked to this tumour (DDX3X, CTDNEP1, KDM6A, TBR1), often in subgroup-specific patterns. RNA-sequencing confirmed these alterations, and revealed the expression of the first medulloblastoma fusion genes. Chromatin modifiers were frequently altered across all subgroups. These findings enhance our understanding of the genomic complexity and heterogeneity underlying medulloblastoma, and provide several potential targets for new therapeutics, especially for Group 3 & 4 patients. PMID:22832583

  8. Cortical Evolution: Judge the Brain by Its Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geschwind, Daniel H.; Rakic, Pasko

    2014-01-01

    To understand the emergence of human higher cognition, we must understand its biological substrate—the cerebral cortex, which considers itself the crowning achievement of evolution. Here, we describe how advances in developmental neurobiology, coupled with those in genetics, including adaptive protein evolution via gene duplications and the emergence of novel regulatory elements, can provide insights into the evolutionary mechanisms culminating in the human cerebrum. Given that the massive expansion of the cortical surface and elaboration of its connections in humans originates from developmental events, understanding the genetic regulation of cell number, neuronal migration to proper layers, columns, and regions, and ultimately their differentiation into specific phenotypes, is critical. The pre- and postnatal environment also interacts with the cellular substrate to yield a basic network that is refined via selection and elimination of synaptic connections, a process that is prolonged in humans. This knowledge provides essential insight into the pathogenesis of human-specific neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:24183016

  9. Evolution of complexity in a resource-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Lenin; Campos, Paulo R. A.

    2017-02-01

    Through a resource-based modelling the evolution of organismal complexity is studied. In the model, the cells are characterized by their metabolic rates which, together with the availability of resource, determine the rate at which they divide. The population is structured in groups. Groups are also autonomous entities regarding reproduction and propagation, and so they correspond to a higher biological organization level. The model assumes reproductive altruism as there exists a fitness transfer from the cell level to the group level. Reproductive altruism comes about by inflicting a higher energetic cost to cells belonging to larger groups. On the other hand, larger groups are less prone to extinction. The strength of this benefit arising from group augmentation can be tuned by the synergistic parameter γ. Through extensive computer simulations we make a thorough exploration of the parameter space to find out the domain in which the formation of larger groups is allowed. We show that formation of small groups can be obtained for a low level of synergy. Larger group sizes can only be attained as synergistic interactions surpass a given level of strength. Although the total resource influx rate plays a key role in determining the number of groups coexisting at the equilibrium, its function on driving group size is minor. On the other hand, how the resource is seized by the groups matters.

  10. Evolution of the Arctic Calanus complex: an Arctic marine avocado?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berge, Jørgen; Gabrielsen, Tove M.; Moline, Mark; Renaud, Paul E.

    2012-01-01

    Before man hunted the large baleen whales to near extinction by the end of the nineteenth century, Arctic ecosystems were strongly influenced by these large predators. Their main prey were zooplankton, among which the calanoid copepod species of the genus Calanus, long considered key elements of polar marine ecosystems, are particularly abundant. These herbivorous zooplankters display a range of adaptations to the highly seasonal environments of the polar oceans, most notably extensive energy reserves and seasonal migrations to deep waters where the non-feeding season is spent in diapause. Classical work in marine ecology has suggested that slow growth, long lifespan and large body size in zooplankton are specific adaptations to life in cold waters with short and unpredictable feeding seasons. Here, we challenge this understanding and, by using an analogy from the evolutionary and contemporary history of the avocado, argue that predation pressure by the now nearly extinct baleen whales was an important driving force in the evolution of life history diversity in the Arctic Calanus complex. PMID:22312184

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermunt, Marit W.; Tan, Sander C.; Castelijns, Bas; Geeven, Geert; Reinink, Peter; de Bruijn, Ewart; Kondova, Ivanela; Persengiev, Stephan; Bontrop, Ronald; Cuppen, Edwin|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/183050487; de laat, Wouter|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/169934497; Creyghton, Menno P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Self-Organization: Complex Dynamical Systems in the Evolution of Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves

    Human vocalization systems are characterized by complex structural properties. They are combinatorial, based on the systematic reuse of phonemes, and the set of repertoires in human languages is characterized by both strong statistical regularities—universals—and a great diversity. Besides, they are conventional codes culturally shared in each community of speakers. What are the origins of the forms of speech? What are the mechanisms that permitted their evolution in the course of phylogenesis and cultural evolution? How can a shared speech code be formed in a community of individuals? This chapter focuses on the way the concept of self-organization, and its interaction with natural selection, can throw light on these three questions. In particular, a computational model is presented which shows that a basic neural equipment for adaptive holistic vocal imitation, coupling directly motor and perceptual representations in the brain, can generate spontaneously shared combinatorial systems of vocalizations in a society of babbling individuals. Furthermore, we show how morphological and physiological innate constraints can interact with these self-organized mechanisms to account for both the formation of statistical regularities and diversity in vocalization systems.

  16. The Liaonan Metamorphic Core Complex: Constitution, Structure and Evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Junlai; GUAN Huimei; JI Mo; CAO Shuyun; HU Ling

    2006-01-01

    The Liaonan metamorphic core complex (mcc) has a three-layer structure and is constituted by five parts, i.e. a detachment fault zone, an allochthonous upper plate and an supradetachment basin above the fault zone, and highly metamorphosed rocks and intrusive rocks in the lower plate. The allochthonous upper plate is mainly of Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic rocks weakly deformed and metamorphosed in pre-Indosinan stage. Above these rocks is a small-scale supradetachment basin of Cretaceous sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The lower plate is dominated by Archean TTG gneisses with minor amount of supracrustal rocks. The Archean rocks are intruded by late Mesozoic synkinematic monzogranitic and granitic plutons. Different types of fault rocks, providing clues to the evolution of the detachment fault zone, are well-preserved in the fault zone, e.g. mylonitic gneiss,mylonites, brecciated mylonites, microbreccias and pseudotachylites. Lineations in lower plate granitic intrusions have consistent orientation that indicate uniform top-to-NW shearing along the main detachment fault zone. This also provides evidence for the synkinematic characteristics of the granitic plutons in the lower plate. Structural analysis of the different parts in the mcc and isotopic dating of plutonic rocks from the lower plate and mylonitic rocks from detachment fault zone suggest that exhumation of the mcc started with regional crustal extension due to crustal block rotation and tangential shearing. The extension triggered magma formation, upwelling and emplacement. This event ended with appearance of pseudotachylite and fault gauges formed at the uppermost crustal level.U-Pb dating of single zircon grains from granitic rocks in the lower plate gives an age of 130±5 Ma, and biotite grains from the main detachment fault zone have 40Ar-39Ar ages of 108-119 Ma. Several aspects may provide constraints for the exhumation of the Liaonan mcc. These include regional extensional setting, cover

  17. 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.

  18. An evolving view of epigenetic complexity in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-09-26

    Recent scientific advances have revolutionized our understanding of classical epigenetic mechanisms and the broader landscape of molecular interactions and cellular functions that are inextricably linked to these processes. Our current view of epigenetics includes an increasing appreciation for the dynamic nature of DNA methylation, active mechanisms for DNA demethylation, differential functions of 5-methylcytosine and its oxidized derivatives, the intricate regulatory logic of histone post-translational modifications, the incorporation of histone variants into chromatin, nucleosome occupancy and dynamics, and direct links between cellular signalling pathways and the actions of chromatin 'reader', 'writer' and 'eraser' molecules. We also have an increasing awareness of the seemingly ubiquitous roles played by diverse classes of selectively expressed non-coding RNAs in transcriptional, post-transcriptional, post-translational and local and higher order chromatin modulatory processes. These perspectives are still evolving with novel insights continuing to emerge rapidly (e.g. those related to epigenetic regulation of mobile genetic elements, epigenetic mechanisms in mitochondria, roles in nuclear architecture and 'RNA epigenetics'). The precise functions of these epigenetic factors/phenomena are largely unknown. However, it is unequivocal that they serve as key mediators of brain complexity and flexibility, including neural development and aging, cellular differentiation, homeostasis, stress responses, and synaptic and neural network connectivity and plasticity.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2004-01-01

    .... 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Randy L; Krienen, Fenna M

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Glacial evolution of the Ampato Volcanic Complex (Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, J.; Palacios, D.; Zamorano, J. J.; Vázquez, L.

    2009-04-01

    Ice masses on the Western range of the Central Andes are a main source of water resources and act as a geoindicator of variations in the climate of the tropics (Mark, 2008). The study of their evolution is of particular interest since they are situated in the transition zone between the tropical and mid-latitude circulation areas of the atmosphere (Zech et al., 2007). The function of this transition area is currently under debate, and understanding it is essential for the development of global climate models (Kull et al, 2008; Mark, 2008). However our understanding of the evolution of glaciers and their paleoclimatic factors for this sector of the Central Andes is still at a very basic level. This paper presents initial results of a study on the glacial evolution of the Ampato volcanic complex (15°24´- 15° 51´ S, 71° 51´ - 73° W; 6288 m a.s.l.) located in the Western Range of the Central Andes in Southern Peru, 70 km NW of the city of Arequipa. The main objectives are to identify the number of glacial phases the complex has undergone using geomorphological criteria to define a time frame for each phase, based on cosmogenic 36Cl dating of a sequence of moraine deposits; and to estimate the glacier Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) of each phase. The Ampato volcanic complex is formed by 3 great andesitic stratovolcanoes, the Nevados HualcaHualca-Sabancaya-Ampato, which started forming between the late Miocene and early Quaternary (Bulmer et al., 1999), aligned N-S and with summits covered with glaciers. The Sabancaya volcano is fully active, with its latest eruption occurring in 2001. Glacial landforms were identified and mapped using photointerpretation of vertical aerial photographs from 1955 (1:35,000 scale, National Geographic Institute of Peru), oblique photographs from 1943 (Aerophotographical Service of Peru), and a geo-referenced high-resolution Mrsid satellite image from 2000 (NASA). This cartography was corrected and improved through fieldwork. It was

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Thermal stability of oxygen evolution in photosystem Ⅱ core complex in the presence of digalactosyl diacylglycerol

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The influence of digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), one of the photosynthetic membrane lipids, on heat inactivation of the process of oxygen evolution has been studied in vitro in photosystem Ⅱ (PSⅡ) core complex. It was found that the temperature of semi-inactivation of oxygen evolution in the complex increased from 40.0 to about 43.0℃ in the presence of DGDG with 5-min heat treatment in the dark. Furthermore, when PSⅡ core complex was incubated for 5 min at 45.0℃, the oxygen evolution in the complex was completely lost, whilst the DGDG-complexed PSⅡ core complex still retained a 16% of activity (100% for 25.0℃). In addition, a 1-h incubation at 38.0℃ inactivated absolutely the oxygen evolution for the PSⅡ core complex. By contrast, there remained about 20% of activity (zero time for 100%) for the complex in the presence of DGDG under the same condition. These results indicate a new role of DGDG in the protection of PSⅡ core complex against the deleterious effects of temperature. It was most likely that DGDG-mediated stability toward thermal denaturation of oxygen evolution in PSⅡ core complex is due to the protective effect of DGDG on the release of the 33 kD protein from PSⅡ core complex.

  13. Emergence Of Consciousness And Qualia From A Complex Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korf Jakob

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Qualia are private conscious experiences of which the associated feelings can be reported to other people. Whether qualia are amenable to scientific exploration has often been questioned, which is challenged by the present article. The following arguments are given: 1. the configuration of the brain changes continuously and irreversibly, because of genetic and environmental influences and interhuman communication; 2. qualia and consciousness are processes, rather than states; 3. private feelings, including those associated with qualia, should be positioned in the context of a personal brain as being developed during life; 4. consciousness and qualia should be understood in the context of general system theory, thus concluding that isolated, in vitro, properties of neurons and other brain constituents might marginally contribute to the understanding of higher brain functions, mind or qualia; 5. current in vivo approaches have too little resolution power - in terms of space and time - to delineate individual and subjective brain processes.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

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

  16. On the Evolution of Complex Network Topology Under Network Churn

    OpenAIRE

    Karyotis, Vasileios; Stai, Eleni; Papavassiliou, Symeon

    2016-01-01

    Part 6: Network Modeling; International audience; The future Internet is becoming more diverse, incorporating heterogeneous access networks. The latter are characterized by numerous devices that join/leave the network dynamically, creating intense churn patterns. New approaches to analyze and quantify churn-induced network evolution are required. In this paper, we address such need by introducing a new analysis framework that maps network evolution into trajectories in multi-dimensional vecto...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Lin, Qiang; Su, Bing

    2015-06-30

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

  18. Predicting the evolution of complex networks via similarity dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tao; Chen, Leiting; Zhong, Linfeng; Xian, Xingping

    2017-01-01

    Almost all real-world networks are subject to constant evolution, and plenty of them have been investigated empirically to uncover the underlying evolution mechanism. However, the evolution prediction of dynamic networks still remains a challenging problem. The crux of this matter is to estimate the future network links of dynamic networks. This paper studies the evolution prediction of dynamic networks with link prediction paradigm. To estimate the likelihood of the existence of links more accurate, an effective and robust similarity index is presented by exploiting network structure adaptively. Moreover, most of the existing link prediction methods do not make a clear distinction between future links and missing links. In order to predict the future links, the networks are regarded as dynamic systems in this paper, and a similarity updating method, spatial-temporal position drift model, is developed to simulate the evolutionary dynamics of node similarity. Then the updated similarities are used as input information for the future links' likelihood estimation. Extensive experiments on real-world networks suggest that the proposed similarity index performs better than baseline methods and the position drift model performs well for evolution prediction in real-world evolving networks.

  19. Sleeping of a Complex Brain Networks with Hierarchical Organization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Ying-Yue; YANG Qiu-Ying; CHEN Tian-Lun

    2009-01-01

    The dynamical behavior in the cortical brain network of macaque is studied by modeling each cortical area with a subnetwork of interacting excitable neurons. We characterize the system by studying how to perform the transition, which is now topology-dependent, from the active state to that with no activity. This could be a naive model for the wakening and sleeping of a brain-like system, i.e., a multi-component system with two different dynamical behavior.

  20. Neuromolecular computing: a new approach to human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, R; Price, H

    1999-09-01

    Evolutionary approaches in human cognitive neurobiology traditionally emphasize macroscopic structures. It may soon be possible to supplement these studies with models of human information-processing of the molecular level. Thin-film, simulation, fluorescence microscopy, and high-resolution X-ray crystallographic studies provide evidence for transiently organized neural membrane molecular systems with possible computational properties. This review article examines evidence for hydrophobic-mismatch molecular interactions within phospholipid microdomains of a neural membrane bilayer. It is proposed that these interactions are a massively parallel algorithm which can rapidly compute near-optimal solutions to complex cognitive and physiological problems. Coupling of microdomain activity to permenant ion movements at ligand-gated and voltage-gated channels permits the conversion of molecular computations into neuron frequency codes. Evidence for microdomain transport of proteins to specific locations within the bilayer suggests that neuromolecular computation may be under some genetic control and thus modifiable by natural selection. A possible experimental approach for examining evolutionary changes in neuromolecular computation is briefly discussed.

  1. Supplementation with complex milk lipids during brain development promotes neuroplasticity without altering myelination or vascular density

    OpenAIRE

    Guan, Jian; Guillermo, Rosamond B.; Yang, Panzao; Vickers, Mark H.; McJarrow, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Background: Supplementation with complex milk lipids (CML) during postnatal brain development has been shown to improve spatial reference learning in rats.Objective: The current study examined histo-biological changes in the brain following CML supplementation and their relationship to the observed improvements in memory.Design: The study used the brain tissues from the rats (male Wistar, 80 days of age) after supplementing with either CML or vehicle during postnatal day 10–80. Immunohistoche...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianzhi

    2003-12-01

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

  3. Cobalt and Nickel Diimine-Dioxime Complexes as Molecular Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Evolution with Low Overvoltages

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pierre-André Jacques; Vincent Artero; Jacques Pécaut; Marc Fontecave; Jean-Marie P. Lehn

    2009-01-01

    ...) Proc Natl Acad Sei USA 103:1209-1214]. Here, we report on a new family of cobalt and nickel diimine-dioxime complexes as efficient and stable electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution from acidic nonaqueous solutions with slightly lower...

  4. On the Complexity of Brain Disorders: A symptom-based approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed A. Moustafa

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Mounting evidence shows that brain disorders involve multiple and different neural dysfunctions, including regional brain damage, change to cell structure, chemical imbalance, and/or connectivity loss among different brain regions. Understanding the complexity of brain disorders can help us map these neural dysfunctions to different symptom clusters as well as understand subcategories of different brain disorders. Here, we discuss data on the mapping of symptom clusters to different neural dysfunctions using examples from brain disorders such as major depressive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, we discuss data on the similarities of symptoms in different disorders. Importantly, computational modeling work may be able to shed light on plausible links between various symptoms and neural damage in brain disorders.

  5. Regulation of Drosophila Brain Wiring by Neuropil Interactions via a Slit-Robo-RPTP Signaling Complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Carlos; Soldano, Alessia; Mora, Natalia; De Geest, Natalie; Claeys, Annelies; Erfurth, Maria-Luise; Sierralta, Jimena; Ramaekers, Ariane; Dascenco, Dan; Ejsmont, Radoslaw K; Schmucker, Dietmar; Sanchez-Soriano, Natalia; Hassan, Bassem A

    2016-10-24

    The axonal wiring molecule Slit and its Round-About (Robo) receptors are conserved regulators of nerve cord patterning. Robo receptors also contribute to wiring brain circuits. Whether molecular mechanisms regulating these signals are modified to fit more complex brain wiring processes is unclear. We investigated the role of Slit and Robo receptors in wiring Drosophila higher-order brain circuits and identified differences in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Robo/Slit function. First, we find that signaling by Robo receptors in the brain is regulated by the Receptor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase RPTP69d. RPTP69d increases membrane availability of Robo3 without affecting its phosphorylation state. Second, we detect no midline localization of Slit during brain development. Instead, Slit is enriched in the mushroom body, a neuronal structure covering large areas of the brain. Thus, a divergent molecular mechanism regulates neuronal circuit wiring in the Drosophila brain, partly in response to signals from the mushroom body.

  6. Vitality of Complex Water Governance Systems: Condition and Evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Edelenbos (Jurian); I.F. van Meerkerk (Ingmar); C. van Leeuwen (Corniel)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstractIn this article the evolution of vitality of social systems in water governance processes, approached as social-ecological systems, is studied. Vitality as well as conditions for vitality are theorized and measured in two cases of the Dutch southwest Delta region. Different patterns

  7. The relation between structural and functional connectivity patterns in complex brain networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, C. J.; van Straaten, E. C W; Van Dellen, E.; Tewarie, P.; Gong, G.; Hillebrand, A.; Meier, J.; Van Mieghem, P.

    2016-01-01

    Objective An important problem in systems neuroscience is the relation between complex structural and functional brain networks. Here we use simulations of a simple dynamic process based upon the susceptible–infected–susceptible (SIS) model of infection dynamics on an empirical structural brain netw

  8. Opaque for the reader but transparent for the brain: neural signatures of morphological complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinzer, Marcus; Lahiri, Aditi; Flaisch, Tobias; Hannemann, Ronny; Eulitz, Carsten

    2009-07-01

    Within linguistics, words with a complex internal structure are commonly assumed to be decomposed into their constituent morphemes (e.g., un-help-ful). Nevertheless, an ongoing debate concerns the brain structures that subserve this process. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study varied the internal complexity of derived words while keeping the external surface structure constant as well as controlling relevant parameters that could affect word recognition. This allowed us to tease apart brain activations specifically related to morphological processing from those related to possible confounds of perceptual cues like word length or affix type. Increased task-related activity in left inferior frontal, bilateral temporo-occipital and right parietal areas was specifically related to the processing of derivations with high complex internal structure relative to those with low complex internal structure. Our results show, that morphologically complex words are decomposed and that the brain processes the degree of internal complexity of word derivations.

  9. Genomic evolution and complexity of the Anaphase-promoting Complex (APC in land plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hemerly Adriana S

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The orderly progression through mitosis is regulated by the Anaphase-Promoting Complex (APC, a large multiprotein E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets key cell-cycle regulators for destruction by the 26 S proteasome. The APC is composed of at least 11 subunits and associates with additional regulatory activators during mitosis and interphase cycles. Despite extensive research on APC and activator functions in the cell cycle, only a few components have been functionally characterized in plants. Results Here, we describe an in-depth search for APC subunits and activator genes in the Arabidopsis, rice and poplar genomes. Also, searches in other genomes that are not completely sequenced were performed. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that some APC subunits and activator genes have experienced gene duplication events in plants, in contrast to animals. Expression patterns of paralog subunits and activators in rice could indicate that this duplication, rather than complete redundancy, could reflect initial specialization steps. The absence of subunit APC7 from the genome of some green algae species and as well as from early metazoan lineages, could mean that APC7 is not required for APC function in unicellular organisms and it may be a result of duplication of another tetratricopeptide (TPR subunit. Analyses of TPR evolution suggest that duplications of subunits started from the central domains. Conclusions The increased complexity of the APC gene structure, tied to the diversification of expression paths, suggests that land plants developed sophisticated mechanisms of APC regulation to cope with the sedentary life style and its associated environmental exposures.

  10. [Dynamics of chromosome number evolution in the Agrodiaetus phyllis species complex (Insecta: Lepidoptera)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vershinina, A O; Lukhtanov, V A

    2013-01-01

    We employed phylogenetic comparative method to study karyotype evolution in the Agrodiaetus phyllis species complex in which haploid chromosome numbers vary greatly ranging from 10 to 134. We have found that different phylogenetic lineages of the group have different rates of chromosome number changes. Chromosome numbers in the complex posses phylogenetic signal, and their evolutionary transformation is difficult to explain in terms of punctual and gradual evolution.

  11. InterEvol database: exploring the structure and evolution of protein complex interfaces

    OpenAIRE

    Faure, Guilhem; Andreani, Jessica; Guerois, Raphaël

    2011-01-01

    Capturing how the structures of interacting partners evolved at their binding interfaces is a fundamental issue for understanding interactomes evolution. In that scope, the InterEvol database was designed for exploring 3D structures of homologous interfaces of protein complexes. For every chain forming a complex in the protein data bank (PDB), close and remote structural interologs were identified providing essential snapshots for studying interfaces evolution. The database provides tools to ...

  12. The evolution of life cycle complexity in aphids: Ecological optimization or historical constraint?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Nate B; Peterson, Daniel A; von Dohlen, Carol D

    2015-06-01

    For decades, biologists have debated why many parasites have obligate multihost life cycles. Here, we use comparative phylogenetic analyses of aphids to evaluate the roles of ecological optimization and historical constraint in the evolution of life cycle complexity. If life cycle complexity is adaptive, it should be evolutionarily labile, that is, change in response to selection. We provide evidence that this is true in some aphids (aphidines), but not others (nonaphidines)-groups that differ in the intensity of their relationships with primary hosts. Next, we test specific mechanisms by which life cycle complexity could be adaptive or a constraint. We find that among aphidines there is a strong association between complex life cycles and polyphagy but only a weak correlation between life cycle complexity and reproductive mode. In contrast, among nonaphidines the relationship between life cycle complexity and host breadth is weak but the association between complex life cycles and sexual reproduction is strong. Thus, although the adaptiveness of life cycle complexity appears to be lineage specific, across aphids, life cycle evolution appears to be tightly linked with the evolution of other important natural history traits. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. 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.

  14. Complex brain networks: From topological communities to clustered dynamics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Lucia Zemanová; Gorka Zamora-López; Changsong Zhou; Jürgen Kurths

    2008-06-01

    Recent research has revealed a rich and complicated network topology in the cortical connectivity of mammalian brains. A challenging task is to understand the implications of such network structures on the functional organisation of the brain activities. We investigate synchronisation dynamics on the corticocortical network of the cat by modelling each node of the network (cortical area) with a subnetwork of interacting excitable neurons. We find that this network of networks displays clustered synchronisation behaviour and the dynamical clusters closely coincide with the topological community structures observed in the anatomical network. The correlation between the firing rate of the areas and the areal intensity is additionally examined. Our results provide insights into the relationship between the global organisation and the functional specialisation of the brain cortex.

  15. Evolution and selection of river networks: statics, dynamics, and complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldo, Andrea; Rigon, Riccardo; Banavar, Jayanth R; Maritan, Amos; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio

    2014-02-18

    Moving from the exact result that drainage network configurations minimizing total energy dissipation are stationary solutions of the general equation describing landscape evolution, we review the static properties and the dynamic origins of the scale-invariant structure of optimal river patterns. Optimal channel networks (OCNs) are feasible optimal configurations of a spanning network mimicking landscape evolution and network selection through imperfect searches for dynamically accessible states. OCNs are spanning loopless configurations, however, only under precise physical requirements that arise under the constraints imposed by river dynamics--every spanning tree is exactly a local minimum of total energy dissipation. It is remarkable that dynamically accessible configurations, the local optima, stabilize into diverse metastable forms that are nevertheless characterized by universal statistical features. Such universal features explain very well the statistics of, and the linkages among, the scaling features measured for fluvial landforms across a broad range of scales regardless of geology, exposed lithology, vegetation, or climate, and differ significantly from those of the ground state, known exactly. Results are provided on the emergence of criticality through adaptative evolution and on the yet-unexplored range of applications of the OCN concept.

  16. A potential role for glucose transporters in the evolution of human brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedrigo, Olivier; Pfefferle, Adam D; Babbitt, Courtney C; Haygood, Ralph; Wall, Christine E; Wray, Gregory A

    2011-01-01

    Differences in cognitive abilities and the relatively large brain are among the most striking differences between humans and their closest primate relatives. The energy trade-off hypothesis predicts that a major shift in energy allocation among tissues occurred during human origins in order to support the remarkable expansion of a metabolically expensive brain. However, the molecular basis of this adaptive scenario is unknown. Two glucose transporters (SLC2A1 and SLC2A4) are promising candidates and present intriguing mutations in humans, resulting, respectively, in microcephaly and disruptions in whole-body glucose homeostasis. We compared SLC2A1 and SLC2A4 expression between humans, chimpanzees and macaques, and found compensatory and biologically significant expression changes on the human lineage within cerebral cortex and skeletal muscle, consistent with mediating an energy trade-off. We also show that these two genes are likely to have undergone adaptation and participated in the development and maintenance of a larger brain in the human lineage by modulating brain and skeletal muscle energy allocation. We found that these two genes show human-specific signatures of positive selection on known regulatory elements within their 5'-untranslated region, suggesting an adaptation of their regulation during human origins. This study represents the first case where adaptive, functional and genetic lines of evidence implicate specific genes in the evolution of human brain size. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. The evolution of genital complexity and mating rates in sexually size dimorphic spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Liao, Chen-Pan; Schneider, Jutta M; Elgar, Mark A

    2016-11-09

    Genital diversity may arise through sexual conflict over polyandry, where male genital features function to manipulate female mating frequency against her interest. Correlated genital evolution across animal groups is consistent with this view, but a link between genital complexity and mating rates remains to be established. In sexually size dimorphic spiders, golden orbweaving spiders (Nephilidae) males mutilate their genitals to form genital plugs, but these plugs do not always prevent female polyandry. In a comparative framework, we test whether male and female genital complexity coevolve, and how these morphologies, as well as sexual cannibalism, relate to the evolution of mating systems. Using a combination of comparative tests, we show that male genital complexity negatively correlates with female mating rates, and that levels of sexual cannibalism negatively correlate with male mating rates. We also confirm a positive correlation between male and female genital complexity. The macroevolutionary trajectory is consistent with a repeated evolution from polyandry to monandry coinciding with the evolution towards more complex male genitals. These results are consistent with the predictions from sexual conflict theory, although sexual conflict may not be the only mechanism responsible for the evolution of genital complexity and mating systems. Nevertheless, our comparative evidence suggests that in golden orbweavers, male genital complexity limits female mating rates, and sexual cannibalism by females coincides with monogyny.

  18. An ensemble approach to the evolution of complex systems

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Göker Arpağ; Ayşe Erzan

    2014-04-01

    Adaptive systems frequently incorporate complex structures which can arise spontaneously and which may be non-adaptive in the evolutionary sense. We give examples from phase transition and fractal growth to develop the themes of cooperative phenomena and pattern formation. We discuss RNA interference and transcriptional gene regulation networks, where a major part of the topological properties can be accounted for by mere combinatorics. A discussion of ensemble approaches to biological systems and measures of complexity is presented, and a connection is established between complexity and fitness.

  19. An ensemble approach to the evolution of complex systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arpağ, Göker; Erzan, Ayşe

    2014-04-01

    Adaptive systems frequently incorporate complex structures which can arise spontaneously and which may be nonadaptive in the evolutionary sense. We give examples from phase transition and fractal growth to develop the themes of cooperative phenomena and pattern formation. We discuss RNA interference and transcriptional gene regulation networks, where a major part of the topological properties can be accounted for by mere combinatorics. A discussion of ensemble approaches to biological systems and measures of complexity is presented, and a connection is established between complexity and fitness.

  20. Morphological evolution and genetic differentiation in Daphnia species complexes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gießer, S.; Mader, E.; Schwenk, K.

    1999-01-01

    Despite many ecological and evolutionary studies, the history of several species complexes within the freshwater crustacean genus Daphnia (Branchiopoda, Anomopoda) is poorly understood. In particular, the Daphnia longispina group, comprising several large-lake species, is characterized by pronounced

  1. Mitochondrial complex I dysfunction induced by cocaine and cocaine plus morphine in brain and liver mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha-Oliveira, Teresa; Silva, Lisbeth; Silva, Ana Maria; Moreno, António J; Oliveira, Catarina R; Santos, Maria S

    2013-06-07

    Mitochondrial function and energy metabolism are affected in brains of human cocaine abusers. Cocaine is known to induce mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiac and hepatic tissues, but its effects on brain bioenergetics are less documented. Furthermore, the combination of cocaine and opioids (speedball) was also shown to induce mitochondrial dysfunction. In this work, we compared the effects of cocaine and/or morphine on the bioenergetics of isolated brain and liver mitochondria, to understand their specific effects in each tissue. Upon energization with complex I substrates, cocaine decreased state-3 respiration in brain (but not in liver) mitochondria and decreased uncoupled respiration and mitochondrial potential in both tissues, through a direct effect on complex I. Morphine presented only slight effects on brain and liver mitochondria, and the combination cocaine+morphine had similar effects to cocaine alone, except for a greater decrease in state-3 respiration. Brain and liver mitochondrial respirations were differentially affected, and liver mitochondria were more prone to proton leak caused by the drugs or their combination. This was possibly related with a different dependence on complex I in mitochondrial populations from these tissues. In summary, cocaine and cocaine+morphine induce mitochondrial complex I dysfunction in isolated brain and liver mitochondria, with specific effects in each tissue.

  2. Citrus tristeza virus: Evolution of Complex and Varied Genotypic Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, S. J.

    2013-01-01

    Amongst the Closteroviridae, Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) is almost unique in possessing a number of distinct and characterized strains, isolates of which produce a wide range of phenotype combinations among its different hosts. There is little understanding to connect genotypes to phenotypes, and to complicate matters more, these genotypes are found throughout the world as members of mixed populations within a single host plant. There is essentially no understanding of how combinations of genotypes affect symptom expression and disease severity. We know little about the evolution of the genotypes that have been characterized to date, little about the biological role of their diversity and particularly, about the effects of recombination. Additionally, genotype grouping has not been standardized. In this study we utilized an extensive array of CTV genomic information to classify the major genotypes, and to determine the major evolutionary processes that led to their formation and subsequent retention. Our analyses suggest that three major processes act on these genotypes: (1) ancestral diversification of the major CTV lineages, followed by (2) conservation and co-evolution of the major functional domains within, though not between CTV genotypes, and (3) extensive recombination between lineages that have given rise to new genotypes that have subsequently been retained within the global population. The effects of genotype diversity and host-interaction are discussed, as is a proposal for standardizing the classification of existing and novel CTV genotypes. PMID:23630519

  3. 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.

  4. Opaque for the Reader but Transparent for the Brain: Neural Signatures of Morphological Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinzer, Marcus; Lahiri, Aditi; Flaisch, Tobias; Hannemann, Ronny; Eulitz, Carsten

    2009-01-01

    Within linguistics, words with a complex internal structure are commonly assumed to be decomposed into their constituent morphemes (e.g., un-help-ful). Nevertheless, an ongoing debate concerns the brain structures that subserve this process. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study varied the internal complexity of derived…

  5. Increase in Complexity and Information through Molecular Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Schuster

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Biological evolution progresses by essentially three different mechanisms: (I optimization of properties through natural selection in a population of competitors; (II development of new capabilities through cooperation of competitors caused by catalyzed reproduction; and (III variation of genetic information through mutation or recombination. Simplified evolutionary processes combine two out of the three mechanisms: Darwinian evolution combines competition (I and variation (III and is represented by the quasispecies model, major transitions involve cooperation (II of competitors (I, and the third combination, cooperation (II and variation (III provides new insights in the role of mutations in evolution. A minimal kinetic model based on simple molecular mechanisms for reproduction, catalyzed reproduction and mutation is introduced, cast into ordinary differential equations (ODEs, and analyzed mathematically in form of its implementation in a flow reactor. Stochastic aspects are investigated through computer simulation of trajectories of the corresponding chemical master equations. The competition-cooperation model, mechanisms (I and (II, gives rise to selection at low levels of resources and leads to symbiontic cooperation in case the material required is abundant. Accordingly, it provides a kind of minimal system that can undergo a (major transition. Stochastic effects leading to extinction of the population through self-enhancing oscillations destabilize symbioses of four or more partners. Mutations (III are not only the basis of change in phenotypic properties but can also prevent extinction provided the mutation rates are sufficiently large. Threshold phenomena are observed for all three combinations: The quasispecies model leads to an error threshold, the competition-cooperation model allows for an identification of a resource-triggered bifurcation with the transition, and for the cooperation-mutation model a kind of stochastic threshold for

  6. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Power grid complex network evolutions for the smart grid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagani, Giuliano Andrea; Aiello, Marco

    2014-02-01

    The shift towards an energy grid dominated by prosumers (consumers and producers of energy) will inevitably have repercussions on the electricity distribution infrastructure. Today the grid is a hierarchical one delivering energy from large scale facilities to end-users. Tomorrow it will be a capillary infrastructure at the medium and low voltage levels that will support local energy trading among prosumers. We investigate how different network topologies and growth models facilitate a more efficient and reliable network, and how they can facilitate the emergence of a decentralized electricity market. We show how connectivity plays an important role in improving the properties of reliability and path-cost reduction. Our results indicate that a specific type of evolution balances best the ratio between increased connectivity and costs to achieve the network growth.

  9. The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, Mansi; Simakov, Oleg; Chapman, Jarrod; Fahey, Bryony; Gauthier, Marie E.A.; Mitros, Therese; Richards, Gemma S.; Conaco, Cecilia; Dacre, Michael; Hellsten, Uffe; Larroux, Claire; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Stanke, Mario; Adamska, Maja; Darling, Aaron; Degnan, Sandie M.; Oakley, Todd H.; Plachetzki, David C.; Zhai, Yufeng; Adamski, Marcin; Calcino, Andrew; Cummins, Scott F.; Goodstein, David M.; Harris, Christina; Jackson, Daniel J.; Leys, Sally P.; Shu, Shengqiang; Woodcroft, Ben J.; Vervoort, Michel; Kosik, Kenneth S.; Manning, Gerard; Degnan, Bernard M.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2010-07-01

    Sponges are an ancient group of animals that diverged from other metazoans over 600 million years ago. Here we present the draft genome sequence of Amphimedon queenslandica, a demosponge from the Great Barrier Reef, and show that it is remarkably similar to other animal genomes in content, structure and organization. Comparative analysis enabled by the sponge sequence reveals genomic events linked to the origin and early evolution of animals, including the appearance, expansion, and diversification of pan-metazoan transcription factor, signaling pathway, and structural genes. This diverse 'toolkit' of genes correlates with critical aspects of all metazoan body plans, and comprises cell cycle control and growth, development, somatic and germ cell specification, cell adhesion, innate immunity, and allorecognition. Notably, many of the genes associated with the emergence of animals are also implicated in cancer, which arises from defects in basic processes associated with metazoan multicellularity.

  10. Differential Temporal Evolution Patterns in Brain Temperature in Different Ischemic Tissues in a Monkey Model of Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhihua Sun

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain temperature is elevated in acute ischemic stroke, especially in the ischemic penumbra (IP. We attempted to investigate the dynamic evolution of brain temperature in different ischemic regions in a monkey model of middle cerebral artery occlusion. The brain temperature of different ischemic regions was measured with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS, and the evolution processes of brain temperature were compared among different ischemic regions. We found that the normal (baseline brain temperature of the monkey brain was 37.16°C. In the artery occlusion stage, the mean brain temperature of ischemic tissue was 1.16°C higher than the baseline; however, this increase was region dependent, with 1.72°C in the IP, 1.08°C in the infarct core, and 0.62°C in the oligemic region. After recanalization, the brain temperature of the infarct core showed a pattern of an initial decrease accompanied by a subsequent increase. However, the brain temperature of the IP and oligemic region showed a monotonously and slowly decreased pattern. Our study suggests that in vivo measurement of brain temperature could help to identify whether ischemic tissue survives.

  11. 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.

  12. A Topological Criterion for Filtering Information in Complex Brain Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latora, Vito; Chavez, Mario

    2017-01-01

    In many biological systems, the network of interactions between the elements can only be inferred from experimental measurements. In neuroscience, non-invasive imaging tools are extensively used to derive either structural or functional brain networks in-vivo. As a result of the inference process, we obtain a matrix of values corresponding to a fully connected and weighted network. To turn this into a useful sparse network, thresholding is typically adopted to cancel a percentage of the weakest connections. The structural properties of the resulting network depend on how much of the inferred connectivity is eventually retained. However, how to objectively fix this threshold is still an open issue. We introduce a criterion, the efficiency cost optimization (ECO), to select a threshold based on the optimization of the trade-off between the efficiency of a network and its wiring cost. We prove analytically and we confirm through numerical simulations that the connection density maximizing this trade-off emphasizes the intrinsic properties of a given network, while preserving its sparsity. Moreover, this density threshold can be determined a-priori, since the number of connections to filter only depends on the network size according to a power-law. We validate this result on several brain networks, from micro- to macro-scales, obtained with different imaging modalities. Finally, we test the potential of ECO in discriminating brain states with respect to alternative filtering methods. ECO advances our ability to analyze and compare biological networks, inferred from experimental data, in a fast and principled way. PMID:28076353

  13. Connectivity in the human brain dissociates entropy and complexity of auditory inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nastase, Samuel A; Iacovella, Vittorio; Davis, Ben; Hasson, Uri

    2015-03-01

    Complex systems are described according to two central dimensions: (a) the randomness of their output, quantified via entropy; and (b) their complexity, which reflects the organization of a system's generators. Whereas some approaches hold that complexity can be reduced to uncertainty or entropy, an axiom of complexity science is that signals with very high or very low entropy are generated by relatively non-complex systems, while complex systems typically generate outputs with entropy peaking between these two extremes. In understanding their environment, individuals would benefit from coding for both input entropy and complexity; entropy indexes uncertainty and can inform probabilistic coding strategies, whereas complexity reflects a concise and abstract representation of the underlying environmental configuration, which can serve independent purposes, e.g., as a template for generalization and rapid comparisons between environments. Using functional neuroimaging, we demonstrate that, in response to passively processed auditory inputs, functional integration patterns in the human brain track both the entropy and complexity of the auditory signal. Connectivity between several brain regions scaled monotonically with input entropy, suggesting sensitivity to uncertainty, whereas connectivity between other regions tracked entropy in a convex manner consistent with sensitivity to input complexity. These findings suggest that the human brain simultaneously tracks the uncertainty of sensory data and effectively models their environmental generators.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase Complexes in Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svitlana Havrylenko

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are essential enzymes for interpreting the genetic code. They are responsible for the proper pairing of codons on mRNA with amino acids. In addition to this canonical, translational function, they are also involved in the control of many cellular pathways essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Association of several of these enzymes within supramolecular assemblies is a key feature of organization of the translation apparatus in eukaryotes. It could be a means to control their oscillation between translational functions, when associated within a multi-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex (MARS, and nontranslational functions, after dissociation from the MARS and association with other partners. In this review, we summarize the composition of the different MARS described from archaea to mammals, the mode of assembly of these complexes, and their roles in maintenance of cellular homeostasis.

  16. Developmental plasticity and the evolution of animal complex life cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro; Fusco, Giuseppe

    2010-02-27

    Metazoan life cycles can be complex in different ways. A number of diverse phenotypes and reproductive events can sequentially occur along the cycle, and at certain stages a variety of developmental and reproductive options can be available to the animal, the choice among which depends on a combination of organismal and environmental conditions. We hypothesize that a diversity of phenotypes arranged in developmental sequence throughout an animal's life cycle may have evolved by genetic assimilation of alternative phenotypes originally triggered by environmental cues. This is supported by similarities between the developmental mechanisms mediating phenotype change and alternative phenotype determination during ontogeny and the common ecological condition that favour both forms of phenotypic variation. The comparison of transcription profiles from different developmental stages throughout a complex life cycle with those from alternative phenotypes in closely related polyphenic animals is expected to offer critical evidence upon which to evaluate our hypothesis.

  17. Evolution of photoelectron-vibrational coupling with molecular complexity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poliakoff, E D [Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Lucchese, R R [Department of Chemistry, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States)

    2006-11-15

    We review how electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom become coupled in molecular photoionization, and describe effects that emerge as the molecular complexity increases. Molecular photoionization is frequently influenced by the temporary trapping of the continuum electron in the field of the target molecules, which is referred to as a shape resonance, as it depends on the shape of the potential experienced by the exiting photoelectron. Such resonances couple electronic and vibrational motion, and the nature of the coupling can vary widely for polyatomic molecules. We show how vibrationally resolved photoelectron spectra acquired as a function of energy can be used to elucidate such coupling. The experiments are analysed using physically realistic and computationally tractable Schwinger variational theory, and the systems studied to date can be well understood using an independent-particle, adiabatic nuclei framework. As a result, simple and intuitive pictures emerge, even when dealing with scattering phenomena involving complex molecular targets and potentials.

  18. 2D pattern evolution constrained by complex network dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Rocha, L E C; Costa, Luciano da Fontoura; Rocha, Luis Enrique Correa da

    2006-01-01

    Complex networks have established themselves along the last years as being particularly suitable and flexible for representing and modeling several complex natural and human-made systems. At the same time in which the structural intricacies of such networks are being revealed and understood, efforts have also been directed at investigating how such connectivity properties define and constrain the dynamics of systems unfolding on such structures. However, lesser attention has been focused on hybrid systems, \\textit{i.e.} involving more than one type of network and/or dynamics. Because several real systems present such an organization (\\textit{e.g.} the dynamics of a disease coexisting with the dynamics of the immune system), it becomes important to address such hybrid systems. The current paper investigates a specific system involving a diffusive (linear and non-linear) dynamics taking place in a regular network while interacting with a complex network of defensive agents following Erd\\"os-R\\'enyi and Barab\\'a...

  19. Predictable transcriptome evolution in the convergent and complex bioluminescent organs of squid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankey, M. Sabrina; Minin, Vladimir N.; Imholte, Greg C.; Suchard, Marc A.; Oakley, Todd H.

    2014-01-01

    Despite contingency in life’s history, the similarity of evolutionarily convergent traits may represent predictable solutions to common conditions. However, the extent to which overall gene expression levels (transcriptomes) underlying convergent traits are themselves convergent remains largely unexplored. Here, we show strong statistical support for convergent evolutionary origins and massively parallel evolution of the entire transcriptomes in symbiotic bioluminescent organs (bacterial photophores) from two divergent squid species. The gene expression similarities are so strong that regression models of one species’ photophore can predict organ identity of a distantly related photophore from gene expression levels alone. Our results point to widespread parallel changes in gene expression evolution associated with convergent origins of complex organs. Therefore, predictable solutions may drive not only the evolution of novel, complex organs but also the evolution of overall gene expression levels that underlie them. PMID:25336755

  20. Graph theory analysis of complex brain networks: new concepts in brain mapping applied to neurosurgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Michael G; Ypma, Rolf J F; Romero-Garcia, Rafael; Price, Stephen J; Suckling, John

    2016-06-01

    Neuroanatomy has entered a new era, culminating in the search for the connectome, otherwise known as the brain's wiring diagram. While this approach has led to landmark discoveries in neuroscience, potential neurosurgical applications and collaborations have been lagging. In this article, the authors describe the ideas and concepts behind the connectome and its analysis with graph theory. Following this they then describe how to form a connectome using resting state functional MRI data as an example. Next they highlight selected insights into healthy brain function that have been derived from connectome analysis and illustrate how studies into normal development, cognitive function, and the effects of synthetic lesioning can be relevant to neurosurgery. Finally, they provide a précis of early applications of the connectome and related techniques to traumatic brain injury, functional neurosurgery, and neurooncology.

  1. Complex network analysis of brain functional connectivity under a multi-step cognitive task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Shi-Min; Chen, Wei; Liu, Dong-Bai; Tang, Ming; Chen, Xun

    2017-01-01

    Functional brain network has been widely studied to understand the relationship between brain organization and behavior. In this paper, we aim to explore the functional connectivity of brain network under a multi-step cognitive task involving consecutive behaviors, and further understand the effect of behaviors on the brain organization. The functional brain networks are constructed based on a high spatial and temporal resolution fMRI dataset and analyzed via complex network based approach. We find that at voxel level the functional brain network shows robust small-worldness and scale-free characteristics, while its assortativity and rich-club organization are slightly restricted to the order of behaviors performed. More interestingly, the functional connectivity of brain network in activated ROIs strongly correlates with behaviors and is obviously restricted to the order of behaviors performed. These empirical results suggest that the brain organization has the generic properties of small-worldness and scale-free characteristics, and its diverse functional connectivity emerging from activated ROIs is strongly driven by these behavioral activities via the plasticity of brain.

  2. An Evolution Model of Complex Systems with Simultaneous Cooperation and Competition

    CERN Document Server

    Xu, Xiu-Lian; Chang, Hui; He, Da-Ren

    2011-01-01

    Systems with simultaneous cooperation and competition among the elements are ubiquitous. In spite of their practical importance, knowledge on the evolution mechanism of this class of complex system is still very limit. In this work, by conducting extensive empirical survey to a large number of cooperation-competition systems which cover wide categories and contain the information of network topology, cooperation-competition gain, and the evolution time, we try to get some insights to the universal mechanism of their evolutions. Empirical investigations show that the distributions of the cooperation-competition gain interpolates between power law function and exponential function. Particularly, we found that the cooperation-competition systems with longer evolution durations tend to have more heterogeneous distributions of the cooperation-competition gain. Such an empirical observation can be well explained by an analytic model in which the evolution of the systems are mainly controlled by the Matthew effect, ...

  3. The complex evolution of antibiotic resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.D. Fonseca

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB represent a major threat to the control of the disease worldwide. The mechanisms and pathways that result in the emergence and subsequent fixation of resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are not fully understood and recent studies suggest that they are much more complex than initially thought. In this review, we highlight the exciting new areas of research within TB resistance that are beginning to fill these gaps in our understanding, whilst also raising new questions and providing future directions.

  4. Restoration of thalamo-cortical connectivity after brain injury: recovery of consciousness, complex behavior, or passage of time?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Julia S; Bio, Branden J; Vespa, Paul M; Lutkenhoff, Evan S; Monti, Martin M

    2017-08-12

    In 2000, a landmark case report described the concurrent restoration of consciousness and thalamo-frontal connectivity after severe brain injury (Laureys et al., 2000). Being a single case however, this study could not disambiguate whether the result was specific to the restoration of consciousness per se as opposed to the return of complex cognitive function in general or simply the temporal evolution of post-injury pathophysiological events. To test whether the restoration of thalamo-cortical connectivity is specific to consciousness, 20 moderate-to-severe brain injury patients (from a recruited sample of 42) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging within a week after injury and again six months later. As described in the single case report, we find thalamo-frontal connectivity to be increased at the chronic, compared with the acute, time-point. The increased connectivity was independent of whether patients had already recovered consciousness prior to the first assessment or whether they recovered consciousness in-between the two. Conversely, we did find an association between restoration of thalamo-frontal connectivity and the return of complex cognitive function. While we did replicate the findings of Laureys et al. (2000), our data suggests that the restoration of thalamo-frontal connectivity is not as tightly linked to the reemergence of consciousness per se. However, the degree to which the return of connectivity is linked to the return of complex cognitive function, or to the evolution of other time-dependent post-injury mechanisms, remains to be understood. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Prothrombin complex concentrate use in coagulopathy of lethal brain injuries increases organ donation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Bellal; Aziz, Hassan; Pandit, Viraj; Hays, Daniel; Kulvatunyou, Narong; Tang, Andrew; Wynne, Julie; O' Keeffe, Terence; Green, Donald J; Friese, Randall S; Gruessner, Rainer; Rhee, Peter

    2014-04-01

    Coagulopathy is a defined barrier for organ donation in patients with lethal traumatic brain injuries. The purpose of this study was to document our experience with the use of prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) to facilitate organ donation in patients with lethal traumatic brain injuries. We performed a 4-year retrospective analysis of all patients with devastating gunshot wounds to the brain. The data were analyzed for demographics, change in international normalized ratio (INR), and subsequent organ donation. The primary end point was organ donation. Eighty-eight patients with lethal traumatic brain injury were identified from the trauma registry of whom 13 were coagulopathic at the time of admission (mean INR 2.2 ± 0.8). Of these 13 patients, 10 patients received PCC in an effort to reverse their coagulopathy. Mean INR before PCC administration was 2.01 ± 0.7 and 1.1 ± 0.7 after administration (P brain injuries.

  6. Dystrophins, Utrophins, and Associated Scaffolding Complexes: Role in Mammalian Brain and Implications for Therapeutic Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Perronnet

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Two decades of molecular, cellular, and functional studies considerably increased our understanding of dystrophins function and unveiled the complex etiology of the cognitive deficits in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD, which involves altered expression of several dystrophin-gene products in brain. Dystrophins are normally part of critical cytoskeleton-associated membrane-bound molecular scaffolds involved in the clustering of receptors, ion channels, and signaling proteins that contribute to synapse physiology and blood-brain barrier function. The utrophin gene also drives brain expression of several paralogs proteins, which cellular expression and biological roles remain to be elucidated. Here we review the structural and functional properties of dystrophins and utrophins in brain, the consequences of dystrophins loss-of-function as revealed by numerous studies in mouse models of DMD, and we discuss future challenges and putative therapeutic strategies that may compensate for the cognitive impairment in DMD based on experimental manipulation of dystrophins and/or utrophins brain expression.

  7. Complex Dynamics in Physiological Systems: From Heart to Brain

    CERN Document Server

    Dana, Syamal K; Kurths, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    Nonlinear dynamics has become an important field of research in recent years in many areas of the natural sciences. In particular, it has potential applications in biology and medicine; nonlinear data analysis has helped to detect the progress of cardiac disease, physiological disorders, for example episodes of epilepsy, and others. This book focuses on the current trends of research concerning the prediction of sudden cardiac death and the onset of epileptic seizures, using the nonlinear analysis based on ECG and EEG data. Topics covered include the analysis of cardiac models and neural models. The book is a collection of recent research papers by leading physicists, mathematicians, cardiologists and neurobiologists who are actively involved in using the concepts of nonlinear dynamics to explore the functional behaviours of heart and brain under normal and pathological conditions. This collection is intended for students in physics, mathematics and medical sciences, and researchers in interdisciplinary areas...

  8. Decreasing sleep requirement with increasing numbers of neurons as a driver for bigger brains and bodies in mammalian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2015-10-07

    Mammals sleep between 3 and 20 h d(-1), but what regulates daily sleep requirement is unknown. While mammalian evolution has been characterized by a tendency towards larger bodies and brains, sustaining larger bodies and brains requires increasing hours of feeding per day, which is incompatible with a large sleep requirement. Mammalian evolution, therefore, must involve mechanisms that tie increasing body and brain size to decreasing sleep requirements. Here I show that daily sleep requirement decreases across mammalian species and in rat postnatal development with a decreasing ratio between cortical neuronal density and surface area, which presumably causes sleep-inducing metabolites to accumulate more slowly in the parenchyma. Because addition of neurons to the non-primate cortex in mammalian evolution decreases this ratio, I propose that increasing numbers of cortical neurons led to decreased sleep requirement in evolution that allowed for more hours of feeding and increased body mass, which would then facilitate further increases in numbers of brain neurons through a larger caloric intake per hour. Coupling of increasing numbers of neurons to decreasing sleep requirement and increasing hours of feeding thus may have not only allowed but also driven the trend of increasing brain and body mass in mammalian evolution. © 2015 The Author(s).

  9. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Differential susceptibility of mitochondrial complex II to inhibition by oxaloacetate in brain and heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepanova, Anna; Shurubor, Yevgeniya; Valsecchi, Federica; Manfredi, Giovanni; Galkin, Alexander

    2016-09-01

    Mitochondrial Complex II is a key mitochondrial enzyme connecting the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and the electron transport chain. Studies of complex II are clinically important since new roles for this enzyme have recently emerged in cell signalling, cancer biology, immune response and neurodegeneration. Oxaloacetate (OAA) is an intermediate of the TCA cycle and at the same time is an inhibitor of complex II with high affinity (Kd~10(-8)M). Whether or not OAA inhibition of complex II is a physiologically relevant process is a significant, but still controversial topic. We found that complex II from mouse heart and brain tissue has similar affinity to OAA and that only a fraction of the enzyme in isolated mitochondrial membranes (30.2±6.0% and 56.4±5.6% in the heart and brain, respectively) is in the free, active form. Since OAA could bind to complex II during isolation, we established a novel approach to deplete OAA in the homogenates at the early stages of isolation. In heart, this treatment significantly increased the fraction of free enzyme, indicating that OAA binds to complex II during isolation. In brain the OAA-depleting system did not significantly change the amount of free enzyme, indicating that a large fraction of complex II is already in the OAA-bound inactive form. Furthermore, short-term ischemia resulted in a dramatic decline of OAA in tissues, but it did not change the amount of free complex II. Our data show that in brain OAA is an endogenous effector of complex II, potentially capable of modulating the activity of the enzyme.

  11. Formation and metamorphic evolution of the Douling Complex from the East Qinling Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张寿广; 魏春景; 赵子然; 沈洁

    1996-01-01

    The Douling Complex occurs as a Precambrian tectonic block distributed between the North China and Yangtze plates and has a protracted evolutional history. It is composed of various metamorpnic intrusives and supracrustal rocks. According to the studies on geology and geochronology, it can be concluded that the complex may have been formed in the early Proterozoic, about 2000 Ma ago and experienced two phases of regional metamorphism during the Jinningian and late Caledonian-early Hercynian. It can be correlated with the Qinling Complex from the North Qinling Mountains in lithic assemblage, formation age, tectonic setting and metamorphism, and is probably a thrust nappe split from the Qinling Complex.

  12. Evolution Methods of Formation of Neuronet Models of Complex Economic Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khemelyov Oleksandr H.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses principles of formation of neuronet models of complex economic systems. It justifies prospectiveness of use of artificial intellect methods when modelling complex economic systems. It shows a possibility of use of evolution methods when forming neuronet models of complex economic systems for ensuring invariance of their generalising properties. It offers an algorithm with a genome from operons of fixed length. It considers all operons from the point of view of functional positions. It notes a specific feature of the algorithm, which allows excluding anthropogenic factors when selecting the neuronet models architecture. It proves adequacy of the formed neuronet models of complex economic systems.

  13. Vitamin B-complex initiates growth and development of human embryonic brain cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielyan, K E; Abramyan, R A; Galoyan, A A; Kevorkian, G A

    2011-09-01

    We studied a combined effect of subcomponents of vitamin B complex on the growth, development, and death of human embryonic brain-derived cells (E90) cultured using a modified method of Matson. Cell death was detected by trypan blue staining. According to our results, vitamin B-complex in low-doses promote the development, maturation, and enlargement of human embryonic brain cells, on the one hand, and increases the percent of cell death, which attests to accelerated maturation and metabolism, on the other.

  14. Neurosensory Symptom Complexes after Acute Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Hoffer

    Full Text Available Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI is a prominent public health issue. To date, subjective symptom complaints primarily dictate diagnostic and treatment approaches. As such, the description and qualification of these symptoms in the mTBI patient population is of great value. This manuscript describes the symptoms of mTBI patients as compared to controls in a larger study designed to examine the use of vestibular testing to diagnose mTBI. Five symptom clusters were identified: Post-Traumatic Headache/Migraine, Nausea, Emotional/Affective, Fatigue/Malaise, and Dizziness/Mild Cognitive Impairment. Our analysis indicates that individuals with mTBI have headache, dizziness, and cognitive dysfunction far out of proportion to those without mTBI. In addition, sleep disorders and emotional issues were significantly more common amongst mTBI patients than non-injured individuals. A simple set of questions inquiring about dizziness, headache, and cognitive issues may provide diagnostic accuracy. The consideration of other symptoms may be critical for providing prognostic value and treatment for best short-term outcomes or prevention of long-term complications.

  15. Synaptosomal lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme composition is shifted toward aerobic forms in primate brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. On the Non-Uniform Complexity of Brain Connectivity (PREPRINT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-12-01

    cluster diffusion MRI datasets by considering them as point clouds in Rm (m ≥ 6 depends on the order of the SH approximation of ODFs), without any spatial...SH series coefficients of the ODFs. They respectively correspond to point clouds in R30, R6 and R(l+1)(l+2)/2, for SH series of order l. The k-NN...labeled known neuro-anatomical areas by examining the complexity of the point clouds obtained from a set of Orientational Dis- tribution Functions

  17. 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?

  18. Pro and con: Internal speech and the evolution of complex language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behme, Christina

    2016-01-01

    The target article by Christiansen & Chater (C&C) offers an integrated framework for the study of language acquisition and, possibly, a novel role for internal speech in language acquisition. However, the "Now-or-Never bottleneck" raises a paradox for language evolution. It seems to imply that language complexity has been either reduced over time or has remained the same. How, then, could languages as complex as ours have evolved in prelinguistic ancestors? Linguistic Platonism could offer a solution to this paradox.

  19. Reelin and its complex involvement in brain development and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatosova, Silvia; Ostatnikova, Daniela

    2012-09-01

    Reelin is a neuroprotein with crucial role during neurodevelopment and also in postnatal period. It regulates neuronal migration and positioning in developing neocortex and cerebellar cortex. Postnatally it participates in regulation of dendritic and axonal growth, synaptogenesis, neurotransmission and it contribute to synaptic plasticity necessary for learning and memory functions. Role of Reelin seems to be rather complex, profound research gradually uncovers its further functions. Deficits of Reelin were detected in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. Pathogenesis of these disorders is far from being clearly understood. Reelin contribution to these diseases seems to be vital, since genetic variants of Reelin were associated with these diseases and often influence symptom severity. Reelin is a promising candidate molecule with potential future use in diagnostics and therapy, however further detailed research is essential. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The Evolution of ICT Markets: An Agent-Based Model on Complex Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Liangjie; Wu, Bangtao; Chen, Zhong; Li, Li

    Information and communication technology (ICT) products exhibit positive network effects.The dynamic process of ICT markets evolution has two intrinsic characteristics: (1) customers are influenced by each others’ purchasing decision; (2) customers are intelligent agents with bounded rationality.Guided by complex systems theory, we construct an agent-based model and simulate on complex networks to examine how the evolution can arise from the interaction of customers, which occur when they make expectations about the future installed base of a product by the fraction of neighbors who are using the same product in his personal network.We demonstrate that network effects play an important role in the evolution of markets share, which make even an inferior product can dominate the whole market.We also find that the intensity of customers’ communication can influence whether the best initial strategy for firms is to improve product quality or expand their installed base.

  1. Bacterial flagella and Type III secretion: case studies in the evolution of complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallen, M J; Gophna, U

    2007-01-01

    Bacterial flagella at first sight appear uniquely sophisticated in structure, so much so that they have even been considered 'irreducibly complex' by the intelligent design movement. However, a more detailed analysis reveals that these remarkable pieces of molecular machinery are the product of processes that are fully compatible with Darwinian evolution. In this chapter we present evidence for such processes, based on a review of experimental studies, molecular phylogeny and microbial genomics. Several processes have played important roles in flagellar evolution: self-assembly of simple repeating subunits, gene duplication with subsequent divergence, recruitment of elements from other systems ('molecular bricolage'), and recombination. We also discuss additional tentative new assignments of homology (FliG with MgtE, FliO with YscJ). In conclusion, rather than providing evidence of intelligent design, flagellar and non-flagellar Type III secretion systems instead provide excellent case studies in the evolution of complex systems from simpler components.

  2. “What watch?... such much!” Complexity and evolution of circadian clocks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roenneberg, Till; Merrow, Martha

    2002-01-01

    This review uses three examples to summarise our knowledge about the complexity and the evolution of circadian systems. The first example describes the ecology of unicellular algae, which use their circadian system to optimise the daily exploitation of resources that are spatially separated. The sec

  3. “What watch?... such much!” Complexity and evolution of circadian clocks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roenneberg, Till; Merrow, Martha

    2002-01-01

    This review uses three examples to summarise our knowledge about the complexity and the evolution of circadian systems. The first example describes the ecology of unicellular algae, which use their circadian system to optimise the daily exploitation of resources that are spatially separated. The sec

  4. Differential maturation of brain signal complexity in the human auditory and visual system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Lippe

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain development carries with it a large number of structural changes at the local level which impact on the functional interactions of distributed neuronal networks for perceptual processing. Such changes enhance information processing capacity, which can be indexed by estimation of neural signal complexity. Here, we show that during development, EEG signal complexity increases from one month to 5 years of age in response to auditory and visual stimulation. However, the rates of change in complexity were not equivalent for the two responses. Infants’ signal complexity for the visual condition was greater than auditory signal complexity, whereas adults showed the same level of complexity to both types of stimuli. The differential rates of complexity change may reflect a combination of innate and experiential factors on the structure and function of the two sensory systems.

  5. Paving the way towards complex blood-brain barrier models using pluripotent stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauschke, Karin; Frederiksen, Lise; Hall, Vanessa Jane

    2017-01-01

    to the unique tightness and selective permeability of the BBB and has been shown to be disrupted in many diseases and brain disorders, such as, vascular dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Given the progress that pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have made in the last two decades......A tissue with great need to be modelled in vitro is the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is a tight barrier that covers all blood vessels in the brain and separates the brain microenvironment from the blood system. It consists of three cell types (neurovascular unit (NVU)) that contribute......, it is now possible to produce many cell types from the BBB and even partially recapitulate this complex tissue in vitro. In this review, we summarize the most recent developments in PSC differentiation and modelling of the BBB. We also suggest how patient-specific human induced PSCs could be used to model...

  6. Frequency dependence of complex moduli of brain tissue using a fractional Zener model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kohandel, M [Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 (Canada); Sivaloganathan, S [Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 (Canada); Tenti, G [Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 (Canada); Darvish, K [Center for Applied Biomechanics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States)

    2005-06-21

    Brain tissue exhibits viscoelastic behaviour. If loading times are substantially short, static tests are not sufficient to determine the complete viscoelastic behaviour of the material, and dynamic test methods are more appropriate. The concept of complex modulus of elasticity is a powerful tool for characterizing the frequency domain behaviour of viscoelastic materials. On the other hand, it is well known that classical viscoelastic models can be generalized by means of fractional calculus to describe more complex viscoelastic behaviour of materials. In this paper, the fractional Zener model is investigated in order to describe the dynamic behaviour of brain tissue. The model is fitted to experimental data of oscillatory shear tests of bovine brain tissue to verify its behaviour and to obtain the material parameters.

  7. Pink noise: effect on complexity synchronization of brain activity and sleep consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Junhong; Liu, Dongdong; Li, Xin; Ma, Jing; Zhang, Jue; Fang, Jing

    2012-08-07

    In this study, we hypothesized that steady pink noise is able to change the complexity of brain activities into a characteristic level and it might have significant effect on improving sleep stability. First, we carried out the brain synchronization test in which electroencephalogram (EEG) signals of 6 subjects were recorded. The whole experiment procedure was divided into 5 blocks in the alternative feeding process of 10-min quiet and 10-min noise. After the complexity analysis of fractal dimension, we found that the complexity of the EEG signals decreased with the introduction of the pink noise exposure, showing the brain waves tended to synchronize with the pink noise induction to reach a low level. For the sleep quality experiment, 40 subjects were recruited the group of nocturnal sleep experiment and 10 participants were chosen for nap test. Each subjects slept for two consecutive experimental periods, of which one is pink noise exposed and the other is quiet. For both nocturnal sleep and nap tests, the results in the noise exposure group showed significant enhancement in the percentage of stable sleep time compared to the control group based on the analysis of electrocardiography (ECG) signal with cardiopulmonary coupling approach. This study demonstrates that steady pink noise has significant effect on reducing brain wave complexity and inducing more stable sleep time to improve sleep quality of individuals.

  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. 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

    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...... 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...... 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...

  10. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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...... 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......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...

  12. Experimental evolution can unravel the complex causes of natural selection in clinical infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockhurst, Michael A

    2015-06-01

    It is increasingly clear that rapid evolutionary dynamics are an important process in microbial ecology. Experimental evolution, wherein microbial evolution is observed in real-time, has revealed many instances of appreciable evolutionary change occurring on very short timescales of a few days or weeks in response to a variety of biotic and abiotic selection pressures. From clinical infections, including the chronic bacterial lung infections associated with cystic fibrosis that form a focus of my research, there is now abundant evidence suggesting that rapid evolution by infecting microbes contributes to host adaptation, treatment failure and worsening patient prognosis. However, disentangling the drivers of natural selection in complex infection environments is extremely challenging and limits our understanding of the selective pressures acting upon microbes in infections. Controlled evolution experiments can make a vital contribution to this by determining the causal links between predicted drivers of natural selection and the evolutionary responses of microbes. Integration of experimental evolution into studies of clinical infections is a key next step towards a better understanding of the causes and consequences of rapid microbial evolution in infections, and discovering how these evolutionary processes might be influenced to improve patient health.A video of this Prize Lecture, presented at the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference 2015, can be viewed via this link: Michael A. Brockhurst https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1bodVSl27E.

  13. Preparation of new technetium-99m NNS/X complexes and selection for brain imaging agent

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Qiange; CHEN Xiangji; MIAO Yubin; LIU Boli

    2004-01-01

    Based on excellent experiment results of 99mTcO-MPBDA-Cl, two new ligands MPTDA and MPDAA are synthesized. Then series of 99mTcO3+ complexes are prepared through adding different halide anions, followed by tests of physical chemistry qualities and biodistribution experiments. And results of these experiments show that complexes formed with MPTDA and MPDAA have better lipophilicity than those formed with MPBDA, still maintain the good brain retention ability of this type of compounds, but radioactivity uptake in blood is higher than that of 99mTcO-MPBDA and ratios of brain/blood are reduced. Obvious affections are fetched out on brain uptake and retention if fluoride, bromide or iodide anions are added. Results of experiments can be explained in reason with theoretic computation. It is confirmed that 99mTcO-MPBDA-Cl has potential to develop a new type of brain imaging agent considering integrated factors such as brain uptake, retention and toxicity.

  14. Resting state fMRI entropy probes complexity of brain activity in adults with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokunbi, Moses O; Fung, Wilson; Sawlani, Vijay; Choppin, Sabine; Linden, David E J; Thome, Johannes

    2013-12-30

    In patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), quantitative neuroimaging techniques have revealed abnormalities in various brain regions, including the frontal cortex, striatum, cerebellum, and occipital cortex. Nonlinear signal processing techniques such as sample entropy have been used to probe the regularity of brain magnetoencephalography signals in patients with ADHD. In the present study, we extend this technique to analyse the complex output patterns of the 4 dimensional resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging signals in adult patients with ADHD. After adjusting for the effect of age, we found whole brain entropy differences (P=0.002) between groups and negative correlation (r=-0.45) between symptom scores and mean whole brain entropy values, indicating lower complexity in patients. In the regional analysis, patients showed reduced entropy in frontal and occipital regions bilaterally and a significant negative correlation between the symptom scores and the entropy maps at a family-wise error corrected cluster level of Pentropy is a useful tool in revealing abnormalities in the brain dynamics of patients with psychiatric disorders.

  15. 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.

  16. Analyzing the evolution of young people's brain cancer mortality in Spanish provinces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, M D; Adin, A; Goicoa, T; López-Abente, G

    2015-06-01

    To analyze the spatio-temporal evolution of brain cancer relative mortality risks in young population (under 20 years of age) in Spanish provinces during the period 1986-2010. A new and flexible conditional autoregressive spatio-temporal model with two levels of spatial aggregation was used. Brain cancer relative mortality risks in young population in Spanish provinces decreased during the last years, although a clear increase was observed during the 1990s. The global geographical pattern emphasized a high relative mortality risk in Navarre and a low relative mortality risk in Madrid. Although there is a specific Autonomous Region-time interaction effect on the relative mortality risks this effect is weak in the final estimates when compared to the global spatial and temporal effects. Differences in mortality between regions and over time may be caused by the increase in survival rates, the differences in treatment or the availability of diagnostic tools. The increase in relative risks observed in the 1990s was probably due to improved diagnostics with computerized axial tomography and magnetic resonance imaging techniques. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Farhan; Meier, Rudolf

    2008-11-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Prebiotic coordination chemistry: The potential role of transition-metal complexes in the chemical evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, M.

    1979-01-01

    In approaching the extremely involved and complex problem of the origin of life, consideration of the coordination chemistry appeared not only as a possibility but as a necessity. The first model experiments appear to be promising because of prebiotic-type synthesis by means of transition-metal complexes. It is especially significant that in some instances various types of vitally important substances (nucleic bases, amino acids) are formed simultaneously. There is ground to hope that systematic studies in this field will clarify the role of transition-metal complexes in the organizatorial phase of chemical evolution. It is obvious that researchers working in the fields of the chemistry of cyano and carbonyl complexes, and of the catalytic effect of transition-metal complexes are best suited to study these aspects of the attractive and interesting problem of the origin of life.

  2. Videogame training strategy-induced change in brain function during a complex visuomotor task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunkyu; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Boot, Walter R; Vo, Loan T K; Basak, Chandramallika; Vanpatter, Matt; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica; Kramer, Arthur F

    2012-07-01

    Although changes in brain function induced by cognitive training have been examined, functional plasticity associated with specific training strategies is still relatively unexplored. In this study, we examined changes in brain function during a complex visuomotor task following training using the Space Fortress video game. To assess brain function, participants completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after 30 h of training with one of two training regimens: Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priority, or Full Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants simply practiced the game to obtain the highest overall score. Control participants received only 6 h of FET. Compared to FET, HVT learners reached higher performance on the game and showed less brain activation in areas related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed movement after training. Compared to the control group, HVT exhibited less brain activation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), coupled with greater performance improvement. Region-of-interest analysis revealed that the reduction in brain activation was correlated with improved performance on the task. This study sheds light on the neurobiological mechanisms of improved learning from directed training (HVT) over non-directed training (FET), which is related to visuo-spatial attention and goal-directed motor planning, while separating the practice-based benefit, which is related to executive control and rule management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Li, Ming; Lin, Qiang; Qi, Xuebin; Su, Bing

    2013-05-22

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

  4. Highly efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from nickel quinolinethiolate complexes under visible light irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Heng; Yu, Wen-Qian; Zheng, Hui-Qin; Bonin, Julien; Fan, Yao-Ting; Hou, Hong-Wei

    2016-08-01

    Earth-abundant metal complexes have emerged as promising surrogates of platinum for catalyzing the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In this study, we report the design and synthesis of two novel nickel quinolinethiolate complexes, namely [Ni(Hqt)2(4, 4‧-Z-2, 2‧-bpy)] (Hqt = 8-quinolinethiol, Z = sbnd H [1] or sbnd CH3 [2], bpy = bipyridine). An efficient three-component photocatalytic homogeneous system for hydrogen generation working under visible light irradiation was constructed by using the target complexes as catalysts, triethylamine (TEA) as sacrificial electron donor and xanthene dyes as photosensitizer. We obtain turnover numbers (TON, vs. catalyst) for H2 evolution of 5923/7634 under the optimal conditions with 5.0 × 10-6 M complex 1/2 respectively, 1.0 × 10-3 M fluorescein and 5% (v/v) TEA at pH 12.3 in EtOH/H2O (1:1, v/v) mixture after 8 h irradiation (λ > 420 nm). We discuss the mechanism of H2 evolution in the homogeneous photocatalytic system based on fluorescence spectrum and cyclic voltammetry data.

  5. Evolution of NMDA receptor cytoplasmic interaction domains: implications for organisation of synaptic signalling complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emes Richard D

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Glutamate gated postsynaptic receptors in the central nervous system (CNS are essential for environmentally stimulated behaviours including learning and memory in both invertebrates and vertebrates. Though their genetics, biochemistry, physiology, and role in behaviour have been intensely studied in vitro and in vivo, their molecular evolution and structural aspects remain poorly understood. To understand how these receptors have evolved different physiological requirements we have investigated the molecular evolution of glutamate gated receptors and ion channels, in particular the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor, which is essential for higher cognitive function. Studies of rodent NMDA receptors show that the C-terminal intracellular domain forms a signalling complex with enzymes and scaffold proteins, which is important for neuronal and behavioural plasticity Results The vertebrate NMDA receptor was found to have subunits with C-terminal domains up to 500 amino acids longer than invertebrates. This extension was specific to the NR2 subunit and occurred before the duplication and subsequent divergence of NR2 in the vertebrate lineage. The shorter invertebrate C-terminus lacked vertebrate protein interaction motifs involved with forming a signaling complex although the terminal PDZ interaction domain was conserved. The vertebrate NR2 C-terminal domain was predicted to be intrinsically disordered but with a conserved secondary structure. Conclusion We highlight an evolutionary adaptation specific to vertebrate NMDA receptor NR2 subunits. Using in silico methods we find that evolution has shaped the NMDA receptor C-terminus into an unstructured but modular intracellular domain that parallels the expansion in complexity of an NMDA receptor signalling complex in the vertebrate lineage. We propose the NR2 C-terminus has evolved to be a natively unstructured yet flexible hub organising postsynaptic signalling. The evolution of

  6. Modeling the evolution of complex conductivity during calcite precipitation on glass beads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Philippe; Li, Shuai; Jougnot, Damien; Revil, André; Wu, Yuxin

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARYWhen pH and alkalinity increase, calcite frequently precipitates and hence modifies the petrophysical properties of porous media. The complex conductivity method can be used to directly monitor calcite precipitation in porous media because it is sensitive to the evolution of the mineralogy, pore structure and its connectivity. We have developed a mechanistic grain polarization model considering the electrochemical polarization of the Stern and diffuse layer surrounding calcite particles. Our complex conductivity model depends on the surface charge density of the Stern layer and on the electrical potential at the onset of the diffuse layer, which are computed using a basic Stern model of the calcite/water interface. The complex conductivity measurements of Wu et al. (2010) on a column packed with glass beads where calcite precipitation occurs are reproduced by our surface complexation and complex conductivity models. The evolution of the size and shape of calcite particles during the calcite precipitation experiment is estimated by our complex conductivity model. At the early stage of the calcite precipitation experiment, modeled particles sizes increase and calcite particles flatten with time because calcite crystals nucleate at the surface of glass beads and grow into larger calcite grains around glass beads. At the later stage of the calcite precipitation experiment, modeled sizes and cementation exponents of calcite particles decrease with time because large calcite grains aggregate over multiple glass beads, a percolation threshold is achieved, and small and discrete calcite crystals polarize.

  7. Functional evolution in the ancestral lineage of vertebrates or when genomic complexity was wagging its morphological tail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aburomia, Rami; Khaner, Oded; Sidow, Arend

    2003-01-01

    Early vertebrate evolution is characterized by a significant increase of organismal complexity over a relatively short time span. We present quantitative evidence for a high rate of increase in morphological complexity during early vertebrate evolution. Possible molecular evolutionary mechanisms that underlie this increase in complexity fall into a small number of categories, one of which is gene duplication and subsequent structural or regulatory neofunctionalization. We discuss analyses of two gene families whose regulatory and structural evolution shed light on the connection between gene duplication and increases in organismal complexity.

  8. Effect of self-interaction on the evolution of cooperation in complex topologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu'e.; Zhang, Zhipeng; Chang, Shuhua

    2017-09-01

    Self-interaction, as a significant mechanism explaining the evolution of cooperation, has attracted great attention both theoretically and experimentally. In this text, we consider a new self-interaction mechanism in the two typical pairwise models including the prisoner's dilemma and the snowdrift games, where the cooperative agents will gain extra bonus for their selfless behavior. We find that under the mechanism the collective cooperation is elevated to a very high level especially after adopting the finite population analogue of replicator dynamics for evolution. The robustness of the new mechanism is tested for different complex topologies for the prisoner's dilemma game. All the presented results demonstrate that the enhancement effects are independent of the structure of the applied spatial networks and the potential evolutionary games, and thus showing a high degree of universality. Our conclusions might shed light on the understanding of the evolution of cooperation in the real world.

  9. 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.

  10. COnto-Diff: generation of complex evolution mappings for life science ontologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartung, Michael; Groß, Anika; Rahm, Erhard

    2013-02-01

    Life science ontologies evolve frequently to meet new requirements or to better reflect the current domain knowledge. The development and adaptation of large and complex ontologies is typically performed collaboratively by several curators. To effectively manage the evolution of ontologies it is essential to identify the difference (Diff) between ontology versions. Such a Diff supports the synchronization of changes in collaborative curation, the adaptation of dependent data such as annotations, and ontology version management. We propose a novel approach COnto-Diff to determine an expressive and invertible diff evolution mapping between given versions of an ontology. Our approach first matches the ontology versions and determines an initial evolution mapping consisting of basic change operations (insert/update/delete). To semantically enrich the evolution mapping we adopt a rule-based approach to transform the basic change operations into a smaller set of more complex change operations, such as merge, split, or changes of entire subgraphs. The proposed algorithm is customizable in different ways to meet the requirements of diverse ontologies and application scenarios. We evaluate the proposed approach for large life science ontologies including the Gene Ontology and the NCI Thesaurus and compare it with PromptDiff. We further show how the Diff results can be used for version management and annotation migration in collaborative curation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. A genomic approach to examine the complex evolution of laurasiatherian mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn M Hallström

    Full Text Available Recent phylogenomic studies have failed to conclusively resolve certain branches of the placental mammalian tree, despite the evolutionary analysis of genomic data from 32 species. Previous analyses of single genes and retroposon insertion data yielded support for different phylogenetic scenarios for the most basal divergences. The results indicated that some mammalian divergences were best interpreted not as a single bifurcating tree, but as an evolutionary network. In these studies the relationships among some orders of the super-clade Laurasiatheria were poorly supported, albeit not studied in detail. Therefore, 4775 protein-coding genes (6,196,263 nucleotides were collected and aligned in order to analyze the evolution of this clade. Additionally, over 200,000 introns were screened in silico, resulting in 32 phylogenetically informative long interspersed nuclear elements (LINE insertion events. The present study shows that the genome evolution of Laurasiatheria may best be understood as an evolutionary network. Thus, contrary to the common expectation to resolve major evolutionary events as a bifurcating tree, genome analyses unveil complex speciation processes even in deep mammalian divergences. We exemplify this on a subset of 1159 suitable genes that have individual histories, most likely due to incomplete lineage sorting or introgression, processes that can make the genealogy of mammalian genomes complex. These unexpected results have major implications for the understanding of evolution in general, because the evolution of even some higher level taxa such as mammalian orders may sometimes not be interpreted as a simple bifurcating pattern.

  12. A genomic approach to examine the complex evolution of laurasiatherian mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallström, Björn M; Schneider, Adrian; Zoller, Stefan; Janke, Axel

    2011-01-01

    Recent phylogenomic studies have failed to conclusively resolve certain branches of the placental mammalian tree, despite the evolutionary analysis of genomic data from 32 species. Previous analyses of single genes and retroposon insertion data yielded support for different phylogenetic scenarios for the most basal divergences. The results indicated that some mammalian divergences were best interpreted not as a single bifurcating tree, but as an evolutionary network. In these studies the relationships among some orders of the super-clade Laurasiatheria were poorly supported, albeit not studied in detail. Therefore, 4775 protein-coding genes (6,196,263 nucleotides) were collected and aligned in order to analyze the evolution of this clade. Additionally, over 200,000 introns were screened in silico, resulting in 32 phylogenetically informative long interspersed nuclear elements (LINE) insertion events. The present study shows that the genome evolution of Laurasiatheria may best be understood as an evolutionary network. Thus, contrary to the common expectation to resolve major evolutionary events as a bifurcating tree, genome analyses unveil complex speciation processes even in deep mammalian divergences. We exemplify this on a subset of 1159 suitable genes that have individual histories, most likely due to incomplete lineage sorting or introgression, processes that can make the genealogy of mammalian genomes complex. These unexpected results have major implications for the understanding of evolution in general, because the evolution of even some higher level taxa such as mammalian orders may sometimes not be interpreted as a simple bifurcating pattern.

  13. Cosmological evolution of a complex scalar field with repulsive or attractive self-interaction

    CERN Document Server

    Suárez, Abril

    2016-01-01

    We study the cosmological evolution of a complex scalar field with a self-interaction potential $V(|\\varphi|^2)$, possibly describing self-gravitating Bose-Einstein condensates, using a fully general relativistic treatment. We generalize the hydrodynamic representation of the Klein-Gordon-Einstein equations in the weak field approximation developed in our previous paper. We establish the general equations governing the evolution of a spatially homogeneous complex scalar field in an expanding background. We show how they can be simplified in the fast oscillation regime and derive the equation of state of the scalar field in parametric form for an arbitrary potential. We explicitly consider the case of a quartic potential with repulsive or attractive self-interaction and determine the phase diagram of the scalar field. We show that the transition between the weakly self-interacting regime and the strongly self-interacting regime depends on how the scattering length of the bosons compares with their effective Sc...

  14. Cannabinoid-Induced Changes in the Activity of Electron Transport Chain Complexes of Brain Mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Namrata; Hroudová, Jana; Fišar, Zdeněk

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the activity of individual mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes (I, II/III, IV) and citrate synthase induced by pharmacologically different cannabinoids. In vitro effects of selected cannabinoids on mitochondrial enzymes were measured in crude mitochondrial fraction isolated from pig brain. Both cannabinoid receptor agonists, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, anandamide, and R-(+)-WIN55,212-2, and antagonist/inverse agonists of cannabinoid receptors, AM251, and cannabidiol were examined in pig brain mitochondria. Different effects of these cannabinoids on mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes and citrate synthase were found. Citrate synthase activity was decreased only by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and AM251. Significant increase in the complex I activity was induced by anandamide. At micromolar concentration, all the tested cannabinoids inhibited the activity of electron transport chain complexes II/III and IV. Stimulatory effect of anandamide on activity of complex I may participate on distinct physiological effects of endocannabinoids compared to phytocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids. Common inhibitory effect of cannabinoids on activity of complex II/III and IV confirmed a non-receptor-mediated mechanism of cannabinoid action on individual components of system of oxidative phosphorylation.

  15. Effects of tramadol, clonazepam, and their combination on brain mitochondrial complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Tarek Mostafa; Ghaffar, Hamdy M Abdel; El Husseiny, Rabee M R

    2015-12-01

    The present study is an unsubstantiated qualitative assessment of the abused drugs-tramadol and clonazepam. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether the effects of tramadol, clonazepam, and their combination on mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) complexes were influential at therapeutic or at progressively increasing doses. The study comprised of a total of 70 healthy male rats, aged 3 months. According to the drug intake regimen, animals were divided into seven groups: control, tramadol therapeutic, clonazepam therapeutic, combination therapeutic, tramadol abuse, clonazepam abuse, and combination abuse group. At the end of the experiment, brain mitochondrial ETC complexes (I, II, III, and IV) were evaluated. Histopathological examinations were also performed on brain tissues. The results showed that groups that received tramadol (therapeutic and abuse) suffered from weight loss. Tramadol abuse group and combination abuse group showed significant decrease in the activities of I, III, and IV complexes but not in the activity of complex II. In conclusion, tramadol but not clonazepam has been found to partially inhibit the activities of respiratory chain complexes I, III, and IV but not the activity of complex II and such inhibition occurred only at doses that exceeded the maximum recommended adult human daily therapeutic doses. This result explains the clinical and histopathological effects of tramadol, such as seizures and red neurons (marker for apoptosis), respectively. © The Author(s) 2012.

  16. Two possible driving forces supporting the evolution of animal communication. Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulin-Frier, Clément; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2016-03-01

    In the target paper [1], M.A. Arbib proposes a quite exhaustive review of the (often computational) models developed during the last decades that support his detailed scenario on language evolution (the Mirror System Hypothesis, MSH). The approach considers that language evolved from a mirror system for grasping already present in LCA-m (the last common ancestor of macaques and humans), to a simple imitation system for grasping present in LCA-c (the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans), to a complex imitation system for grasping that developed in the hominid line since that ancestor. MSH considers that this complex imitation system is a key evolutionary step for a language-ready brain, providing all the required elements for an open-ended gestural communication system. The transition from the gestural (bracchio-manual and visual) to the vocal (articulatory and auditory) domain is supposed to be a less important evolutionary step.

  17. Measuring the evolution of ontology complexity: the gene ontology case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dameron, Olivier; Bettembourg, Charles; Le Meur, Nolwenn

    2013-01-01

    Ontologies support automatic sharing, combination and analysis of life sciences data. They undergo regular curation and enrichment. We studied the impact of an ontology evolution on its structural complexity. As a case study we used the sixty monthly releases between January 2008 and December 2012 of the Gene Ontology and its three independent branches, i.e. biological processes (BP), cellular components (CC) and molecular functions (MF). For each case, we measured complexity by computing metrics related to the size, the nodes connectivity and the hierarchical structure. The number of classes and relations increased monotonously for each branch, with different growth rates. BP and CC had similar connectivity, superior to that of MF. Connectivity increased monotonously for BP, decreased for CC and remained stable for MF, with a marked increase for the three branches in November and December 2012. Hierarchy-related measures showed that CC and MF had similar proportions of leaves, average depths and average heights. BP had a lower proportion of leaves, and a higher average depth and average height. For BP and MF, the late 2012 increase of connectivity resulted in an increase of the average depth and average height and a decrease of the proportion of leaves, indicating that a major enrichment effort of the intermediate-level hierarchy occurred. The variation of the number of classes and relations in an ontology does not provide enough information about the evolution of its complexity. However, connectivity and hierarchy-related metrics revealed different patterns of values as well as of evolution for the three branches of the Gene Ontology. CC was similar to BP in terms of connectivity, and similar to MF in terms of hierarchy. Overall, BP complexity increased, CC was refined with the addition of leaves providing a finer level of annotations but decreasing slightly its complexity, and MF complexity remained stable.

  18. Evidence of constrained phenotypic evolution in a cryptic species complex of agamid lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katie L; Harmon, Luke J; Shoo, Luke P; Melville, Jane

    2011-04-01

    Lineages that exhibit little morphological change over time provide a unique opportunity to explore whether nonadaptive or adaptive processes explain the conservation of morphology over evolutionary time scales. We provide the most comprehensive evaluation to date of the evolutionary processes leading to morphological similarity among species in a cryptic species complex, incorporating two agamid lizard species (Diporiphora magna and D. bilineata). Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial (ND2) and nuclear (RAG-1) gene regions revealed the existence of eight deeply divergent clades. Analysis of morphological data confirmed the presence of cryptic species among these clades. Alternative evolutionary hypotheses for the morphological similarity of species were tested using a combination of phylogenetic, morphological, and ecological data. Likelihood model testing of morphological data suggested a history of constrained phenotypic evolution where lineages have a tendency to return to their medial state, whereas ecological data showed support for both Brownian motion and constrained evolution. Thus, there was an overriding signature of constrained evolution influencing morphological divergence between clades. Our study illustrates the utility of using a combination of phylogenetic, morphological, and ecological data to investigate evolutionary mechanisms maintaining cryptic species. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. A Complex Network Analysis of Granular Fabric Evolution in Three-Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    fundamental significance to geomechanics and, more broadly, to geotechnical engineering analysis and design. As with other complex systems, the behavior of...formalism of Com- plex Networks and only recently have there been attempts to characterize granular networks that arise in geomechanical settings. We...J. Shi, and T. Tshaikiwsky. Stress-dilatancy and force chain evolution. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics

  20. Complex and changing patterns of natural selection explain the evolution of the human hip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Mark; Roseman, Charles C

    2015-08-01

    Causal explanations for the dramatic changes that occurred during the evolution of the human hip focus largely on selection for bipedal function and locomotor efficiency. These hypotheses rest on two critical assumptions. The first-that these anatomical changes served functional roles in bipedalism-has been supported in numerous analyses showing how postcranial changes likely affected locomotion. The second-that morphological changes that did play functional roles in bipedalism were the result of selection for that behavior-has not been previously explored and represents a major gap in our understanding of hominin hip evolution. Here we use evolutionary quantitative genetic models to test the hypothesis that strong directional selection on many individual aspects of morphology was responsible for the large differences observed across a sample of fossil hominin hips spanning the Plio-Pleistocene. Our approach uses covariance among traits and the differences between relatively complete fossils to estimate the net selection pressures that drove the major transitions in hominin hip evolution. Our findings show a complex and changing pattern of natural selection drove hominin hip evolution, and that many, but not all, traits hypothesized to play functional roles in bipedalism evolved as a direct result of natural selection. While the rate of evolutionary change for all transitions explored here does not exceed the amount expected if evolution was occurring solely through neutral processes, it was far above rates of evolution for morphological traits in other mammalian groups. Given that stasis is the norm in the mammalian fossil record, our results suggest that large shifts in the adaptive landscape drove hominin evolution.

  1. Simple versus complex models of trait evolution and stasis as a response to environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Gene; Hopkins, Melanie J.; Lidgard, Scott

    2015-04-01

    Previous analyses of evolutionary patterns, or modes, in fossil lineages have focused overwhelmingly on three simple models: stasis, random walks, and directional evolution. Here we use likelihood methods to fit an expanded set of evolutionary models to a large compilation of ancestor-descendant series of populations from the fossil record. In addition to the standard three models, we assess more complex models with punctuations and shifts from one evolutionary mode to another. As in previous studies, we find that stasis is common in the fossil record, as is a strict version of stasis that entails no real evolutionary changes. Incidence of directional evolution is relatively low (13%), but higher than in previous studies because our analytical approach can more sensitively detect noisy trends. Complex evolutionary models are often favored, overwhelmingly so for sequences comprising many samples. This finding is consistent with evolutionary dynamics that are, in reality, more complex than any of the models we consider. Furthermore, the timing of shifts in evolutionary dynamics varies among traits measured from the same series. Finally, we use our empirical collection of evolutionary sequences and a long and highly resolved proxy for global climate to inform simulations in which traits adaptively track temperature changes over time. When realistically calibrated, we find that this simple model can reproduce important aspects of our paleontological results. We conclude that observed paleontological patterns, including the prevalence of stasis, need not be inconsistent with adaptive evolution, even in the face of unstable physical environments.

  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. Is sociality required for the evolution of communicative complexity? Evidence weighed against alternative hypotheses in diverse taxonomic groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ord, Terry J; Garcia-Porta, Joan

    2012-07-05

    Complex social communication is expected to evolve whenever animals engage in many and varied social interactions; that is, sociality should promote communicative complexity. Yet, informal comparisons among phylogenetically independent taxonomic groups seem to cast doubt on the putative role of social factors in the evolution of complex communication. Here, we provide a formal test of the sociality hypothesis alongside alternative explanations for the evolution of communicative complexity. We compiled data documenting variations in signal complexity among closely related species for several case study groups--ants, frogs, lizards and birds--and used new phylogenetic methods to investigate the factors underlying communication evolution. Social factors were only implicated in the evolution of complex visual signals in lizards. Ecology, and to some degree allometry, were most likely explanations for complexity in the vocal signals of frogs (ecology) and birds (ecology and allometry). There was some evidence for adaptive evolution in the pheromone complexity of ants, although no compelling selection pressure was identified. For most taxa, phylogenetic null models were consistently ranked above adaptive models and, for some taxa, signal complexity seems to have accumulated in species via incremental or random changes over long periods of evolutionary time. Becoming social presumably leads to the origin of social communication in animals, but its subsequent influence on the trajectory of signal evolution has been neither clear-cut nor general among taxonomic groups.

  4. The organization of thinking: what functional brain imaging reveals about the neuroarchitecture of complex cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Just, Marcel Adam; Varma, Sashank

    2007-09-01

    Recent findings in brain imaging, particularly in fMRI, are beginning to reveal some of the fundamental properties of the organization of the cortical systems that underpin complex cognition. We propose an emerging set of operating principles that govern this organization, characterizing the system as a set of collaborating cortical centers that operate as a large-scale cortical network. Two of the network's critical features are that it is resource constrained and dynamically configured, with resource constraints and demands dynamically shaping the network topology. The operating principles are embodied in a cognitive neuroarchitecture, 4CAPS, consisting of a number of interacting computational centers that correspond to activating cortical areas. Each 4CAPS center is a hybrid production system, possessing both symbolic and connectionist attributes. We describe 4CAPS models of sentence comprehension, spatial problem solving, and complex multitasking and compare the accounts of these models with brain activation and behavioral results. Finally, we compare 4CAPS with other proposed neuroarchitectures.

  5. Large-scale modeling - a tool for conquering the complexity of the brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikael Djurfeldt

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Is there any hope of achieving a thorough understanding of higher functions such as perception, memory, thought and emotion or is the stunning complexity of the brain a barrier which will limit such efforts for the foreseeable future? In this perspective we discuss methods to handle complexity, approaches to model building, and point to detailed large-scale models as a new contribution to the toolbox of the computational neuroscientist. We elucidate some aspects which distinguishes large-scale models and some of the technological challenges which they entail.

  6. A Measure for Brain Complexity: Relating Functional Segregation and Integration in the Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tononi, Giulio; Sporns, Olaf; Edelman, Gerald M.

    1994-05-01

    In brains of higher vertebrates, the functional segregation of local areas that differ in their anatomy and physiology contrasts sharply with their global integration during perception and behavior. In this paper, we introduce a measure, called neural complexity (C_N), that captures the interplay between these two fundamental aspects of brain organization. We express functional segregation within a neural system in terms of the relative statistical independence of small subsets of the system and functional integration in terms of significant deviations from independence of large subsets. C_N is then obtained from estimates of the average deviation from statistical independence for subsets of increasing size. C_N is shown to be high when functional segregation coexists with integration and to be low when the components of a system are either completely independent (segregated) or completely dependent (integrated). We apply this complexity measure in computer simulations of cortical areas to examine how some basic principles of neuroanatomical organization constrain brain dynamics. We show that the connectivity patterns of the cerebral cortex, such as a high density of connections, strong local connectivity organizing cells into neuronal groups, patchiness in the connectivity among neuronal groups, and prevalent reciprocal connections, are associated with high values of C_N. The approach outlined here may prove useful in analyzing complexity in other biological domains such as gene regulation and embryogenesis.

  7. Adaptation of brain regions to habitat complexity: a comparative analysis in bats (Chiroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Kamran; Dechmann, Dina K N

    2005-01-22

    Vertebrate brains are organized in modules which process information from sensory inputs selectively. Therefore they are probably under different evolutionary pressures. We investigated the impact of environmental influences on specific brain centres in bats. We showed in a phylogenetically independent contrast analysis that the wing area of a species corrected for body size correlated with estimates of habitat complexity. We subsequently compared wing area, as an indirect measure of habitat complexity, with the size of regions associated with hearing, olfaction and spatial memory, while controlling for phylogeny and body mass. The inferior colliculi, the largest sub-cortical auditory centre, showed a strong positive correlation with wing area in echolocating bats. The size of the main olfactory bulb did not increase with wing area, suggesting that the need for olfaction may not increase during the localization of food and orientation in denser habitat. As expected, a larger wing area was linked to a larger hippocampus in all bats. Our results suggest that morphological adaptations related to flight and neuronal capabilities as reflected by the sizes of brain regions coevolved under similar ecological pressures. Thus, habitat complexity presumably influenced and shaped sensory abilities in this mammalian order independently of each other.

  8. Structure function relationship in complex brain networks expressed by hierarchical synchronization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Changsong; Zemanová, Lucia; Zamora-López, Gorka; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Kurths, Jürgen

    2007-06-01

    The brain is one of the most complex systems in nature, with a structured complex connectivity. Recently, large-scale corticocortical connectivities, both structural and functional, have received a great deal of research attention, especially using the approach of complex network analysis. Understanding the relationship between structural and functional connectivity is of crucial importance in neuroscience. Here we try to illuminate this relationship by studying synchronization dynamics in a realistic anatomical network of cat cortical connectivity. We model the nodes (cortical areas) by a neural mass model (population model) or by a subnetwork of interacting excitable neurons (multilevel model). We show that if the dynamics is characterized by well-defined oscillations (neural mass model and subnetworks with strong couplings), the synchronization patterns are mainly determined by the node intensity (total input strengths of a node) and the detailed network topology is rather irrelevant. On the other hand, the multilevel model with weak couplings displays more irregular, biologically plausible dynamics, and the synchronization patterns reveal a hierarchical cluster organization in the network structure. The relationship between structural and functional connectivity at different levels of synchronization is explored. Thus, the study of synchronization in a multilevel complex network model of cortex can provide insights into the relationship between network topology and functional organization of complex brain networks.

  9. Organization and functional roles of the central complex in the insect brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer, Keram; Homberg, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    The central complex is a group of modular neuropils across the midline of the insect brain. Hallmarks of its anatomical organization are discrete layers, an organization into arrays of 16 slices along the right-left axis, and precise inter-hemispheric connections via chiasmata. The central complex is connected most prominently with the adjacent lateral complex and the superior protocerebrum. Its developmental appearance corresponds with the appearance of compound eyes and walking legs. Distinct dopaminergic neurons control various forms of arousal. Electrophysiological studies provide evidence for roles in polarized light vision, sky compass orientation, and integration of spatial information for locomotor control. Behavioral studies on mutant and transgenic flies indicate roles in spatial representation of visual cues, spatial visual memory, directional control of walking and flight, and place learning. The data suggest that spatial azimuthal directions (i.e., where) are represented in the slices, and cue information (i.e., what) are represented in different layers of the central complex.

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of Error Augmentation on Brain Activation and Motor Learning of a Complex Locomotor Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Marchal-Crespo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Up to date, the functional gains obtained after robot-aided gait rehabilitation training are limited. Error augmenting strategies have a great potential to enhance motor learning of simple motor tasks. However, little is known about the effect of these error modulating strategies on complex tasks, such as relearning to walk after a neurologic accident. Additionally, neuroimaging evaluation of brain regions involved in learning processes could provide valuable information on behavioral outcomes. We investigated the effect of robotic training strategies that augment errors—error amplification and random force disturbance—and training without perturbations on brain activation and motor learning of a complex locomotor task. Thirty-four healthy subjects performed the experiment with a robotic stepper (MARCOS in a 1.5 T MR scanner. The task consisted in tracking a Lissajous figure presented on a display by coordinating the legs in a gait-like movement pattern. Behavioral results showed that training without perturbations enhanced motor learning in initially less skilled subjects, while error amplification benefited better-skilled subjects. Training with error amplification, however, hampered transfer of learning. Randomly disturbing forces induced learning and promoted transfer in all subjects, probably because the unexpected forces increased subjects' attention. Functional MRI revealed main effects of training strategy and skill level during training. A main effect of training strategy was seen in brain regions typically associated with motor control and learning, such as, the basal ganglia, cerebellum, intraparietal sulcus, and angular gyrus. Especially, random disturbance and no perturbation lead to stronger brain activation in similar brain regions than error amplification. Skill-level related effects were observed in the IPS, in parts of the superior parietal lobe (SPL, i.e., precuneus, and temporal cortex. These neuroimaging findings

  12. Temporal evolution of brain reorganization under cross-modal training: insights into the functional architecture of encoding and retrieval networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likova, Lora T.

    2015-03-01

    This study is based on the recent discovery of massive and well-structured cross-modal memory activation generated in the primary visual cortex (V1) of totally blind people as a result of novel training in drawing without any vision (Likova, 2012). This unexpected functional reorganization of primary visual cortex was obtained after undergoing only a week of training by the novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic Method, and was consistent across pilot groups of different categories of visual deprivation: congenitally blind, late-onset blind and blindfolded (Likova, 2014). These findings led us to implicate V1 as the implementation of the theoretical visuo-spatial 'sketchpad' for working memory in the human brain. Since neither the source nor the subsequent 'recipient' of this non-visual memory information in V1 is known, these results raise a number of important questions about the underlying functional organization of the respective encoding and retrieval networks in the brain. To address these questions, an individual totally blind from birth was given a week of Cognitive-Kinesthetic training, accompanied by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) both before and just after training, and again after a two-month consolidation period. The results revealed a remarkable temporal sequence of training-based response reorganization in both the hippocampal complex and the temporal-lobe object processing hierarchy over the prolonged consolidation period. In particular, a pattern of profound learning-based transformations in the hippocampus was strongly reflected in V1, with the retrieval function showing massive growth as result of the Cognitive-Kinesthetic memory training and consolidation, while the initially strong hippocampal response during tactile exploration and encoding became non-existent. Furthermore, after training, an alternating patch structure in the form of a cascade of discrete ventral regions underwent radical transformations to reach complete functional

  13. Evolution of low-light adapted peripheral light-harvesting complexes in strains of Rhodopseudomonas palustris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotecha, Abhay; Georgiou, Theonie; Papiz, Miroslav Z

    2013-03-01

    Purple bacteria have peripheral light-harvesting (PLH) complexes adapted to high-light (LH2) and low-light (LH3, LH4) growth conditions. The latter two have only been fully characterised in Rhodopseudomonas acidophila 7050 and Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009, respectively. It is known that LH4 complexes are expressed under the control of two light sensing bacteriophytochromes (BphPs). Recent genomic sequencing of a number of Rps. palustris strains has provided extensive information on PLH genes. We show that both LH3 and LH4 complexes are present in Rps. palustris and have evolved in the same operon controlled by the two adjacent BphPs. Two rare marker genes indicate that a gene cluster CL2, containing LH2 genes and the BphP RpBphP4, was internally transferred within the genome to form a new operon CL1. In CL1, RpBphP4 underwent gene duplication to RpBphP2 and RpBphP3, which evolved to sense light intensity rather than spectral red/far-red intensity ratio. We show that a second LH2 complex was acquired in CL1 belonging to a different PLH clade and these two PLH complexes co-evolved together into LH3 or LH4 complexes. The near-infrared spectra provide additional support for our conclusions on the evolution of PLH complexes based on genomic data.

  14. Deep Brain Stimulation: In Search of Reliable Instruments for Assessing Complex Personality-Related Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Ineichen

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available During the last 25 years, more than 100,000 patients have been treated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS. While human clinical and animal preclinical research has shed light on the complex brain-signaling disturbances that underpin e.g., Parkinson’s disease (PD, less information is available when it comes to complex psychosocial changes following DBS interventions. In this contribution, we propose to more thoroughly investigate complex personality-related changes following deep brain stimulation through refined and reliable instruments in order to help patients and their relatives in the post-surgery phase. By pursuing this goal, we first outline the clinical importance DBS has attained followed by discussing problematic and undesired non-motor problems that accompany some DBS interventions. After providing a brief definition of complex changes, we move on by outlining the measurement problem complex changes relating to non-motor symptoms currently are associated with. The latter circumstance substantiates the need for refined instruments that are able to validly assess personality-related changes. After providing a brief paragraph with regard to conceptions of personality, we argue that the latter is significantly influenced by certain competencies which themselves currently play only a tangential role in the clinical DBS-discourse. Increasing awareness of the latter circumstance is crucial in the context of DBS because it could illuminate a link between competencies and the emergence of personality-related changes, such as new-onset impulse control disorders that have relevance for patients and their relatives. Finally, we elaborate on the field of application of instruments that are able to measure personality-related changes.

  15. EXPRESSION OF SV40 Tag AND FORMATION Tag-p53 AND Tag-Rb COMPLEXES IN CHINESE BRAIN TUMORS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the expression of SV40 Tag andformation of Tag-p53 and Tag-Rb complexes in Chinese brain tumors. Methods: SV40 large tumor antigen (Tag) were investigated by immunoprecipitation, silver staining and Western blot in 65 cases of Chinese brain tumors and 8 cases of normal brain tissues. Tag-p53 and Tag-Rb complexes were screened by the same way in 20 and 15 Tag positive tumor tissues respectively. Results: Tag was found in all of 8 ependymomas and 2 choroid plexus papillomas, 90% (9/10) of pituitary adenomas, 73% (11/15) of astrocytomas, 70% (7/10) of meningiomas, 50% (4/8) of glioblastoma multiform, 33% (2/6) of medulloblastomas, 5 oligodendrogliomas, 1 pineocytoma and 8 normal brain tissues were negative for Tag. Tag-p53 complex was detected in all of 20 Tag positive tumors as well as Tag-Rb complex in all of 15 Tag positive tumors. Conclusion: SV40 Tag is not only expressed in human brain tumors, but also it can form specific complexes with tumor suppressors p53 and Rb. SV40 is correlated to human brain tumorigenesis. The inactivation of p53 and Rb due to the formation of Tag-p53 and Tag-Rb complexes is possibly an important mechanism in the etiopathogenesis of human brain tumors.

  16. The role of human-specific gene duplications during brain development and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sassa, Takayuki

    2013-09-01

    One of the most fascinating questions in evolutionary biology is how traits unique to humans, such as their high cognitive abilities, erect bipedalism, and hairless skin, are encoded in the genome. Recent advances in genomics have begun to reveal differences between the genomes of the great apes. It has become evident that one of the many mutation types, segmental duplication, has drastically increased in the primate genomes, and most remarkably in the human genome. Genes contained in these segmental duplications have a tremendous potential to cause genetic innovation, probably accounting for the acquisition of human-specific traits. In this review, I begin with an overview of the genes, which have increased their copy number specifically in the human lineage, following its separation from the common ancestor with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Then, I introduce the recent experimental approaches, focusing on SRGAP2, which has been partially duplicated, to elucidate the role of SRGAP2 protein and its human-specific paralogs in human brain development and evolution.

  17. Evolution of blood-brain-barrier permeability after acute ischemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merali, Zamir; Huang, Kun; Mikulis, David; Silver, Frank; Kassner, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    The dynamics of BBB permeability after AIS in humans are not well understood. In the present study we measured the evolution of BBB permeability after AIS in humans using MRI. Patients presenting to our institution with a diagnosis of AIS underwent a single dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) sequence to measure BBB permeability during their initial workup. Forty-two patients were included in the final analysis. The patient sample underwent DCE-MRI at a mean time of 23.8hrs after the onset of AIS symptoms (range: 1.3-90.7hrs). At all time-points the BBB permeability within the infarct region of the brain as defined on DWI/ADC was higher compared to the homologous region of the contralateral hemisphere (p<0.005). BBB permeability, expressed as a ratio of infarct permeability to contralateral permeability, was greatest at 6-48hrs after the onset of AIS. Although the data was not acquired longitudinally, these findings suggest that the permeability of the BBB is continually elevated following AIS, which contradicts previous assertions that BBB permeability after AIS follows a biphasic course. Knowledge of BBB dynamics following AIS may provide insight into future treatments for AIS, especially BBB stabilizing agents.

  18. Fractality of sensations and the brain health: the theory linking neurodegenerative disorder with distortion of spatial and temporal scale-invariance and fractal complexity of the visible world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Vladimirovna Zueva

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The theory that ties normal functioning and pathology of the brain and visual system with the spatial-temporal structure of the visual and other sensory stimuli is described for the first time in the present study. The deficit of fractal complexity of environmental influences can lead to the distortion of fractal complexity in the visual pathways of the brain and abnormalities of development or aging. The use of fractal light stimuli and fractal stimuli of other modalities can help to restore the functions of the brain, particularly in the elderly and in patients with neurodegenerative disorders or amblyopia. Nonlinear dynamics of these physiological processes have a strong base of evidence, which is seen in the impaired fractal regulation of rhythmic activity in aged and diseased brains. From birth to old age, we live in a nonlinear world, in which objects and processes with the properties of fractality and non-linearity surround us. Against this background, the evolution of man took place and all periods of life unfolded. Works of art created by man may also have fractal properties. The positive influence of music on cognitive functions is well-known. Insufficiency of sensory experience is believed to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of amblyopia and age-dependent diseases. The brain is very plastic in its early development, and the plasticity decreases throughout life. However, several studies showed the possibility to reactivate the adult's neuroplasticity in a variety of ways. We propose that a non-linear structure of sensory information on many spatial and temporal scales is crucial to the brain health and fractal regulation of physiological rhythms. Theoretical substantiation of the author's theory is presented. Possible applications and the future research that can experimentally confirm or refute the theoretical concept are considered.

  19. Evolution and development of complex computational systems using the paradigm of metabolic computing in Epigenetic Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Fontana

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic Tracking (ET is an Artificial Embryology system which allows for the evolution and development of large complex structures built from artificial cells. In terms of the number of cells, the complexity of the bodies generated with ET is comparable with the complexity of biological organisms. We have previously used ET to simulate the growth of multicellular bodies with arbitrary 3-dimensional shapes which perform computation using the paradigm of ``metabolic computing''. In this paper we investigate the memory capacity of such computational structures and analyse the trade-off between shape and computation. We now plan to build on these foundations to create a biologically-inspired model in which the encoding of the phenotype is efficient (in terms of the compactness of the genome and evolvable in tasks involving non-trivial computation, robust to damage and capable of self-maintenance and self-repair.

  20. Independent Evolution of Similar Complex Cognitive Skills: The Importance of Embodied Degrees of Freedom

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    Mathias Osvath

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent years have seen acknowledgment from a number of researchers that similarities appear to exist in complex cognitive skills of distantly related species – most notably in corvids, parrots, delphinids, and great apes. Discoveries on complex cognitive skills in common hold the promise of interesting and fruitful new perspectives on cognition. That said, some theoretical approaches seem largely to be lacking. We draw attention to the importance of pre-existing constraints on and freedoms of the evolving animal, which might prove as important as external selective pressures in understanding the evolution of cognition. To elucidate our point, we briefly describe one contemporary cognitive-science approach to cognition. Accounts on cognitive evolution both in behavioral ecology and animal cognition are often hampered by simplistic input-output-based views on cognition. Cognition – in particular complex cognition – may influence animal behaviors in ways that cannot be captured by a purely selectionist account. We discuss the evolutionary processes underlying independently evolved yet similar characters. We highlight the importance of the difference between parallel and convergent evolution in understanding whether complex cognition arises repeatedly only through similar selective pressures; or whether underlying, previously evolved structures are crucial for the occurrence of cognitive similarities. In conclusion we suggest that the developmental sequences leading to apparently similar cognitive skills require further investigation to reveal the evolutionary processes behind them. Our aim is not one of providing ultimate answers to the questions we raise; instead, we draw attention to their existence, the better that they may be addressed.

  1. Convergent evolution of a complex fruit structure in the tribe Brassiceae (Brassicaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jocelyn C; Tisdale, Tracy E; Donohue, Kathleen; Wheeler, Andrew; Al-Yahya, Mohammed A; Kramer, Elena M

    2011-12-01

    Many angiosperms have fruit morphologies that result in seeds from the same plant having different dispersal capabilities. A prime example is found in the Brassiceae (Brassicaceae), which has many members with segmented or heteroarthrocarpic fruits. Since only 40% of the genera are heteroarthrocarpic, this tribe provides an opportunity to study the evolution of an ecologically significant novelty and its variants. We analyzed nuclear (PHYA) and plastid (matK) sequences from 66 accessions using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference approaches. The evolution of heteroarthrocarpy and its variants was evaluated using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood ancestral state reconstructions. Although nuclear and plastid phylogenies are incongruent with each other, the following findings are consistent: (1) Cakile, Crambe, Vella, and Zilla lineages are monophyletic; (2) the Nigra lineage is not monophyletic; and (3) within the Cakile clade, Cakile, Didesmus, and Erucaria are paraphyletic. Despite differences in the matK and PHYA topologies at both deep and shallow nodes, similar patterns of morphological evolution emerge. Heteroarthrocarpy, a complex morphological trait, has evolved multiple times across the tribe. Moreover, there are convergent transitions in dehiscence capabilities and fruit disarticulation across the tribe. We present the first explicit analysis of fruit evolution within the Brassiceae, which exemplifies evolutionary lability. The repeated loss and gain of segment dehiscence and disarticulation suggests conservation in the genetic pathway controlling abscission with differential expression across taxa. This study provides a strong foundation for future studies of mechanisms underlying variation in dispersal capabilities of Brassiceae.

  2. Diversity of bile salts in fish and amphibians: evolution of a complex biochemical pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagey, Lee R; Møller, Peter R; Hofmann, Alan F; Krasowski, Matthew D

    2010-01-01

    Bile salts are the major end metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion, as well as shaping of the gut microflora. Previous studies had demonstrated variation of bile salt structures across vertebrate species. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt variation in fish and amphibians, particularly in analysis of the biliary bile salts of Agnatha and Chondrichthyes. While there is significant structural variation of bile salts across all fish orders, bile salt profiles are generally stable within orders of fish and do not correlate with differences in diet. This large data set allowed us to infer evolutionary changes in the bile salt synthetic pathway. The hypothesized ancestral bile salt synthetic pathway, likely exemplified in extant hagfish, is simpler and much shorter than the pathway of most teleost fish and terrestrial vertebrates. Thus, the bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt synthetic pathways provides a rich model system for the molecular evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates.

  3. Pygmy squids and giant brains: mapping the complex cephalopod CNS by phalloidin staining of vibratome sections and whole-mount preparations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wollesen, T; Loesel, R; Wanninger, A

    2009-01-01

    Among bilaterian invertebrates, cephalopod molluscs (e.g., squids, cuttlefish and octopuses) have a central nervous system (CNS) that rivals in complexity that of the phylogenetically distant vertebrates (e.g., mouse and human). However, this prime example of convergent evolution has rarely been...... the subject of recent developmental and evolutionary studies, which may partly be due to the lack of suitable neural markers and the large size of cephalopod brains. Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of fluorescence-coupled phalloidin to characterize the CNS of cephalopods using histochemistry combined...... with confocal laser scanning microscopy. Whole-mount preparations of developmental stages as well as vibratome sections of embryonic and adult brains were analyzed and the benefits of this technique are illustrated. Compared to classical neuroanatomical and antibody-based studies, phalloidin labeling...

  4. 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.

  5. Copper complexes as catalyst precursors in the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kügler, Merle; Scholz, Julius; Kronz, Andreas; Siewert, Inke

    2016-04-28

    Herein, we report the synthesis and species distribution of copper(ii) complexes based on two different ligand scaffolds and the application of the two complexes in the electrochemical proton reduction catalysis. The ligands bind to one or two copper(II) ions and the pH-dependent mono/dinuclear equilibrium depends on the steric bulk of the ligands. The two water soluble copper(II) complexes were investigated for their activities in the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In both complexes the copper(ii) ions have a N4-coordination environment composed of N-heterocycles, although in different coordination geometries (SPY-5 and TBPY-5). The solutions of the complexes were highly active catalysts in water at acidic pH but the complexes decompose under catalytic conditions. They act as precursors for highly active copper(0) and Cu2O deposits at the electrode surface, which are in turn the active catalysts. The absence or presence of the ligands has neither an influence on the catalytic activity of the solutions nor an influence on the activity of the deposit formed during controlled potential electrolysis. Finally, we can draw some conclusions on the stability of copper catalysts in the aqueous electrochemical HER.

  6. Peptidomic Analysis of the Brain and Corpora Cardiaca-Corpora Allata Complex in the Bombyx mori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoguang Liu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is an important economic insect for silk production. However, many of the mature peptides relevant to its various life stages remain unknown. Using RP-HPLC, MALDI-TOF MS, and previously identified peptides from B. mori and other insects in the transcriptome database, we created peptide profiles showing a total of 6 ion masses that could be assigned to peptides in eggs, including one previously unidentified peptide. A further 49 peptides were assigned to larval brains. 17 new mature peptides were identified in isolated masses. 39 peptides were found in pupal brains with 8 unidentified peptides. 48 were found in adult brains with 12 unidentified peptides. These new unidentified peptides showed highly significant matches in all MS analysis. These matches were then searched against the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI database to provide new annotations for these mature peptides. In total, 59 mature peptides in 19 categories were found in the brains of silkworms at the larval, pupal, and adult stages. These results demonstrate that peptidomic variation across different developmental stages can be dramatic. Moreover, the corpora cardiaca-corpora allata (CC-CA complex was examined during the fifth larval instar. A total of 41 ion masses were assigned to peptides.

  7. Peptidomic Analysis of the Brain and Corpora Cardiaca-Corpora Allata Complex in the Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoguang; Ning, Xia; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Wenfeng; Zhao, Zhangwu; Zhang, Qingwen

    2012-01-01

    The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is an important economic insect for silk production. However, many of the mature peptides relevant to its various life stages remain unknown. Using RP-HPLC, MALDI-TOF MS, and previously identified peptides from B. mori and other insects in the transcriptome database, we created peptide profiles showing a total of 6 ion masses that could be assigned to peptides in eggs, including one previously unidentified peptide. A further 49 peptides were assigned to larval brains. 17 new mature peptides were identified in isolated masses. 39 peptides were found in pupal brains with 8 unidentified peptides. 48 were found in adult brains with 12 unidentified peptides. These new unidentified peptides showed highly significant matches in all MS analysis. These matches were then searched against the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database to provide new annotations for these mature peptides. In total, 59 mature peptides in 19 categories were found in the brains of silkworms at the larval, pupal, and adult stages. These results demonstrate that peptidomic variation across different developmental stages can be dramatic. Moreover, the corpora cardiaca-corpora allata (CC-CA) complex was examined during the fifth larval instar. A total of 41 ion masses were assigned to peptides.

  8. Hierarchical organization of functional connectivity in the mouse brain: a complex network approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardella, Giampiero; Bifone, Angelo; Gabrielli, Andrea; Gozzi, Alessandro; Squartini, Tiziano

    2016-08-01

    This paper represents a contribution to the study of the brain functional connectivity from the perspective of complex networks theory. More specifically, we apply graph theoretical analyses to provide evidence of the modular structure of the mouse brain and to shed light on its hierarchical organization. We propose a novel percolation analysis and we apply our approach to the analysis of a resting-state functional MRI data set from 41 mice. This approach reveals a robust hierarchical structure of modules persistent across different subjects. Importantly, we test this approach against a statistical benchmark (or null model) which constrains only the distributions of empirical correlations. Our results unambiguously show that the hierarchical character of the mouse brain modular structure is not trivially encoded into this lower-order constraint. Finally, we investigate the modular structure of the mouse brain by computing the Minimal Spanning Forest, a technique that identifies subnetworks characterized by the strongest internal correlations. This approach represents a faster alternative to other community detection methods and provides a means to rank modules on the basis of the strength of their internal edges.

  9. Supplementation with complex milk lipids during brain development promotes neuroplasticity without altering myelination or vascular density

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosamond B. Guillermo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Supplementation with complex milk lipids (CML during postnatal brain development has been shown to improve spatial reference learning in rats. Objective: The current study examined histo-biological changes in the brain following CML supplementation and their relationship to the observed improvements in memory. Design: The study used the brain tissues from the rats (male Wistar, 80 days of age after supplementing with either CML or vehicle during postnatal day 10–80. Immunohistochemical staining of synaptophysin, glutamate receptor-1, myelin basic protein, isolectin B-4, and glial fibrillary acidic protein was performed. The average area and the density of the staining and the numbers of astrocytes and capillaries were assessed and analysed. Results: Compared with control rats, CML supplementation increased the average area of synaptophysin staining and the number of GFAP astrocytes in the CA3 sub-region of the hippocampus (p<0.01, but not in the CA4 sub-region. The supplementation also led to an increase in dopamine output in the striatum that was related to nigral dopamine expression (p<0.05, but did not alter glutamate receptors, myelination or vascular density. Conclusion: CML supplementation may enhance neuroplasticity in the CA3 sub-regions of the hippocampus. The brain regions-specific increase of astrocyte may indicate a supporting role for GFAP in synaptic plasticity. CML supplementation did not associate with postnatal white matter development or vascular remodelling.

  10. [The evolution of human cultural behavior: notes on Darwinism and complexity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peric, Mikael; Murrieta, Rui Sérgio Sereni

    2015-12-01

    The article analyzes three schools that can be understood as central in studies of the evolution of human behavior within the paradigm of evolution by natural selection: human behavioral ecology (HBE), evolutionary psychology, and dual inheritance. These three streams of thought are used to depict the Darwinist landscape and pinpoint its strong suits and limitations. Theoretical gaps were identified that seem to reduce these schools' ability to account for the diversity of human evolutionary behavior. Their weak points include issues related to the concept of reproductive success, types of adaptation, and targets of selection. An interdisciplinary approach is proposed as the solution to this dilemma, where complex adaptive systems would serve as a source.

  11. Simultaneous measurements of photocurrents and H2O2 evolution from solvent exposed photosystem 2 complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vöpel, Tobias; Ning Saw, En; Hartmann, Volker; Williams, Rhodri; Müller, Frank; Schuhmann, Wolfgang; Plumeré, Nicolas; Nowaczyk, Marc; Ebbinghaus, Simon; Rögner, Matthias

    2015-03-22

    In plants, algae, and cyanobacteria, photosystem 2 (PS2) catalyzes the light driven oxidation of water. The main products of this reaction are protons and molecular oxygen. In vitro, however, it was demonstrated that reactive oxygen species like hydrogen peroxide are obtained as partially reduced side products. The transition from oxygen to hydrogen peroxide evolution might be induced by light triggered degradation of PS2's active center. Herein, the authors propose an analytical approach to investigate light induced bioelectrocatalytic processes such as PS2 catalyzed water splitting. By combining chronoamperometry and fluorescence microscopy, the authors can simultaneously monitor the photocurrent and the hydrogen peroxide evolution of light activated, solvent exposed PS2 complexes, which have been immobilized on a functionalized gold electrode. The authors show that under limited electron mediation PS2 displays a lower photostability that correlates with an enhanced H2O2 generation as a side product of the light induced water oxidation.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 s...

  13. Receiver discriminability drives the evolution of complex sexual signals by sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jianguo; Song, Xiaowei; Zhu, Bicheng; Fang, Guangzhan; Tang, Yezhong; Ryan, Michael J

    2016-04-01

    A hallmark of sexual selection by mate choice is the evolution of exaggerated traits, such as longer tails in birds and more acoustic components in the calls of birds and frogs. Trait elaboration can be opposed by costs such as increased metabolism and greater predation risk, but cognitive processes of the receiver can also put a brake on trait elaboration. For example, according to Weber's Law traits of a fixed absolute difference will be more difficult to discriminate as the absolute magnitude increases. Here, we show that in the Emei music frog (Babina daunchina) increases in the fundamental frequency between successive notes in the male advertisement call, which increases the spectral complexity of the call, facilitates the female's ability to compare the number of notes between calls. These results suggest that female's discriminability provides the impetus to switch from enhancement of signaling magnitude (i.e., adding more notes into calls) to employing a new signal feature (i.e., increasing frequency among notes) to increase complexity. We suggest that increasing the spectral complexity of notes ameliorates some of the effects of Weber's Law, and highlights how perceptual and cognitive biases of choosers can have important influences on the evolution of courtship signals.

  14. How evolution generates complexity without design: language as an instructional metaphor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R

    2012-03-01

    One of the major stumbling blocks to understanding evolution is the difficulty in reconciling the emergence of complexity with the apparently undirected forces that drive evolutionary processes. This difficulty was originally framed as the "Watch and Watchmaker" argument and more recently revived by proponents of "intelligent design." Undergraduates in particular often attribute purpose and forethought as the driving force behind biological phenomena, and have difficulty understanding evolutionary processes. To demonstrate that complexity can arise solely through mutations that fix in populations via natural selection or drift, we can use analogies where processes can be observed across short time frames and where the key data are accessible to those without specialized biological knowledge. The evolution of language provides such an example. Processes of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, acquisition of new functions, punctuated equilibria, and lateral gene transfer can be illustrated using examples of changing spellings, neologism, and acquisition of words from other languages. The examples presented in this article are readily accessible, and demonstrate to students that languages have dynamically increased in complexity, simply driven by the usage patterns of their speakers.

  15. Processing of audiovisual associations in the human brain: dependency on expectations and rule complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riikka eLindström

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In order to respond to environmental changes appropriately, the human brain must not only be able to detect environmental changes but also to form expectations of forthcoming events. The events in the external environment often have a number of multisensory features such as pitch and form. For integrated percepts of objects and events, crossmodal processing and crossmodally induced expectations of forthcoming events are needed. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the expectations created by visual stimuli can modulate the deviance detection in the auditory modality, as reflected by auditory event-related potentials (ERPs. Additionally, it was studied whether the complexity of the rules linking auditory and visual stimuli together affects this process. The N2 deflection of the ERP was observed in response to violations in the subjects' expectation of a forthcoming tone. Both temporal aspects and cognitive demands during the audiovisual deviance detection task modulated the brain processes involved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Uncoupling of complex regulatory patterning during evolution of larval development in echinoderms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennings Charlotte K

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Conservation of orthologous regulatory gene expression domains, especially along the neuroectodermal anterior-posterior axis, in animals as disparate as flies and vertebrates suggests that common patterning mechanisms have been conserved since the base of Bilateria. The homology of axial patterning is far less clear for the many marine animals that undergo a radical transformation in body plan during metamorphosis. The embryos of these animals are microscopic, feeding within the plankton until they metamorphose into their adult forms. Results We describe here the localization of 14 transcription factors within the ectoderm during early embryogenesis in Patiria miniata, a sea star with an indirectly developing planktonic bipinnaria larva. We find that the animal-vegetal axis of this very simple embryo is surprisingly well patterned. Furthermore, the patterning that we observe throughout the ectoderm generally corresponds to that of "head/anterior brain" patterning known for hemichordates and vertebrates, which share a common ancestor with the sea star. While we suggest here that aspects of head/anterior brain patterning are generally conserved, we show that another suite of genes involved in retinal determination is absent from the ectoderm of these echinoderms and instead operates within the mesoderm. Conclusions Our findings therefore extend, for the first time, evidence of a conserved axial pattering to echinoderm embryos exhibiting maximal indirect development. The dissociation of head/anterior brain patterning from "retinal specification" in echinoderm blastulae might reflect modular changes to a developmental gene regulatory network within the ectoderm that facilitates the evolution of these microscopic larvae.

  19. Persistency and flexibility of complex brain networks underlie dual-task interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavash, Mohsen; Hilgetag, Claus C; Thiel, Christiane M; Gießing, Carsten

    2015-09-01

    Previous studies on multitasking suggest that performance decline during concurrent task processing arises from interfering brain modules. Here, we used graph-theoretical network analysis to define functional brain modules and relate the modular organization of complex brain networks to behavioral dual-task costs. Based on resting-state and task fMRI we explored two organizational aspects potentially associated with behavioral interference when human subjects performed a visuospatial and speech task simultaneously: the topological overlap between persistent single-task modules, and the flexibility of single-task modules in adaptation to the dual-task condition. Participants showed a significant decline in visuospatial accuracy in the dual-task compared with single visuospatial task. Global analysis of topological similarity between modules revealed that the overlap between single-task modules significantly correlated with the decline in visuospatial accuracy. Subjects with larger overlap between single-task modules showed higher behavioral interference. Furthermore, lower flexible reconfiguration of single-task modules in adaptation to the dual-task condition significantly correlated with larger decline in visuospatial accuracy. Subjects with lower modular flexibility showed higher behavioral interference. At the regional level, higher overlap between single-task modules and less modular flexibility in the somatomotor cortex positively correlated with the decline in visuospatial accuracy. Additionally, higher modular flexibility in cingulate and frontal control areas and lower flexibility in right-lateralized nodes comprising the middle occipital and superior temporal gyri supported dual-tasking. Our results suggest that persistency and flexibility of brain modules are important determinants of dual-task costs. We conclude that efficient dual-tasking benefits from a specific balance between flexibility and rigidity of functional brain modules. © 2015 Wiley

  20. Complex regional pain syndrome type I affects brain structure in prefrontal and motor cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burkhard Pleger

    Full Text Available The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and applied voxel-by-voxel statistics to compare white and gray matter brain segments of CRPS patients with matched controls. Patients and controls were statistically compared in two different ways: First, we applied a 2-sample ttest to compare whole brain white and gray matter structure between patients and controls. Second, we aimed to assess structural alterations specifically of the primary somatosensory (S1 and motor cortex (M1 contralateral to the CRPS affected side. To this end, MRI scans of patients with left-sided CRPS (and matched controls were horizontally flipped before preprocessing and region-of-interest-based group comparison. The unpaired ttest of the "non-flipped" data revealed that CRPS patients presented increased gray matter density in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. The same test applied to the "flipped" data showed further increases in gray matter density, not in the S1, but in the M1 contralateral to the CRPS-affected limb which were inversely related to decreased white matter density of the internal capsule within the ipsilateral brain hemisphere. The gray-white matter interaction between motor cortex and internal capsule suggests compensatory mechanisms within the central motor system possibly due to motor dysfunction. Altered gray matter structure in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may occur in response to emotional processes such as pain-related suffering or elevated analgesic top-down control.

  1. Complex regional pain syndrome type I affects brain structure in prefrontal and motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleger, Burkhard; Draganski, Bogdan; Schwenkreis, Peter; Lenz, Melanie; Nicolas, Volkmar; Maier, Christoph; Tegenthoff, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and applied voxel-by-voxel statistics to compare white and gray matter brain segments of CRPS patients with matched controls. Patients and controls were statistically compared in two different ways: First, we applied a 2-sample ttest to compare whole brain white and gray matter structure between patients and controls. Second, we aimed to assess structural alterations specifically of the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor cortex (M1) contralateral to the CRPS affected side. To this end, MRI scans of patients with left-sided CRPS (and matched controls) were horizontally flipped before preprocessing and region-of-interest-based group comparison. The unpaired ttest of the "non-flipped" data revealed that CRPS patients presented increased gray matter density in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. The same test applied to the "flipped" data showed further increases in gray matter density, not in the S1, but in the M1 contralateral to the CRPS-affected limb which were inversely related to decreased white matter density of the internal capsule within the ipsilateral brain hemisphere. The gray-white matter interaction between motor cortex and internal capsule suggests compensatory mechanisms within the central motor system possibly due to motor dysfunction. Altered gray matter structure in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may occur in response to emotional processes such as pain-related suffering or elevated analgesic top-down control.

  2. Understanding the Role of GPCR Heteroreceptor Complexes in Modulating the Brain Networks in Health and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O.; Carlsson, Jens; Ambrogini, Patricia; Narváez, Manuel; Wydra, Karolina; Tarakanov, Alexander O.; Li, Xiang; Millón, Carmelo; Ferraro, Luca; Cuppini, Riccardo; Tanganelli, Sergio; Liu, Fang; Filip, Malgorzata; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Fuxe, Kjell

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of allosteric receptor–receptor interactions in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteroreceptor complexes of the central nervous system (CNS) gave a new dimension to brain integration and neuropsychopharmacology. The molecular basis of learning and memory was proposed to be based on the reorganization of the homo- and heteroreceptor complexes in the postjunctional membrane of synapses. Long-term memory may be created by the transformation of parts of the heteroreceptor complexes into unique transcription factors which can lead to the formation of specific adapter proteins. The observation of the GPCR heterodimer network (GPCR-HetNet) indicated that the allosteric receptor–receptor interactions dramatically increase GPCR diversity and biased recognition and signaling leading to enhanced specificity in signaling. Dysfunction of the GPCR heteroreceptor complexes can lead to brain disease. The findings of serotonin (5-HT) hetero and isoreceptor complexes in the brain over the last decade give new targets for drug development in major depression. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in depression via 5-HT, galanin peptides and zinc involve a number of GPCR heteroreceptor complexes in the raphe-hippocampal system: GalR1-5-HT1A, GalR1-5-HT1A-GPR39, GalR1-GalR2, and putative GalR1-GalR2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes. The 5-HT1A receptor protomer remains a receptor enhancing antidepressant actions through its participation in hetero- and homoreceptor complexes listed above in balance with each other. In depression, neuromodulation of neuronal networks in the raphe-hippocampal system and the cortical regions via 5-HT and fibroblast growth factor 2 involves either FGFR1-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes or the 5-HT isoreceptor complexes such as 5-HT1A-5-HT7 and 5-HT1A-5-HT2A. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in cocaine use disorder via dopamine (DA) and adenosine signals involve A2AR-D2R and A2AR-D2R-Sigma1R heteroreceptor complexes in the dorsal and

  3. Understanding the Role of GPCR Heteroreceptor Complexes in Modulating the Brain Networks in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O; Carlsson, Jens; Ambrogini, Patricia; Narváez, Manuel; Wydra, Karolina; Tarakanov, Alexander O; Li, Xiang; Millón, Carmelo; Ferraro, Luca; Cuppini, Riccardo; Tanganelli, Sergio; Liu, Fang; Filip, Malgorzata; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Fuxe, Kjell

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of allosteric receptor-receptor interactions in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteroreceptor complexes of the central nervous system (CNS) gave a new dimension to brain integration and neuropsychopharmacology. The molecular basis of learning and memory was proposed to be based on the reorganization of the homo- and heteroreceptor complexes in the postjunctional membrane of synapses. Long-term memory may be created by the transformation of parts of the heteroreceptor complexes into unique transcription factors which can lead to the formation of specific adapter proteins. The observation of the GPCR heterodimer network (GPCR-HetNet) indicated that the allosteric receptor-receptor interactions dramatically increase GPCR diversity and biased recognition and signaling leading to enhanced specificity in signaling. Dysfunction of the GPCR heteroreceptor complexes can lead to brain disease. The findings of serotonin (5-HT) hetero and isoreceptor complexes in the brain over the last decade give new targets for drug development in major depression. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in depression via 5-HT, galanin peptides and zinc involve a number of GPCR heteroreceptor complexes in the raphe-hippocampal system: GalR1-5-HT1A, GalR1-5-HT1A-GPR39, GalR1-GalR2, and putative GalR1-GalR2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes. The 5-HT1A receptor protomer remains a receptor enhancing antidepressant actions through its participation in hetero- and homoreceptor complexes listed above in balance with each other. In depression, neuromodulation of neuronal networks in the raphe-hippocampal system and the cortical regions via 5-HT and fibroblast growth factor 2 involves either FGFR1-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes or the 5-HT isoreceptor complexes such as 5-HT1A-5-HT7 and 5-HT1A-5-HT2A. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in cocaine use disorder via dopamine (DA) and adenosine signals involve A2AR-D2R and A2AR-D2R-Sigma1R heteroreceptor complexes in the dorsal and

  4. The Cosmic Zoo: The (Near) Inevitability of the Evolution of Complex, Macroscopic Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bains, William; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2016-06-30

    Life on Earth provides a unique biological record from single-cell microbes to technologically intelligent life forms. Our evolution is marked by several major steps or innovations along a path of increasing complexity from microbes to space-faring humans. Here we identify various major key innovations, and use an analytical toolset consisting of a set of models to analyse how likely each key innovation is to occur. Our conclusion is that once the origin of life is accomplished, most of the key innovations can occur rather readily. The conclusion for other worlds is that if the origin of life can occur rather easily, we should live in a cosmic zoo, as the innovations necessary to lead to complex life will occur with high probability given sufficient time and habitat. On the other hand, if the origin of life is rare, then we might live in a rather empty universe.

  5. The Cosmic Zoo: The (Near Inevitability of the Evolution of Complex, Macroscopic Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Bains

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Life on Earth provides a unique biological record from single-cell microbes to technologically intelligent life forms. Our evolution is marked by several major steps or innovations along a path of increasing complexity from microbes to space-faring humans. Here we identify various major key innovations, and use an analytical toolset consisting of a set of models to analyse how likely each key innovation is to occur. Our conclusion is that once the origin of life is accomplished, most of the key innovations can occur rather readily. The conclusion for other worlds is that if the origin of life can occur rather easily, we should live in a cosmic zoo, as the innovations necessary to lead to complex life will occur with high probability given sufficient time and habitat. On the other hand, if the origin of life is rare, then we might live in a rather empty universe.

  6. The Cosmic Zoo: The (Near) Inevitability of the Evolution of Complex, Macroscopic Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bains, William; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Life on Earth provides a unique biological record from single-cell microbes to technologically intelligent life forms. Our evolution is marked by several major steps or innovations along a path of increasing complexity from microbes to space-faring humans. Here we identify various major key innovations, and use an analytical toolset consisting of a set of models to analyse how likely each key innovation is to occur. Our conclusion is that once the origin of life is accomplished, most of the key innovations can occur rather readily. The conclusion for other worlds is that if the origin of life can occur rather easily, we should live in a cosmic zoo, as the innovations necessary to lead to complex life will occur with high probability given sufficient time and habitat. On the other hand, if the origin of life is rare, then we might live in a rather empty universe. PMID:27376334

  7. Damage Evolution in Complex-Phase and Dual-Phase Steels during Edge Stretching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Nikky; Butcher, Cliff; Worswick, Michael James; Bellhouse, Erika; Gao, Jeff

    2017-03-27

    The role of microstructural damage in controlling the edge stretchability of Complex-Phase (CP) and Dual-Phase (DP) steels was evaluated using hole tension experiments. The experiments considered a tensile specimen with a hole at the center of specimen that is either sheared (sheared edge condition) or drilled and then reamed (reamed edge condition). The damage mechanism and accumulation in the CP and DP steels were systematically characterized by interrupting the hole tension tests at different strain levels using scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis and optical microscopy. Martensite cracking and decohesion of ferrite-martensite interfaces are the dominant nucleation mechanisms in the DP780. The primary source of void nucleation in the CP800 is nucleation at TiN particles, with secondary void formation at martensite/bainite interfaces near the failure strain. The rate of damage evolution is considerably higher for the sheared edge in contrast with the reamed edge since the shearing process alters the microstructure in the shear affected zone (SAZ) by introducing work-hardening and initial damage behind the sheared edge. The CP microstructures were shown to be less prone to shear-induced damage than the DP materials resulting in much higher sheared edge formability. Microstructural damage in the CP and DP steels was characterized to understand the interaction between microstructure, damage evolution and edge formability during edge stretching. An analytical model for void evolution and coalescence was developed and applied to predict the damage rate in these rather diverse microstructures.

  8. Complexity, Compassion and Self-Organisation: Human Evolution and the Vulnerable Ape Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick P. Winder

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans are agents capable of helping others, learning new behaviours and forgetting old ones. The evolutionary approach to archaeological systems has therefore been hampered by the 'modern synthesis' - a gene-centred model of evolution as a process that eliminates those that cannot handle stress. The result has been a form of environmental determinism that explains human evolution in terms of heroic struggles and selective winnowing. Biologists committed to the modern synthesis have either dismissed agency as a delusion wrought in our bodies by natural selection, or imposed a sharp, Cartesian split between 'natural' and 'artificial' ecologies. We revisit the seminal literature of evolutionary biology and show that the paradigmatic fault lines of 21st century anthropology can be traced back to the 19th century and beyond. Lamarck had developed a two-factor evolutionary theory - one factor an endogenous tendency to become more advanced and complex, the other an exogenous constraint that drove organisms into conformity with environment. Darwin tried to eliminate the progressive tendency and imposed linearity constraints on evolution that Thomas Henry Huxley rejected. When experimental evidence falsified Darwin's linear hypothesis, the race began to develop a new, gene-centred model of evolution. This became the modern synthesis. The modern synthesis is now under pressure from the evidence of anthropology, sociology, palaeontology, ecology and genetics. An 'extended synthesis' is emerging. If evolution is adequately summarised by the aphorism survival of the fittest, then 'fitness' cannot always be defined in the heroic sense of 'better able to compete and reproduce'. The fittest organisms are often those that evade selective winnowing, even when their ability to compete and reproduce has been compromised by their genes. Characteristically human traits like language, abstraction, compassion and altruism may have arisen as coping strategies that

  9. Restricted occurrence of Locusta migratoria ovary maturing parsin in the brain-corpora cardiaca complex of various insect species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, O; Tamarelle, M; Geoffre, S; Girardie, J

    1994-09-01

    Ovary maturing parsin (OMP) is a gonadotrophic molecule previously isolated from the neurosecretory lobes of the corpora cardiaca of Locusta migratoria (acridian Orthoptera). A polyclonal antiserum directed against the two biologically active domains of the L. migratoria (Lom) OMP was used to investigate the occurrence of Lom OMP-like substances in brain-corpora cardiaca complexes of other insect species. Using immunohistochemistry, specimens of 40 different insect species belonging to 13 insect orders were tested. The Lom OMP-like substance was strictly limited to specimens of insect species belonging to the Acridae. It occurred in non-basophilic cells of the pars intercerebralis that project to the corpora cardiaca, as in Locusta. Although the antiserum only detected Lom OMP-like material in the Acridae, it is possible that related molecules exist in other insects. The antiserum may be very specific for domains of the Lom OMP molecule that have not been highly conserved during evolution or possibly these domains are not accessible to the antiserum in other insects.

  10. The achaete-scute complex in Diptera: patterns of noncoding sequence evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negre, B; Simpson, P

    2015-10-01

    The achaete-scute complex (AS-C) has been a useful paradigm for the study of pattern formation and its evolution. achaete-scute genes have duplicated and evolved distinct expression patterns during the evolution of cyclorraphous Diptera. Are the expression patterns in different species driven by conserved regulatory elements? If so, when did such regulatory elements arise? Here, we have sequenced most of the AS-C of the fly Calliphora vicina (including the genes achaete, scute and lethal of scute) to compare noncoding sequences with known cis-regulatory sequences in Drosophila. The organization of the complex is conserved with respect to Drosophila species. There are numerous small stretches of conserved noncoding sequence that, in spite of high sequence turnover, display binding sites for known transcription factors. Synteny of the blocks of conserved noncoding sequences is maintained suggesting not only conservation of the position of regulatory elements but also an origin prior to the divergence between these two species. We propose that some of these enhancers originated by duplication with their target genes.

  11. Evolution of complexity in the volvocine algae: transitions in individuality through Darwin's eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herron, Matthew D; Michod, Richard E

    2008-02-01

    The transition from unicellular to differentiated multicellular organisms constitutes an increase in the level complexity, because previously existing individuals are combined to form a new, higher-level individual. The volvocine algae represent a unique opportunity to study this transition because they diverged relatively recently from unicellular relatives and because extant species display a range of intermediate grades between unicellular and multicellular, with functional specialization of cells. Following the approach Darwin used to understand "organs of extreme perfection" such as the vertebrate eye, this jump in complexity can be reduced to a series of small steps that cumulatively describe a gradual transition between the two levels. We use phylogenetic reconstructions of ancestral character states to trace the evolution of steps involved in this transition in volvocine algae. The history of these characters includes several well-supported instances of multiple origins and reversals. The inferred changes can be understood as components of cooperation-conflict-conflict mediation cycles as predicted by multilevel selection theory. One such cycle may have taken place early in volvocine evolution, leading to the highly integrated colonies seen in extant volvocine algae. A second cycle, in which the defection of somatic cells must be prevented, may still be in progress.

  12. Evolution of light-harvesting complex proteins from Chl c-containing algae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Puerta M Virginia

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Light harvesting complex (LHC proteins function in photosynthesis by binding chlorophyll (Chl and carotenoid molecules that absorb light and transfer the energy to the reaction center Chl of the photosystem. Most research has focused on LHCs of plants and chlorophytes that bind Chl a and b and extensive work on these proteins has uncovered a diversity of biochemical functions, expression patterns and amino acid sequences. We focus here on a less-studied family of LHCs that typically bind Chl a and c, and that are widely distributed in Chl c-containing and other algae. Previous phylogenetic analyses of these proteins suggested that individual algal lineages possess proteins from one or two subfamilies, and that most subfamilies are characteristic of a particular algal lineage, but genome-scale datasets had revealed that some species have multiple different forms of the gene. Such observations also suggested that there might have been an important influence of endosymbiosis in the evolution of LHCs. Results We reconstruct a phylogeny of LHCs from Chl c-containing algae and related lineages using data from recent sequencing projects to give ~10-fold larger taxon sampling than previous studies. The phylogeny indicates that individual taxa possess proteins from multiple LHC subfamilies and that several LHC subfamilies are found in distantly related algal lineages. This phylogenetic pattern implies functional differentiation of the gene families, a hypothesis that is consistent with data on gene expression, carotenoid binding and physical associations with other LHCs. In all probability LHCs have undergone a complex history of evolution of function, gene transfer, and lineage-specific diversification. Conclusion The analysis provides a strikingly different picture of LHC diversity than previous analyses of LHC evolution. Individual algal lineages possess proteins from multiple LHC subfamilies. Evolutionary relationships showed

  13. [Application of nootropic agents in complex treatment of patients with concussion of the brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkachev, A V

    2007-01-01

    65 patients with a mild craniocereberal trauma have been observed. Medical examination included among general clinical methods the following methods: KT (MRT) of the brain, oculist examination including the observation of eye fundus. For objectification of a patient' complaints the authors used orientation and Galvestona's amnesia tests, feeling scale (psychological test), the table to determine the level of memory. Tests have been carried out on the first, tenth and thirty day of the treatment. Patients of the first group received in a complex treatment -pramistar, patients of the second group - piracetam. Patients of both groups noted considerable improvement during a complex treatment (disappearance of headache, dizziness and nausea) and at the same time patients receiving pramistar had better restoration of orientation and feeling. Pramistar was also more effective in patients with amnesia.

  14. The number of cell types, information content, and the evolution of complex multicellularity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl J. Niklas

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The number of different cell types (NCT characterizing an organism is often used to quantify organismic complexity. This method results in the tautology that more complex organisms have a larger number of different kinds of cells, and that organisms with more different kinds of cells are more complex. This circular reasoning can be avoided (and simultaneously tested when NCT is plotted against different measures of organismic information content (e.g., genome or proteome size. This approach is illustrated by plotting the NCT of representative diatoms, green and brown algae, land plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates against data for genome size (number of base-pairs, proteome size (number of amino acids, and proteome functional versatility (number of intrinsically disordered protein domains or residues. Statistical analyses of these data indicate that increases in NCT fail to keep pace with increases in genome size, but exceed a one-to-one scaling relationship with increasing proteome size and with increasing numbers of intrinsically disordered protein residues. We interpret these trends to indicate that comparatively small increases in proteome (and not genome size are associated with disproportionate increases in NCT, and that proteins with intrinsically disordered domains enhance cell type diversity and thus contribute to the evolution of complex multicellularity.

  15. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speijer, Dave

    2011-05-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory chain complexity. The theory originated as a welcome explanation of isolated small scale cellular idiosyncrasies and as a reaction to 'overselectionism'. Here I contend, that in its extended form, it has major conceptual problems, can not explain observed patterns of complex processes, is too easily dismissive of alternative selectionist models, underestimates the creative force of complexity as such, and--if seen as a major evolutionary mechanism for all organisms--could stifle further thought regarding the evolution of highly complex biological processes. Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Conservative and compensatory evolution in oxidative phosphorylation complexes of angiosperms with highly divergent rates of mitochondrial genome evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havird, Justin C; Whitehill, Nicholas S; Snow, Christopher D; Sloan, Daniel B

    2015-12-01

    Interactions between nuclear and mitochondrial gene products are critical for eukaryotic cell function. Nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial-targeted proteins (N-mt genes) experience elevated rates of evolution, which has often been interpreted as evidence of nuclear compensation in response to elevated mitochondrial mutation rates. However, N-mt genes may be under relaxed functional constraints, which could also explain observed increases in their evolutionary rate. To disentangle these hypotheses, we examined patterns of sequence and structural evolution in nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded oxidative phosphorylation proteins from species in the angiosperm genus Silene with vastly different mitochondrial mutation rates. We found correlated increases in N-mt gene evolution in species with fast-evolving mitochondrial DNA. Structural modeling revealed an overrepresentation of N-mt substitutions at positions that directly contact mutated residues in mitochondrial-encoded proteins, despite overall patterns of conservative structural evolution. These findings support the hypothesis that selection for compensatory changes in response to mitochondrial mutations contributes to the elevated rate of evolution in N-mt genes. We discuss these results in light of theories implicating mitochondrial mutation rates and mitonuclear coevolution as drivers of speciation and suggest comparative and experimental approaches that could take advantage of heterogeneity in rates of mtDNA evolution across eukaryotes to evaluate such theories. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Pollutants increase song complexity and the volume of the brain area HVC in a songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shai Markman

    Full Text Available Environmental pollutants which alter endocrine function are now known to decrease vertebrate reproductive success. There is considerable evidence for endocrine disruption from aquatic ecosystems, but knowledge is lacking with regard to the interface between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Here, we show for the first time that birds foraging on invertebrates contaminated with environmental pollutants, show marked changes in both brain and behaviour. We found that male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris exposed to environmentally relevant levels of synthetic and natural estrogen mimics developed longer and more complex songs compared to control males, a sexually selected trait important in attracting females for reproduction. Moreover, females preferred the song of males which had higher pollutant exposure, despite the fact that experimentally dosed males showed reduced immune function. We also show that the key brain area controlling male song complexity (HVC is significantly enlarged in the contaminated birds. This is the first evidence that environmental pollutants not only affect, but paradoxically enhance a signal of male quality such as song. Our data suggest that female starlings would bias their choice towards exposed males, with possible consequences at the population level. As the starling is a migratory species, our results suggest that transglobal effects of pollutants on terrestrial vertebrate physiology and reproduction could occur in birds.

  18. Mitochondrial proteome analysis reveals depression of the Ndufs3 subunit and activity of complex I in diabetic rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taurino, Federica; Stanca, Eleonora; Siculella, Luisa; Trentadue, Raffaella; Papa, Sergio; Zanotti, Franco; Gnoni, Antonio

    2012-04-18

    Type-1 diabetes resulting from defective insulin secretion and consequent hyperglycemia, is associated with "diabetic encephalopathy." This is characterized by brain neurophysiological and structural changes resulting in impairment of cognitive function. The present proteomic analysis of brain mitochondrial proteins from streptozotocin-induced type-1 diabetic rats, shows a large decrement of the Ndufs3 protein subunit of complex I, decreased level of the mRNA and impaired catalytic activity of the complex in the diabetic rats as compared to controls. The severe depression of the expression and enzymatic activity of complex I can represent a critical contributing factor to the onset of the diabetic encephalopathy in type-1 diabetes.

  19. Primate brains, the 'island rule' and the evolution of Homo floresiensis

    OpenAIRE

    Montgomery, S. H.

    2013-01-01

    The taxonomic status of the small bodied hominin, Homo floresiensis, remains controversial. One contentious aspect of the debate concerns the small brain size estimated for specimen LB1 (Liang Bua 1). Based on intraspecific mammalian allometric relationships between brain and body size, it has been argued that the brain of LB1 is too small for its body mass and is therefore likely to be pathological. The relevance and general applicability of these scaling rules has, however, been challenged,...

  20. Evolution in functional complexity of heart rate dynamics: a measure of cardiac allograft adaptability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kresh, J Y; Izrailtyan, I

    1998-09-01

    The capacity of self-organized systems to adapt is embodied in the functional organization of intrinsic control mechanisms. Evolution in functional complexity of heart rate variability (HRV) was used as measure of the capacity of the transplanted heart to express newly emergent regulatory order. In a cross-sectional study of 100 patients after (0-10 yr) heart transplantation (HTX), heart rate dynamics were assessed using pointwise correlation dimension (PD2) analysis. A new observation is that, commencing with the acute event of allograft transplantation, the dynamics of rhythm formation proceed through complex phase transitions. At implantation, the donor heart manifested metronome-like chronotropic behavior (PD2 approximately 1.0). At 11-100 days, dimensional complexity of HRV reached a peak (PD2 approximately 2.0) associated with resurgence in the high-frequency component (0.15-0.5 Hz) of the power spectral density. Subsequent dimensional loss to PD2 approximately 1.0 at 20-30 mo after HTX was followed by a progressive near-linear gain in system complexity, reaching PD2 approximately 3.0 7-10 yr after HTX. The "dynamic reorganization" in the allograft rhythm-generating system, seen in the first 100 days, is a manifestation of the adaptive capacity of intrinsic control mechanisms. The loss of HRV 2 yr after HTX implies a withdrawal of intrinsic autonomic control and/or development of an entrained dynamic pattern characteristic of extrinsic sympathetic input. The subsequent long-term progressive rise in dimensional complexity of HRV can be attributed to the restoration of a functional order patterning parasympathetic control. The recognition that the decentralized heart can restitute the multidimensional state space of HR generator dynamics independent of external autonomic signaling may provide a new perspective on principles that constitute homeodynamic regulation.

  1. 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.

  2. Survival of the fattest: fat babies were the key to evolution of the large human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2003-09-01

    In the past 2 million years, the hominid lineage leading to modern humans evolved significantly larger and more sophisticated brains than other primates. We propose that the modern human brain was a product of having first evolved fat babies. Hence, the fattest (infants) became, mentally, the fittest adults. Human babies have brains and body fat each contributing to 11-14% of body weight, a situation which appears to be unique amongst terrestrial animals. Body fat in human babies provides three forms of insurance for brain development that are not available to other land-based species: (1) a large fuel store in the form of fatty acids in triglycerides; (2) the fatty acid precursors to ketone bodies which are key substrates for brain lipid synthesis; and (3) a store of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid, needed for normal brain development. The triple combination of high fuel demands, inability to import cholesterol or saturated fatty acids, and dependence on docosahexaenoic acid puts the mammalian brain in a uniquely difficult situation compared with other organs and makes its expansion in early humans all the more remarkable. We believe that fresh- and salt-water shorelines provided a uniquely rich, abundant and accessible food supply, and the only viable environment for evolving both body fat and larger brains in human infants.

  3. 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...

  4. Epistatic interactions modulate the evolution of mammalian mitochondrial respiratory complex components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moleirinho Ana

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The deleterious effect of a mutation can be reverted by a second-site interacting residue. This is an epistatic compensatory process explaining why mutations that are deleterious in some species are tolerated in phylogenetically related lineages, rendering evident that those mutations are, by all means, only deleterious in the species-specific context. Although an extensive and refined theoretical framework on compensatory evolution does exist, the supporting evidence remains limited, especially for protein models. In this current study, we focused on the molecular mechanism underlying the epistatic compensatory process in mammalian mitochondrial OXPHOS proteins using a combination of in-depth structural and sequence analyses. Results Modeled human structures were used in this study to predict the structural impairment and recovery of deleterious mutations alone and combined with an interacting compensatory partner, respectively. In two cases, COI and COIII, intramolecular interactions between spatially linked residues restore the folding pattern impaired by the deleterious mutation. In a third case, intermolecular contact between mitochondrial CYB and nuclear CYT1 encoded components of the cytochrome bc1 complex are likely to restore protein binding. Moreover, we observed different modes of compensatory evolution that have resulted in either a quasi-simultaneous occurrence of a mutation and corresponding compensatory partner, or in independent occurrences of mutations in distinct lineages that were always preceded by the compensatory site. Conclusion Epistatic interactions between individual replacements involving deleterious mutations seems to follow a parsimonious model of evolution in which genomes hold pre-compensating states that subsequently tolerate deleterious mutations. This phenomenon is likely to have been constraining the variability at coevolving sites and shaping the interaction between the mitochondrial and

  5. Evolution of a single gene highlights the complexity underlying molecular descriptions of fitness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, Matthew I.; Van Itallie, Elizabeth; Bennett, Matthew R.; Shamoo, Yousif

    2010-06-01

    Evolution by natural selection is the driving force behind the endless variation we see in nature, yet our understanding of how changes at the molecular level give rise to different phenotypes and altered fitness at the population level remains inadequate. The reproductive fitness of an organism is the most basic metric that describes the chance that an organism will succeed or fail in its environment and it depends upon a complex network of inter- and intramolecular interactions. A deeper understanding of the quantitative relationships relating molecular evolution to adaptation, and consequently fitness, can guide our understanding of important issues in biomedicine such as drug resistance and the engineering of new organisms with applications to biotechnology. We have developed the "weak link" approach to determine how changes in molecular structure and function can relate to fitness and evolutionary outcomes. By replacing adenylate kinase (AK), an essential gene, in a thermophile with a homologous AK from a mesophile we have created a maladapted weak link that produces a temperature-sensitive phenotype. The recombinant strain adapts to nonpermissive temperatures through point mutations to the weak link that increase both stability and activity of the enzyme AK at higher temperatures. Here, we propose a fitness function relating enzyme activity to growth rate and use it to create a dynamic model of a population of bacterial cells. Using metabolic control analysis we show that the growth rate exhibits thresholdlike behavior, saturating at high enzyme activity as other reactions in the energy metabolism pathway become rate limiting. The dynamic model accurately recapitulates observed evolutionary outcomes. These findings suggest that in vitro enzyme kinetic data, in combination with metabolic network analysis, can be used to create fitness functions and dynamic models of evolution within simple metabolic systems.

  6. 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.

  7. Simulation of Old Urban Residential Area Evolution Based on Complex Adaptive System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Fan; WANG Xiao-ming; HUA Hong

    2009-01-01

    On the basis of complex adaptive system theory,this paper proposed an agent-based model of old urban residential area,in which,residents and providers are the two adaptive agents.The behaviors of residents and providers in this model are trained with back propagation and simulated with Swarm software based on environment-rules-agents interaction.This model simulates the evolution of old urban residential area and analyzes the relations between the evolution and urban management with the background of Chaozhou city.As a result,the following are obtained:(1) Simulation without government intervention indicates the trend of housing ageing,environmental deterioration,economic depression,and social filtering-down in old urban residential area.If the development of old urban residential area is under control of developers in market,whose desire is profit maximization,and factors such as social justice,historic and culture value will be ignored.(2) If the government carries out some policies and measures which will perfectly serve their original aims,simulation reveals that old urban residential area could be adapted to environment and keep sustainable development.This conclusion emphasizes that government must act as initiator and program maker for guiding residents and other providers directly in the development of old urban residential area.

  8. Evolution of Complex Target SELEX to Identify Aptamers against Mammalian Cell-Surface Antigens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prabodhika Mallikaratchy

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The demand has increased for sophisticated molecular tools with improved detection limits. Such molecules should be simple in structure, yet stable enough for clinical applications. Nucleic acid aptamers (NAAs represent a class of molecules able to meet this demand. In particular, aptamers, a class of small nucleic acid ligands that are composed of single-stranded modified/unmodified RNA/DNA molecules, can be evolved from a complex library using Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX against almost any molecule. Since its introduction in 1990, in stages, SELEX technology has itself undergone several modifications, improving selection and broadening the repertoire of targets. This review summarizes these milestones that have pushed the field forward, allowing researchers to generate aptamers that can potentially be applied as therapeutic and diagnostic agents.

  9. Sex in smut fungi: Structure, function and evolution of mating-type complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakkeren, Guus; Kämper, Jörg; Schirawski, Jan

    2008-08-01

    Smut fungi are basidiomycete plant pathogens that pose a threat to many important cereal crops. In order to be pathogenic on plants, smut fungal cells of compatible mating-type need to fuse. Fusion and pathogenicity are regulated by two loci, a and b, which harbor conserved genes. The functions of the encoded mating-type complexes have been well-studied in the model fungus Ustilago maydis and will be briefly reviewed here. Sequence comparison of the mating-type loci of different smut and related fungi has revealed that these loci differ substantially in structure. These structural differences point to an evolution from tetrapolar to bipolar mating behavior, which might have occurred several independent times during fungal speciation.

  10. Evolution of Complex Target SELEX to Identify Aptamers against Mammalian Cell-Surface Antigens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallikaratchy, Prabodhika

    2017-01-30

    The demand has increased for sophisticated molecular tools with improved detection limits. Such molecules should be simple in structure, yet stable enough for clinical applications. Nucleic acid aptamers (NAAs) represent a class of molecules able to meet this demand. In particular, aptamers, a class of small nucleic acid ligands that are composed of single-stranded modified/unmodified RNA/DNA molecules, can be evolved from a complex library using Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) against almost any molecule. Since its introduction in 1990, in stages, SELEX technology has itself undergone several modifications, improving selection and broadening the repertoire of targets. This review summarizes these milestones that have pushed the field forward, allowing researchers to generate aptamers that can potentially be applied as therapeutic and diagnostic agents.

  11. Complex temperature evolution of the electronic structure of CaFe2As2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikary, Ganesh; Biswas, Deepnarayan; Sahadev, Nishaina; Bindu, R.; Kumar, Neeraj; Dhar, S. K.; Thamizhavel, A.; Maiti, Kalobaran

    2014-03-01

    Employing high resolution photoemission spectroscopy, we investigate the temperature evolution of the electronic structure of CaFe2As2, which is a parent compound of high temperature superconductors—CaFe2As2 exhibits superconductivity under pressure as well as doping of charge carriers. Photoemission results of CaFe2As2 in this study reveal a gradual shift of an energy band, α away from the chemical potential with decreasing temperature in addition to the spin density wave (SDW) transition induced Fermi surface reconstruction across SDW transition temperature. The corresponding hole pocket eventually disappears at lower temperatures, while the hole Fermi surface of the β band possessing finite p orbital character survives till the lowest temperature studied. These results, thus, reveal signature of complex charge redistribution among various energy bands as a function of temperature.

  12. Dominance hierarchy arising from the evolution of a complex small RNA regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Eléonore; Méheust, Raphaël; Soucaze, Marion; Goubet, Pauline M; Gallina, Sophie; Poux, Céline; Fobis-Loisy, Isabelle; Guillon, Eline; Gaude, Thierry; Sarazin, Alexis; Figeac, Martin; Prat, Elisa; Marande, William; Bergès, Hélène; Vekemans, Xavier; Billiard, Sylvain; Castric, Vincent

    2014-12-05

    The prevention of fertilization through self-pollination (or pollination by a close relative) in the Brassicaceae plant family is determined by the genotype of the plant at the self-incompatibility locus (S locus). The many alleles at this locus exhibit a dominance hierarchy that determines which of the two allelic specificities of a heterozygous genotype is expressed at the phenotypic level. Here, we uncover the evolution of how at least 17 small RNA (sRNA)-producing loci and their multiple target sites collectively control the dominance hierarchy among alleles within the gene controlling the pollen S-locus phenotype in a self-incompatible Arabidopsis species. Selection has created a dynamic repertoire of sRNA-target interactions by jointly acting on sRNA genes and their target sites, which has resulted in a complex system of regulation among alleles. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  13. EVOLUCIÓN, TEORÍA DE LAS EXTINCIONES, COMPLEJIDAD Evolution, Theory of Extinctions, Complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLOS EDUARDO MALDONADO

    Full Text Available Este texto discute la posibilidad del desarrollo de una teoría de las extinciones, una teoría inexistente hasta la fecha, y que vendría a ser la contraparte o el complemento de la teoría de la evolución. El problema central es el de la exploración de una teoría general de la complejidad, una tarea que permanece abierta e inconclusa hasta el momento. La paleontología y la biología evolutiva pueden verse como las dos caras de una moneda cuyo rasgo distintivo no es el gradualismo, sino los equilibrios puntuados y el catastrofismo. El tema de las extinciones se concentra aquí en la importancia y el papel de las extinciones masivas. A partir del diálogo entre biología y paleontología, evolución y extinciones, varias reflexiones se extrapolan al plano social, cultural y filosófico. El marco amplio es el de las ciencias de la complejidad.This paper discusses the possibility of reaching a theory of extinctions, a theory nonexistent so far that can be taken as complementary to the theory of evolution. The core problem is here the exploration of the general theory of complexity, a task that remains open and without a definite conclusion until now. Paleontology and biology can be grasped as the two faces of one and the same token whose most salient feature is punctuated equilibria and catastrophism, and not gradualism any longer. Extinctions are viewed here particularly as massive extinctions. After the dialogue between paleontology and biology, evolution and extinctions, a number of reflections are extrapolated to the social, cultural and philosophical framework. The general context hence is the one provided by the sciences of complexity.

  14. Anatomical network analysis shows decoupling of modular lability and complexity in the evolution of the primate skull.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borja Esteve-Altava

    Full Text Available Modularity and complexity go hand in hand in the evolution of the skull of primates. Because analyses of these two parameters often use different approaches, we do not know yet how modularity evolves within, or as a consequence of, an also-evolving complex organization. Here we use a novel network theory-based approach (Anatomical Network Analysis to assess how the organization of skull bones constrains the co-evolution of modularity and complexity among primates. We used the pattern of bone contacts modeled as networks to identify connectivity modules and quantify morphological complexity. We analyzed whether modularity and complexity evolved coordinately in the skull of primates. Specifically, we tested Herbert Simon's general theory of near-decomposability, which states that modularity promotes the evolution of complexity. We found that the skulls of extant primates divide into one conserved cranial module and up to three labile facial modules, whose composition varies among primates. Despite changes in modularity, statistical analyses reject a positive feedback between modularity and complexity. Our results suggest a decoupling of complexity and modularity that translates to varying levels of constraint on the morphological evolvability of the primate skull. This study has methodological and conceptual implications for grasping the constraints that underlie the developmental and functional integration of the skull of humans and other primates.

  15. Does constructive neutral evolution play an important role in the origin of cellular complexity? Making sense of the origins and uses of biological complexity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Speijer

    2011-01-01

    Recently, constructive neutral evolution has been touted as an important concept for the understanding of the emergence of cellular complexity. It has been invoked to help explain the development and retention of, amongst others, RNA splicing, RNA editing and ribosomal and mitochondrial respiratory

  16. Evolution of the Hox gene complex from an evolutionary ground state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Walter J; Kloter, Urs; Suga, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    In this chapter, we consider the question of how the ordered clusters of Hox genes arose during evolution. Since ordered Hox clusters are found in all major superphyla, we have to assume that the Hox clusters arose before the Cambrian "explosion" giving rise to all of these taxa. Based on his studies of the bithorax complex (BX-C) in Drosophila Lewis considered the ground state to be the mesothoracic segment (T2) since the deletion of all of the genes of the BX-C leads to a transformation of all segments from T3 to A8/9 (the last abdominal segment) into T2 segments. We define the developmental ground state genetically, by assuming that loss-of-function mutants lead to transformations toward the ground state, whereas gain-of-function mutants lead to homeotic transformations away from the ground state. By this definition, T2 also represents the developmental ground state, if one includes the anterior genes, that is, those of the Antennapedia complex. We have reconstructed the evolution of the Hox cluster on the basis of known genetic mechanisms which involve unequal crossover and lead from an urhox gene, first to an anterior and a posterior gene and subsequently to intermediate genes which are progressively inserted, between the anterior and posterior genes. These intermediate genes are recombinant due to unequal crossover, whereas the anterior and posterior genes are not affected and therefore had the longest time to diverge from the urhox gene. The molecular phylogenetic analysis strongly supports this model. We consider the ground state to be both developmental and evolutionary and to represent the prototypic body segment. It corresponds to T2 and is specified by Antennapedia or Hox6, respectively. Experiments in the mouse also suggest that the ground state is a thoracic segment. Evolution leads from the prototypic segment to segmental divergence in both the anterior and posterior direction. The most anterior head and tail segments are specified by homeobox genes

  17. Complex brain network properties in late L2 learners and native speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Alejandro; Gillon Dowens, Margaret; Molinaro, Nicola; Iturria-Medina, Yasser; Barraza, Paulo; García-Pentón, Lorna; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-02-01

    Whether the neural mechanisms that underlie the processing of a second language in highly proficient late bilinguals (L2 late learners) are similar or not to those that underlie the processing of the first language (L1) is still an issue under debate. In this study, a group of late learners of Spanish whose native language is English and a group of Spanish monolinguals were compared while they read sentences, some of which contained syntactic violations. A brain complex network analysis approach was used to assess the time-varying topological properties of the functional networks extracted from the electroencephalography (EEG) recording. Late L2 learners showed a lower degree of parallel information transfer and a slower propagation between regions of the brain functional networks while processing sentences containing a gender mismatch condition as compared with a standard sentence configuration. In contrast, no such differences between these conditions were detected in the Spanish monolinguals. This indicates that when a morphosyntactic language incongruence that does not exist in the native language is presented in the second language, the neural activation pattern is configured differently in highly proficient late bilinguals than in monolinguals.

  18. Structural bases for neurophysiological investigations of amygdaloid complex of the brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalimullina, Liliya B.; Kalkamanov, Kh. A.; Akhmadeev, Azat V.; Zakharov, Vadim P.; Sharafullin, Ildus F.

    2015-11-01

    Amygdala (Am) as a part of limbic system of the brain defines such important functions as adaptive behavior of animals, formation of emotions and memory, regulation of endocrine and visceral functions. We worked out, with the help of mathematic modelling of the pattern recognition theory, principles for organization of neurophysiological and neuromorphological studies of Am nuclei, which take into account the existing heterogeneity of its formations and optimize, to a great extent, the protocol for carrying out of such investigations. The given scheme of studies of Am’s structural-functional organization at its highly-informative sections can be used as a guide for precise placement of electrodes’, cannulae’s and microsensors into particular Am nucleus in the brain with the registration not only the nucleus itself, but also its extensions. This information is also important for defining the number of slices covering specific Am nuclei which must be investigated to reveal the physiological role of a particular part of amygdaloid complex.

  19. Abstracting meaning from complex information (gist reasoning) in adult traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vas, Asha Kuppachi; Spence, Jeffrey; Chapman, Sandra Bond

    2015-01-01

    Gist reasoning (abstracting meaning from complex information) was compared between adults with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI, n = 30) at least one year post injury and healthy adults (n = 40). The study also examined the contribution of executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and switching) and memory (immediate recall and memory for facts) to gist reasoning. The correspondence between gist reasoning and daily function was also examined in the TBI group. Results indicated that the TBI group performed significantly lower than the control group on gist reasoning, even after adjusting for executive functions and memory. Executive function composite was positively associated with gist reasoning (p reasoning significantly predicted daily function in the TBI group beyond the predictive ability of executive function alone (p = .011). Synthesizing and abstracting meaning(s) from information (i.e., gist reasoning) could provide an informative index into higher order cognition and daily functionality.

  20. Efficient physical embedding of topologically complex information processing networks in brains and computer circuits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle S Bassett

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Nervous systems are information processing networks that evolved by natural selection, whereas very large scale integrated (VLSI computer circuits have evolved by commercially driven technology development. Here we follow historic intuition that all physical information processing systems will share key organizational properties, such as modularity, that generally confer adaptivity of function. It has long been observed that modular VLSI circuits demonstrate an isometric scaling relationship between the number of processing elements and the number of connections, known as Rent's rule, which is related to the dimensionality of the circuit's interconnect topology and its logical capacity. We show that human brain structural networks, and the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans, also obey Rent's rule, and exhibit some degree of hierarchical modularity. We further show that the estimated Rent exponent of human brain networks, derived from MRI data, can explain the allometric scaling relations between gray and white matter volumes across a wide range of mammalian species, again suggesting that these principles of nervous system design are highly conserved. For each of these fractal modular networks, the dimensionality of the interconnect topology was greater than the 2 or 3 Euclidean dimensions of the space in which it was embedded. This relatively high complexity entailed extra cost in physical wiring: although all networks were economically or cost-efficiently wired they did not strictly minimize wiring costs. Artificial and biological information processing systems both may evolve to optimize a trade-off between physical cost and topological complexity, resulting in the emergence of homologous principles of economical, fractal and modular design across many different kinds of nervous and computational networks.

  1. The locust standard brain: a 3D standard of the central complex as a platform for neural network analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basil El Jundi

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Many insects use the pattern of polarized light in the sky for spatial orientation and navigation. We have investigated the polarization vision system in the desert locust. To create a common platform for anatomical studies on polarization vision pathways, Kurylas et al. (2008 have generated a three-dimensional (3D standard brain from confocal microscopy image stacks of 10 male brains, using two different standardization methods, the Iterative Shape Averaging (ISA procedure and the Virtual Insect Brain (VIB protocol. Comparison of both standardization methods showed that the VIB standard is ideal for comparative volume analysis of neuropils, whereas the ISA standard is the method of choice to analyze the morphology and connectivity of neurons. The central complex is a key processing stage for polarization information in the locust brain. To investigate neuronal connections between diverse central-complex neurons, we generated a higher-resolution standard atlas of the central complex and surrounding areas, using the ISA method based on brain sections from 20 individual central complexes. To explore the usefulness of this atlas, two central-complex neurons, a polarization-sensitive columnar neuron (type CPU1a and a tangential neuron that is activated during flight, the giant-fan shaped (GFS neuron, were reconstructed three-dimensionally from brain sections. To examine whether the GFS neuron is a candidate to contribute to synaptic input to the CPU1a neuron, we registered both neurons into the standardized central complex. Visualization of both neurons revealed a potential connection of the CPU1a and GFS neurons in layer II of the upper division of the central body.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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

    2012-01-01

    ... 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...

  3. Complex network inference from P300 signals: Decoding brain state under visual stimulus for able-bodied and disabled subjects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zhong-Ke; Cai, Qing; Dong, Na; Zhang, Shan-Shan; Bo, Yun; Zhang, Jie

    2016-10-01

    Distinguishing brain cognitive behavior underlying disabled and able-bodied subjects constitutes a challenging problem of significant importance. Complex network has established itself as a powerful tool for exploring functional brain networks, which sheds light on the inner workings of the human brain. Most existing works in constructing brain network focus on phase-synchronization measures between regional neural activities. In contrast, we propose a novel approach for inferring functional networks from P300 event-related potentials by integrating time and frequency domain information extracted from each channel signal, which we show to be efficient in subsequent pattern recognition. In particular, we construct brain network by regarding each channel signal as a node and determining the edges in terms of correlation of the extracted feature vectors. A six-choice P300 paradigm with six different images is used in testing our new approach, involving one able-bodied subject and three disabled subjects suffering from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain and spinal-cord injury, respectively. We then exploit global efficiency, local efficiency and small-world indices from the derived brain networks to assess the network topological structure associated with different target images. The findings suggest that our method allows identifying brain cognitive behaviors related to visual stimulus between able-bodied and disabled subjects.

  4. Reducing the time complexity of the derandomized evolution strategy with covariance matrix adaptation (CMA-ES).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Nikolaus; Müller, Sibylle D; Koumoutsakos, Petros

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a novel evolutionary optimization strategy based on the derandomized evolution strategy with covariance matrix adaptation (CMA-ES). This new approach is intended to reduce the number of generations required for convergence to the optimum. Reducing the number of generations, i.e., the time complexity of the algorithm, is important if a large population size is desired: (1) to reduce the effect of noise; (2) to improve global search properties; and (3) to implement the algorithm on (highly) parallel machines. Our method results in a highly parallel algorithm which scales favorably with large numbers of processors. This is accomplished by efficiently incorporating the available information from a large population, thus significantly reducing the number of generations needed to adapt the covariance matrix. The original version of the CMA-ES was designed to reliably adapt the covariance matrix in small populations but it cannot exploit large populations efficiently. Our modifications scale up the efficiency to population sizes of up to 10n, where n is the problem dimension. This method has been applied to a large number of test problems, demonstrating that in many cases the CMA-ES can be advanced from quadratic to linear time complexity.

  5. The Evolution of Software and Its Impact on Complex System Design in Robotic Spacecraft Embedded Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Roy

    2013-01-01

    The growth in computer hardware performance, coupled with reduced energy requirements, has led to a rapid expansion of the resources available to software systems, driving them towards greater logical abstraction, flexibility, and complexity. This shift in focus from compacting functionality into a limited field towards developing layered, multi-state architectures in a grand field has both driven and been driven by the history of embedded processor design in the robotic spacecraft industry.The combinatorial growth of interprocess conditions is accompanied by benefits (concurrent development, situational autonomy, and evolution of goals) and drawbacks (late integration, non-deterministic interactions, and multifaceted anomalies) in achieving mission success, as illustrated by the case of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Approaches to optimizing the benefits while mitigating the drawbacks have taken the form of the formalization of requirements, modular design practices, extensive system simulation, and spacecraft data trend analysis. The growth of hardware capability and software complexity can be expected to continue, with future directions including stackable commodity subsystems, computer-generated algorithms, runtime reconfigurable processors, and greater autonomy.

  6. Evolution and cell physiology. 4. Why invent yet another protein complex to build junctions in epithelial cells?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bivic, André

    2013-12-15

    The formation of the first epithelium was an essential step for animal evolution, since it has allowed coordination of the behavior of a cell layer and creation of a selective barrier between the internal medium and the outside world. The possibility of coupling the cells in a single layer has allowed morphogenetic events, such as tube formation, or gastrulation, to form more complex animal morphologies. The invention of sealed junctions between cells has allowed, on the other hand, creation of an asymmetry of nutrients or salts between the apical and the basal side of the epithelial layer. Creation of an internal medium has led to homeostasis, allowing the evolution of more complex physiological functions and the emergence of sophisticated animal shapes. During evolution, the origins of the first animals coincided with the invention of several protein complexes, including true cadherins and the polarity protein complexes. How these complexes regulate formation of the apicolateral border and the adherens junctions is still not fully understood. This review focuses on the role of these apical polarity complexes and, in particular, the Crumbs complex, which is essential for proper organization of epithelial layers from Drosophila to humans.

  7. 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.

  8. Pygmy squids and giant brains: mapping the complex cephalopod CNS by phalloidin staining of vibratome sections and whole-mount preparations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollesen, T; Loesel, R; Wanninger, A

    2009-04-30

    Among bilaterian invertebrates, cephalopod molluscs (e.g., squids, cuttlefish and octopuses) have a central nervous system (CNS) that rivals in complexity that of the phylogenetically distant vertebrates (e.g., mouse and human). However, this prime example of convergent evolution has rarely been the subject of recent developmental and evolutionary studies, which may partly be due to the lack of suitable neural markers and the large size of cephalopod brains. Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of fluorescence-coupled phalloidin to characterize the CNS of cephalopods using histochemistry combined with confocal laser scanning microscopy. Whole-mount preparations of developmental stages as well as vibratome sections of embryonic and adult brains were analyzed and the benefits of this technique are illustrated. Compared to classical neuroanatomical and antibody-based studies, phalloidin labeling experiments are less time-consuming and allow a high throughput of samples. Besides other advantages summarized here, phalloidin reliably labels the entire neuropil of the CNS of all squids, cuttlefish and octopuses investigated. This facilitates high-resolution in toto reconstructions of the CNS and contributes to a better understanding of the organization of neural networks. Amenable for multi-labeling experiments employing antibodies against neurotransmitters, proteins and enzymes, phalloidin constitutes an excellent neuropil marker for the complex cephalopod CNS.

  9. Song Function and the Evolution of Female Preferences: Why Birds Sing, Why Brains Matter

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    NOWICKI, STEPHEN; SEARCY, WILLIAM A

    2004-01-01

    A bstract : Analyzing the function of song and its evolution as a communication signal provides an essential backdrop for understanding the physiological and neural mechanisms responsible for song learning...

  10. The evolution of the dystroglycan complex, a major mediator of muscle integrity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josephine C. Adams

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Basement membrane (BM extracellular matrices are crucial for the coordination of different tissue layers. A matrix adhesion receptor that is important for BM function and stability in many mammalian tissues is the dystroglycan (DG complex. This comprises the non-covalently-associated extracellular α-DG, that interacts with laminin in the BM, and the transmembrane β-DG, that interacts principally with dystrophin to connect to the actin cytoskeleton. Mutations in dystrophin, DG, or several enzymes that glycosylate α-DG underlie severe forms of human muscular dystrophy. Nonwithstanding the pathophysiological importance of the DG complex and its fundamental interest as a non-integrin system of cell-ECM adhesion, the evolution of DG and its interacting proteins is not understood. We analysed the phylogenetic distribution of DG, its proximal binding partners and key processing enzymes in extant metazoan and relevant outgroups. We identify that DG originated after the divergence of ctenophores from porifera and eumetazoa. The C-terminal half of the DG core protein is highly-conserved, yet the N-terminal region, that includes the laminin-binding region, has undergone major lineage-specific divergences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the C-terminal IG2_MAT_NU region identified three distinct clades corresponding to deuterostomes, arthropods, and mollusks/early-diverging metazoans. Whereas the glycosyltransferases that modify α-DG are also present in choanoflagellates, the DG-binding proteins dystrophin and laminin originated at the base of the metazoa, and DG-associated sarcoglycan is restricted to cnidarians and bilaterians. These findings implicate extensive functional diversification of DG within invertebrate lineages and identify the laminin-DG-dystrophin axis as a conserved adhesion system that evolved subsequent to integrin-ECM adhesion, likely to enhance the functional complexity of cell-BM interactions in early metazoans.

  11. The evolution of the dystroglycan complex, a major mediator of muscle integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Josephine C; Brancaccio, Andrea

    2015-08-28

    Basement membrane (BM) extracellular matrices are crucial for the coordination of different tissue layers. A matrix adhesion receptor that is important for BM function and stability in many mammalian tissues is the dystroglycan (DG) complex. This comprises the non-covalently-associated extracellular α-DG, that interacts with laminin in the BM, and the transmembrane β-DG, that interacts principally with dystrophin to connect to the actin cytoskeleton. Mutations in dystrophin, DG, or several enzymes that glycosylate α-DG underlie severe forms of human muscular dystrophy. Nonwithstanding the pathophysiological importance of the DG complex and its fundamental interest as a non-integrin system of cell-ECM adhesion, the evolution of DG and its interacting proteins is not understood. We analysed the phylogenetic distribution of DG, its proximal binding partners and key processing enzymes in extant metazoan and relevant outgroups. We identify that DG originated after the divergence of ctenophores from porifera and eumetazoa. The C-terminal half of the DG core protein is highly-conserved, yet the N-terminal region, that includes the laminin-binding region, has undergone major lineage-specific divergences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the C-terminal IG2_MAT_NU region identified three distinct clades corresponding to deuterostomes, arthropods, and mollusks/early-diverging metazoans. Whereas the glycosyltransferases that modify α-DG are also present in choanoflagellates, the DG-binding proteins dystrophin and laminin originated at the base of the metazoa, and DG-associated sarcoglycan is restricted to cnidarians and bilaterians. These findings implicate extensive functional diversification of DG within invertebrate lineages and identify the laminin-DG-dystrophin axis as a conserved adhesion system that evolved subsequent to integrin-ECM adhesion, likely to enhance the functional complexity of cell-BM interactions in early metazoans.

  12. Clinical application of estimating hepatitis B virus quasispecies complexity by massive sequencing: correlation between natural evolution and on-treatment evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Homs

    Full Text Available AIM: To evaluate HBV quasispecies (QA complexity in the preCore/Core regions in relation to HBeAg status, and explore QA changes under natural evolution and nucleoside analogue (NUC treatment. METHODS: Ultra-deep pyrosequencing of HBV preCore/Core regions in 30 sequential samples (baseline [diagnosis], treatment-free, and treatment-nonresponse from 10 retrospectively selected patients grouped according to HBeAg status over time: HBeAg+ (N = 4, HBeAg- (N = 2, and fluctuating HBeAg (transient seroreversion/seroconversion pattern (N = 4. QA complexity was defined by Shannon entropy, mutation frequency, nucleotide diversity, and mutation frequency of amino acids (MfAA in preCore and Core. RESULTS: The QA was less complex in HBeAg+ than in HBeAg- or fluctuating HBeAg. High complexity in preCore was associated with decreased viral replication (preCore MfAA negatively correlated with HBV-DNA, p = 0.005. QA complexity in the treatment-free period negatively correlated with values seen during treatment. Specific variants were mainly selected in the Core region in HBeAg- and fluctuating HBeAg patients, suggesting higher immune pressure than in HBeAg+. CONCLUSIONS: The negative correlation between QA natural evolution and on-treatment evolution indicates the importance of pre-treatment QA study to predict QA changes in NUC nonresponders. Study of QA complexity could be useful for managing HBV infection.

  13. Clinical Application of Estimating Hepatitis B Virus Quasispecies Complexity by Massive Sequencing: Correlation between Natural Evolution and On-Treatment Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homs, Maria; Caballero, Andrea; Gregori, Josep; Tabernero, David; Quer, Josep; Nieto, Leonardo; Esteban, Rafael; Buti, Maria; Rodriguez-Frias, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Aim To evaluate HBV quasispecies (QA) complexity in the preCore/Core regions in relation to HBeAg status, and explore QA changes under natural evolution and nucleoside analogue (NUC) treatment. Methods Ultra-deep pyrosequencing of HBV preCore/Core regions in 30 sequential samples (baseline [diagnosis], treatment-free, and treatment-nonresponse) from 10 retrospectively selected patients grouped according to HBeAg status over time: HBeAg+ (N = 4), HBeAg- (N = 2), and fluctuating HBeAg (transient seroreversion/seroconversion pattern) (N = 4). QA complexity was defined by Shannon entropy, mutation frequency, nucleotide diversity, and mutation frequency of amino acids (MfAA) in preCore and Core. Results The QA was less complex in HBeAg+ than in HBeAg- or fluctuating HBeAg. High complexity in preCore was associated with decreased viral replication (preCore MfAA negatively correlated with HBV-DNA, p = 0.005). QA complexity in the treatment-free period negatively correlated with values seen during treatment. Specific variants were mainly selected in the Core region in HBeAg- and fluctuating HBeAg patients, suggesting higher immune pressure than in HBeAg+. Conclusions The negative correlation between QA natural evolution and on-treatment evolution indicates the importance of pre-treatment QA study to predict QA changes in NUC nonresponders. Study of QA complexity could be useful for managing HBV infection. PMID:25393280

  14. Genesis and evolution of the Cerro Prieto Volcanic Complex, Baja California, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sánchez, L.; Macías, J. L.; Sosa-Ceballos, G.; Arce, J. L.; Garduño-Monroy, V. H.; Saucedo, R.; Avellán, D. R.; Rangel, E.; Layer, P. W.; López-Loera, H.; Rocha, V. S.; Cisneros, G.; Reyes-Agustín, G.; Jiménez, A.; Benowitz, J. A.

    2017-06-01

    The Cerro Prieto Volcanic Complex (CPVC), located in northwestern Mexico, is the only surface manifestation of the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Field, the third largest producer of geothermal energy in the world. This geothermal field and the Salton Sea in the USA sit in a pull-apart basin that belongs to the trans-tensional tectonic zone that includes the San Andreas Fault system and the Salton Trough basin to the NW and the East Pacific Rise to the SE. In spite of its strategic importance in the generation of geothermal energy, the origin of Cerro Prieto and its relationship with the geothermal reservoir were unknown. In this contribution, we discuss the origin, evolution, and mechanisms of formation of this small monogenetic volcano and the magmas that fed the system. The volcanic complex is located on top of the Cerro Prieto left lateral fault to the northwest of the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Field. The complex consists of a lava cone and a series of domes (˜0.15 km3) protruding from Tertiary sandstones and recent unconsolidated sediments of the alluvial plain of the Colorado River. The Cerro Prieto Volcanic Complex consists of seven stratigraphic units emplaced in a brief time span around 78-81 ka. Its activity began with the extrusion of a dacitic lava that came into contact with water-saturated sediments, causing brecciation of the lava. The activity continued with the emplacement of dacitic domes and a dyke that were destroyed by a phreatic explosion emplacing a lithic-rich breccia. This phreatic explosion formed a 300-m-wide and 40-m-deep circular crater. The activity then migrated ˜650 m to the SW where three dacitic lava domes were extruded and ended with the emplacement of a fissure-fed lava flow. Subsequent remobilization of the rocks in the complex has generated debris and hyperconcentrated flow deposits interbedded with fluviatile sediments in the surrounding terrain. All rocks of the CPVC are dacites with phenocrysts of plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and Fe

  15. Volcanic and glacial evolution of Chachani-Nocarane complex (Southern Peru) deduced from the geomorphologic map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, J.; Zamorano, J. J.; Palacios, D.

    2012-04-01

    The Chachani-Nocarane (16°11'S; 71°31'W; 6.057 m asl) is a large volcanic complex located in the western Central-Andean Cordillera, South of Peru. The date of the last eruption is not known and there are no registers of recent volcanic activity. The complex is shaped by glacial forms belonging to different phases, and periglacial forms (several generations of rock glaciers) which alternate with volcanic forms. The aim of this research is to establish the glacio-volcanic evolution of the volcanic complex Chachani-Nocarane. In order to do so, a detailed 1:20.000 scale geomorphological map was elaborated by integrating the following techniques: interpretation of the 1:35.000 scale aerial photographs (Instituto Geográfico Nacional de Perú, 1956) and the analysis of satellite images (Mrsid; NASA, 2000). Finally, the cartography was corrected though field work campaigns. Through the geomorphologic analysis of the landforms and their relative position, we have identified twelve phases, seven volcanic and five glacial phases. The most ancient volcanic phase is locate to the north area of the study area and correspond with Nocarane and Chingana volcanoes, alignment NW-SE. Above those ensemble the rest of the large delimited geomorphological units overlap. The most recent is located to the SW and consists of a complex series of domes, lava cones and voluminous lavas. Within the glacial phases, the most ancient one is related to the Last Glacial Maximum during the Pleistocene. Over this period, glaciers formed moraines from 3150 to 3600 m asl. The most recent glacier pulsation corresponds to the Little Ice Age (LIA). The moraines related to that event are the closest to the summits, located between 5.100 and 5.300 m asl, and they represent the last trace of glacial activity on the volcanic complex. Currently, this tropical mountain does not have glaciers. The only solid-state water reserves are found in the form of permafrost, as shown by various generations of rock

  16. NONINVASIVE DETECTION OF BRAIN ACTIVITY VARIATION UNDER DIFFERENT DEPTH OF ANESTHESIA BY EEG COMPLEXITY

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xu Jin; Li Wenwen; Zheng Chongxun; Jing Guixia; Liu Xueliang

    2006-01-01

    Objective To detect the change of brain activity under different depth of anesthesia (DOA)noninvasively. Methods The Lempel-Ziv complexity C(n) was used to analyze EEG and its four components (delta,theta, alpha, beta), which was recorded from SD rats under different DOA. The relationship between C(n) and DOA was studied. Results The C(n) of EEG will decrease while the depth of anesthesia increasing and vice versa. It can be used to detect the change of DOA sensitively. Compared with power spectrum, the change of C(n) is opposite to that of power spectru,. Only the C(n) of delta rhythm has obvious variations induced by the change of DOA, and the variations of delta is as similar as the EEG's. Conclusion The study shows that the desynchronized EEG is replaced by the synchronized EEG when rat goes into anesthesia state from awake, that is just the reason why complexity and power spectrum appear corresponding changes under different DOA. C(n) of delta rhythm dynamic change leads to the change of EEG, and the delta rhythm is the dominant rhythm during anesthesia for rats.

  17. The brain as a complex system: plasticity at multiple scales and criticality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Tony; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    As a complex system, a successful organism is one that can react effectively to environmental fluctuations. Not only should its response repertoire be commensurate with the number of independent conditions that it encounters, behavioral and environmental variations need to be matched at the appropriate scales. In the cortex, neuronal clusters, not individual cells, operate at the proper scale that is necessary to generate appropriate responses to external states of the world. Single neurons, however, serve on a finer scale to mediate interactions between neuronal assemblies. The distinction of scales is significant, as plasticity mechanisms can operate on various spatial and temporal scales. The brain has apparently evolved complex-system strategies to calibrate its own dynamics at multiple scales. This makes the joint study of local balance and global homeostasis fundamentally important, where criticality emerges as a signature of a computationally powerful system. We show via simulations how plasticity mechanisms at multiple scales are inextricably tied to spike-based neuronal avalanches, which are microscopic in origin and poorly predictive of animal behavior, and cluster-based avalanches, which are manifest macroscopically and are relevant to cognition and behavior.

  18. Nonessential Role for the NLRP1 Inflammasome Complex in a Murine Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Brickler

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI elicits the immediate production of proinflammatory cytokines which participate in regulating the immune response. While the mechanisms of adaptive immunity in secondary injury are well characterized, the role of the innate response is unclear. Recently, the NLR inflammasome has been shown to become activated following TBI, causing processing and release of interleukin-1β (IL-1β. The inflammasome is a multiprotein complex consisting of nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing proteins (NLR, caspase-1, and apoptosis-associated speck-like protein (ASC. ASC is upregulated after TBI and is critical in coupling the proteins during complex formation resulting in IL-1β cleavage. To directly test whether inflammasome activation contributes to acute TBI-induced damage, we assessed IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-6 expression, contusion volume, hippocampal cell death, and motor behavior recovery in Nlrp1−/−, Asc−/−, and wild type mice after moderate controlled cortical impact (CCI injury. Although IL-1β expression is significantly attenuated in the cortex of Nlrp1−/− and Asc−/− mice following CCI injury, no difference in motor recovery, cell death, or contusion volume is observed compared to wild type. These findings indicate that inflammasome activation does not significantly contribute to acute neural injury in the murine model of moderate CCI injury.

  19. Rhyolite magma evolution recorded in isotope and trace element composition of zircon from Halle Volcanic Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Słodczyk, E.; Pietranik, A.; Breitkreuz, C.; Fanning, C. M.; Anczkiewicz, R.; Ehling, B.-C.

    2016-04-01

    Voluminous felsic volcanic magmas were formed in Central Europe at the Carboniferous/Permian boundary in numerous pull-apart basins; one of which is the Saale Basin, which holds the Halle Volcanic Complex (HVC), the focus of this study. The rhyolites in the HVC formed laccoliths and scarce lavas, and occur in two different textural types: fine and coarse porphyritic. Zircon isotope and trace element composition was analysed in four units, two per each textural type. Zircon from the different units shows similar ranges in εHf (- 4.1 to - 8.1) and δ18O values (6.51-8.26), indicating similar sources and evolution processes for texturally diverse rhyolites from the HVC. Scarce inherited zircon ranges from ~ 315 Ma to ~ 2100 Ma with the major groupings around 315-550 Ma. These ages are typical for Devonian arc magmatic activity (350-400 Ma) and Cadomian igneous rocks (500-600 Ma), which occur in the basement presently underlying the HVC. Therefore, the source of the rhyolites was multicomponent and probably represented by a basement composed of various crystalline rocks. Trace elements in zircon show similar distributions in all analysed samples, which is broadly consistent with zircon cores crystallizing in a less evolved magma undergoing limited fractional crystallization, whilst the zircon rims crystallized from a magma undergoing extensive fractional crystallization of major and accessory minerals. Interestingly, comparison of the zircon composition in HVC rhyolites and other rhyolites worldwide shows that the observed trends are similar in such rhyolites despite the values being different. This may suggest that most of the zircon in rhyolites crystallizes at a similar stage in the rhyolite magma evolution, from magmas undergoing extensive crystallization of major phases and apatite. The implication is that most of the zircon represents late stage crystallization, but also that antecrystic component may be present and preserve information on the development of

  20. Influence of topology in the evolution of coordination in complex networks under information diffusion constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasthurirathna, Dharshana; Piraveenan, Mahendra; Harré, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we study the influence of the topological structure of social systems on the evolution of coordination in them. We simulate a coordination game ("Stag-hunt") on four well-known classes of complex networks commonly used to model social systems, namely scale-free, small-world, random and hierarchical-modular, as well as on the well-mixed model. Our particular focus is on understanding the impact of information diffusion on coordination, and how this impact varies according to the topology of the social system. We demonstrate that while time-lags and noise in the information about relative payoffs affect the emergence of coordination in all social systems, some topologies are markedly more resilient than others to these effects. We also show that, while non-coordination may be a better strategy in a society where people do not have information about the payoffs of others, coordination will quickly emerge as the better strategy when people get this information about others, even with noise and time lags. Societies with the so-called small-world structure are most conducive to the emergence of coordination, despite limitations in information propagation, while societies with scale-free topologies are most sensitive to noise and time-lags in information diffusion. Surprisingly, in all topologies, it is not the highest connected people (hubs), but the slightly less connected people (provincial hubs) who first adopt coordination. Our findings confirm that the evolution of coordination in social systems depends heavily on the underlying social network structure.

  1. Evolution of nickel hyperaccumulation and serpentine adaptation in the Alyssum serpyllifolium species complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobczyk, M K; Smith, J A C; Pollard, A J; Filatov, D A

    2017-01-01

    Metal hyperaccumulation is an uncommon but highly distinctive adaptation found in certain plants that can grow on metalliferous soils. Here we review what is known about evolution of metal hyperaccumulation in plants and describe a population-genetic analysis of the Alyssum serpyllifolium (Brassicaceae) species complex that includes populations of nickel-hyperaccumulating as well as non-accumulating plants growing on serpentine (S) and non-serpentine (NS) soils, respectively. To test whether the S and NS populations belong to the same or separate closely related species, we analysed genetic variation within and between four S and four NS populations from across the Iberian peninsula. Based on microsatellites, genetic variation was similar in S and NS populations (average Ho=0.48). The populations were significantly differentiated from each other (overall FST=0.23), and the degree of differentiation between S and NS populations was similar to that within these two groups. However, high S versus NS differentiation was observed in DNA polymorphism of two genes putatively involved in adaptation to serpentine environments, IREG1 and NRAMP4, whereas no such differentiation was found in a gene (ASIL1) not expected to play a specific role in ecological adaptation in A. serpyllifolium. These results indicate that S and NS populations belong to the same species and that nickel hyperaccumulation in A. serpyllifolium appears to represent a case of adaptation to growth on serpentine soils. Further functional and evolutionary genetic work in this system has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of the evolution of metal hyperaccumulation in plants.

  2. Complex positive selection pressures drive the evolution of HIV-1 with different co-receptor tropisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    HIV-1 co-receptor tropism is central for understanding the transmission and pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. We performed a genome-wide comparison between the adaptive evolution of R5 and X4 variants from HIV-1 subtypes B and C. The results showed that R5 and X4 variants experienced differential evolutionary patterns and different HIV-1 genes encountered various positive selection pressures, suggesting that complex selection pressures are driving HIV-1 evolution. Compared with other hypervariable regions of Gp120, significantly more positively selected sites were detected in the V3 region of subtype B X4 variants, V2 region of subtype B R5 variants, and V1 and V4 regions of subtype C X4 variants, indicating an association of positive selection with co-receptor recognition/binding. Intriguingly, a significantly higher proportion (33.3% and 55.6%, P<0.05) of positively selected sites were identified in the C3 region than other conserved regions of Gp120 in all the analyzed HIV-1 variants, indicating that the C3 region might be more important to HIV-1 adaptation than previously thought. Approximately half of the positively selected sites identified in the env gene were identical between R5 and X4 variants. There were three common positively selected sites (96, 113 and 281) identified in Gp41 of all X4 and R5 variants from subtypes B and C. These sites might not only suggest a functional importance in viral survival and adaptation, but also imply a potential cross-immunogenicity between HIV-1 R5 and X4 variants, which has important implications for AIDS vaccine development.

  3. 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.

  4. Acute and chronic administration of cannabidiol increases mitochondrial complex and creatine kinase activity in the rat brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samira S. Valvassori

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To investigate the effects of cannabidiol (CBD on mitochondrial complex and creatine kinase (CK activity in the rat brain using spectrophotometry. Method: Male adult Wistar rats were given intraperitoneal injections of vehicle or CBD (15, 30, or 60 mg/kg in an acute (single dose or chronic (once daily for 14 consecutive days regimen. The activities of mitochondrial complexes and CK were measured in the hippocampus, striatum, and prefrontal cortex. Results: Both acute and chronic injection of CBD increased the activity of the mitochondrial complexes (I, II, II-III, and IV and CK in the rat brain. Conclusions: Considering that metabolism impairment is certainly involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, the modulation of energy metabolism (e.g., by increased mitochondrial complex and CK activity by CBD could be an important mechanism implicated in the action of CBD.

  5. Quantification of adaptive evolution of genes expressed in avian brain and the population size effect on the efficacy of selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson, Erik; Ellegren, Hans

    2009-05-01

    Whether protein evolution is mainly due to fixation of beneficial alleles by positive selection or to random genetic drift has remained a contentious issue over the years. Here, we use two genomewide polymorphism data sets collected from chicken populations, together with divergence data from >5,000 chicken-zebra finch gene orthologs expressed in brain, to assess the amount of adaptive evolution in protein-coding genes of birds. First, we show that estimates of the fixation index (FI, the ratio of fixed nonsynonymous-to-synonymous changes over the ratio of the corresponding polymorphisms) are highly dependent on the character of the underlying data sets. Second, by using polymorphism data from high-frequency alleles, to avoid the confounding effect of slightly deleterious mutations segregating at low frequency, we estimate that about 20% of amino acid changes have been brought to fixation through positive selection during avian evolution. This estimate is intermediate to that obtained in humans (lower) and flies as well as bacteria (higher), and is consistent with population genetics theory that stipulates a positive relationship between the efficiency of selection and the effective population size. Further, by comparing the FIs for common and all alleles, we estimate that approximately 20% of nonsynonymous variation segregating in chicken populations represent slightly deleterious mutations, which is less than in Drosophila. Overall, these results highlight the link between the effective population size and positive as well as negative selection.

  6. Time-evolution of quantum systems via a complex nonlinear Riccati equation. I. Conservative systems with time-independent Hamiltonian

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruz, Hans, E-mail: hans@ciencias.unam.mx [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-543, 04510 México DF (Mexico); Schuch, Dieter [Institut für Theoretische Physik, JW Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Max-von-Laue-Str. 1, D-60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany); Castaños, Octavio, E-mail: ocasta@nucleares.unam.mx [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-543, 04510 México DF (Mexico); Rosas-Ortiz, Oscar [Physics Department, Cinvestav, A. P. 14-740, 07000 México D. F. (Mexico)

    2015-09-15

    The sensitivity of the evolution of quantum uncertainties to the choice of the initial conditions is shown via a complex nonlinear Riccati equation leading to a reformulation of quantum dynamics. This sensitivity is demonstrated for systems with exact analytic solutions with the form of Gaussian wave packets. In particular, one-dimensional conservative systems with at most quadratic Hamiltonians are studied.

  7. The impact of polyploidy on the evolution of a complex NB-LRR resistance gene cluster in soybean

    Science.gov (United States)

    A comparative genomics approach was used to investigate the evolution of a complex NB-LRR gene cluster found in soybean (Glycine max), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and other legumes. In soybean, the cluster is associated with several disease resistance (R) genes of known function including Rpg1...

  8. The evolution of flexible behavioral repertoires in cephalopod molluscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasso, Frank W; Basil, Jennifer A

    2009-01-01

    Cephalopods are a large and ancient group of marine animals with complex brains. Forms extant today are equipped with brains, sensors, and effectors that allow them not to just exist beside modern vertebrates as predators and prey; they compete fiercely with marine vertebrates at every scale from small crustaceans to sperm whales. We review the evolution of this group's brains, learning ability and complex behavior. We outline evidence that although competition with vertebrates has left a deep impression on the brains and behavior of cephalopods, the original reorganization of their complex brains from their molluscan ancestors might have been forged in ancient seas millions of years before the advent of bony fishes.

  9. Content of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex membranes positively correlates with the proliferative status of brain cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, David C; Maccioni, Hugo J F; Caputto, Beatriz L

    2009-03-01

    Although the molecular and cellular basis of particular events that lead to the biogenesis of membranes in eukaryotic cells has been described in detail, understanding of the intrinsic complexity of the pleiotropic response by which a cell adjusts the overall activity of its endomembrane system to accomplish these requirements is limited. Here we carried out an immunocytochemical and biochemical examination of the content and quality of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus membranes in two in vivo situations characterized by a phase of active cell proliferation followed by a phase of declination in proliferation (rat brain tissue at early and late developmental stages) or by permanent active proliferation (gliomas and their most malignant manifestation, glioblastomas multiforme). It was found that, in highly proliferative phases of brain development (early embryo brain cells), the content of ER and Golgi apparatus membranes, measured as total lipid phosphorous content, is higher than in adult brain cells. In addition, the concentration of protein markers of ER and Golgi is also higher in early embryo brain cells and in human glioblastoma multiforme cells than in adult rat brain or in nonpathological human brain cells. Results suggest that the amount of endomembranes and the concentration of constituent functional proteins diminish as cells decline in their proliferative activity.

  10. 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.

  11. Resting and Task-Modulated High-Frequency Brain Rhythms Measured by Scalp Encephalography in Infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamoulis, Catherine; Vogel-Farley, Vanessa; Degregorio, Geneva; Jeste, Shafali S.; Nelson, Charles A.

    2015-01-01

    The electrophysiological correlates of cognitive deficits in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) are not well understood, and modulations of neural dynamics by neuroanatomical abnormalities that characterize the disorder remain elusive. Neural oscillations (rhythms) are a fundamental aspect of brain function, and have dominant frequencies in a wide…

  12. Atypical Brain Activation during Simple & Complex Levels of Processing in Adult ADHD: An fMRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, T. Sigi; Bookheimer, Susan; McGough, James J.; Phillips, Joseph M.; McCracken, James T.

    2007-01-01

    Objective: Executive dysfunction in ADHD is well supported. However, recent studies suggest that more fundamental impairments may be contributing. We assessed brain function in adults with ADHD during simple and complex forms of processing. Method: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging with forward and backward digit spans to investigate…

  13. Chronic pain and evoked responses in the brain: A magnetoencephalographic study in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I and II

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theuvenet, P.J.

    2012-01-01

    Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) type I and II are chronic pain syndromes with comparable symptoms, only in CRPS II a peripheral nerve injury is present. No objective tests are currently available to differentiate the two types which hampers diagnosis and treatment. Non-invasive brain imaging t

  14. Resting and Task-Modulated High-Frequency Brain Rhythms Measured by Scalp Encephalography in Infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamoulis, Catherine; Vogel-Farley, Vanessa; Degregorio, Geneva; Jeste, Shafali S.; Nelson, Charles A.

    2015-01-01

    The electrophysiological correlates of cognitive deficits in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) are not well understood, and modulations of neural dynamics by neuroanatomical abnormalities that characterize the disorder remain elusive. Neural oscillations (rhythms) are a fundamental aspect of brain function, and have dominant frequencies in a wide…

  15. Decoupled Evolution between Senders and Receivers in the Neotropical Allobates femoralis Frog Complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourth-Cundar, Mileidy; Lima, Albertina P; Hӧdl, Walter; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2016-01-01

    During acoustic communication, an audible message is transmitted from a sender to a receiver, often producing changes in behavior. In a system where evolutionary changes of the sender do not result in a concomitant adjustment in the receiver, communication and species recognition could fail. However, the possibility of an evolutionary decoupling between sender and receiver has rarely been studied. Frog populations in the Allobates femoralis cryptic species complex are known for their extensive morphological, genetic and acoustic variation. We hypothesized that geographic variation in acoustic signals of A. femoralis was correlated with geographic changes in communication through changes in male-male recognition. To test this hypothesis, we quantified male call recognition using phonotactic responses to playback experiments of advertisement calls with two, three and four notes in eight localities of the Amazonian basin. Then, we reconstructed the ancestral states of call note number in a phylogenetic framework and evaluated whether the character state of the most recent common ancestor predicted current relative responses to two, three and four notes. The probability of a phonotactic response to advertisement calls of A. femoralis males was strongly influenced by the call mid-frequency and the number of notes in most populations. Positive phonotaxis was complete for calls from each individual's population, and in some populations, it was also partial for allotopic calls; however, in two populations, individuals equally recognized calls with two, three or four notes. This evidence, in conjunction with our results from phylogenetic comparative methods, supports the hypothesis of decoupled evolution between sender and receiver in the male-male communication system of the A. femoralis complex. Thus, signal recognition appears to evolve more slowly than the calls.

  16. Land Change Regimes and the Evolution of the Maize-Cattle Complex in Neoliberal Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yankuic Galvan-Miyoshi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available How globalization impacts native land cover has become an important issue in studies addressing environmental change, which draw explicit attention to processes of cause and effect operating over significant distances. The literature shows that globalization constitutes an important underlying driver of both deforestation and forest transition via demographic and economic phenomena such as migration and remittance flows. Yet, little is known about how global forces mold the spatial structure of agro-commodity production and how this impacts the balance of forces affecting land change at the meso-scale, within the boundaries of the nation-state. The research presented here fills this gap by examining production networks for Mexico, a large OECD country with complex land change dynamics that has recently experienced a dramatic opening to the world economy. Specifically, we consider how maize and beef commodity chains evolved over the past few decades into a highly interdependent maize-cattle complex, and suggest linkages to patterns of land change at the national scale. Using land cover maps for 1993, 2002, and 2012, at the national scale, governmental statistics and datasets, interviews with key informants, and field observations the article provides an analysis of the impact of neoliberal reforms on the changing geography of beef and maize production, and argues that this process underlies the evolution of Mexico’s land change regime, both before and after the NAFTA reforms. As such, the article presents an account, and a case for further research on the topic of how teleconnections are constituted by spatially-extensive food production networks.

  17. The molecular evolution of four anti-malarial immune genes in the Anopheles gambiae species complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simard Frederic

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background If the insect innate immune system is to be used as a potential blocking step in transmission of malaria, then it will require targeting one or a few genes with highest relevance and ease of manipulation. The problem is to identify and manipulate those of most importance to malaria infection without the risk of decreasing the mosquito's ability to stave off infections by microbes in general. Molecular evolution methodologies and concepts can help identify such genes. Within the setting of a comparative molecular population genetic and phylogenetic framework, involving six species of the Anopheles gambiae complex, we investigated whether a set of four pre-selected immunity genes (gambicin, NOS, Rel2 and FBN9 might have evolved under selection pressure imposed by the malaria parasite. Results We document varying levels of polymorphism within and divergence between the species, in all four genes. Introgression and the sharing of ancestral polymorphisms, two processes that have been documented in the past, were verified in this study in all four studied genes. These processes appear to affect each gene in different ways and to different degrees. However, there is no evidence of positive selection acting on these genes. Conclusion Considering the results presented here in concert with previous studies, genes that interact directly with the Plasmodium parasite, and play little or no role in defense against other microbes, are probably the most likely candidates for a specific adaptive response against P. falciparum. Furthermore, since it is hard to establish direct evidence linking the adaptation of any candidate gene to P. falciparum infection, a comparative framework allowing at least an indirect link should be provided. Such a framework could be achieved, if a similar approach like the one involved here, was applied to all other anopheline complexes that transmit P. falciparum malaria.

  18. Evolution of complex life cycles in trophically transmitted helminths. I. Host incorporation and trophic ascent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, G A; Ball, M A; Chubb, J C

    2015-02-01

    Links between parasites and food webs are evolutionarily ancient but dynamic: life history theory provides insights into helminth complex life cycle origins. Most adult helminths benefit by sexual reproduction in vertebrates, often high up food chains, but direct infection is commonly constrained by a trophic vacuum between free-living propagules and definitive hosts. Intermediate hosts fill this vacuum, facilitating transmission to definitive hosts. The central question concerns why sexual reproduction, and sometimes even larval growth, is suppressed in intermediate hosts, favouring growth arrest at larval maturity in intermediate hosts and reproductive suppression until transmission to definitive hosts? Increased longevity and higher growth in definitive hosts can generate selection for larger parasite body size and higher fecundity at sexual maturity. Life cycle length is increased by two evolutionary mechanisms, upward and downward incorporation, allowing simple (one-host) cycles to become complex (multihost). In downward incorporation, an intermediate host is added below the definitive host: models suggest that downward incorporation probably evolves only after ecological or evolutionary perturbations create a trophic vacuum. In upward incorporation, a new definitive host is added above the original definitive host, which subsequently becomes an intermediate host, again maintained by the trophic vacuum: theory suggests that this is plausible even under constant ecological/evolutionary conditions. The final cycle is similar irrespective of its origin (upward or downward). Insights about host incorporation are best gained by linking comparative phylogenetic analyses (describing evolutionary history) with evolutionary models (examining selective forces). Ascent of host trophic levels and evolution of optimal host taxa ranges are discussed. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Structural and metamorphic evolution of the Turku migmatite complex, southwestern Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Väisänen, M.

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available The Turku migmatite complex in southwestern Finland is a representative area for the type of tectonic and metamorphic evolution seen within the Palaeoproterozoic Svecofennian Orogen in southern Finland. The orogeny can be divided into early, late and postorogenic stages. The early orogenic structural evolution of the crust is expressed by a D1/D2 deformation recorded as bedding-parallel S1 mica foliation deformed by tight to isoclinal D2 folds with subhorizontal axial planes and a penetrative S2 axial plane foliation. Syntectonic ca. 1890-1870 Ma tonalites were emplaced during D2 as sheet intrusions. This deformation is attributed to thrust tectonics and thickening of the crust. The late orogenic structural evolution produced the main D3 folding, which transposed previous structures into a NE-SW trend. The doubly plunging fold axis produced dome-and-basin structures. The attitude of the F3 folds varies from upright or slightly overturned to locally recumbent towards the NW. Granite dikes were intruded along S3 axial planes. Large D3 fold limbs are often strongly deformed, intensively migmatized and intruded by garnet- and cordierite-bearing granites. These observations suggest that these potassium-rich granites, dated at 1840-1830 Ma, were emplaced during D3. This late orogenic NW-SE crustal shortening further contributed to crustal thickening. Subvertical D4 shear zones that cut all previous rock types possibly controlled the emplacement of postorogenic granitoids. Steeply plunging lineations on D4 shear planes suggest vertical displacements during a regional uplift stage. Metamorphic grade increases from cordierite-sillimanite-K-feldspar gneisses in the northwest and from muscovite-quartz±andalusite rocks in the southeast to high-temperature granulite facies migmatites in the middle of the study area. Block movements during D4 caused the observed differences in metamorphic grade. Garnet and cordierite are mostly breakdown products of biotite

  1. Cosmological evolution of a complex scalar field with repulsive or attractive self-interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Abril; Chavanis, Pierre-Henri

    2017-03-01

    We study the cosmological evolution of a complex scalar field with a self-interaction potential V (|φ |2) , possibly describing self-gravitating Bose-Einstein condensates, using a fully general relativistic treatment. We generalize the hydrodynamic representation of the Klein-Gordon-Einstein equations in the weak field approximation developed in our previous paper [A. Suárez and P.-H. Chavanis, Phys. Rev. D 92, 023510 (2015), 10.1103/PhysRevD.92.023510]. We establish the general equations governing the evolution of a spatially homogeneous complex scalar field in an expanding background. We show how they can be simplified in the fast oscillation regime (equivalent to the Thomas-Fermi, or semiclassical, approximation) and derive the equation of state of the scalar field in parametric form for an arbitrary potential V (|φ |2) . We explicitly consider the case of a quartic potential with repulsive or attractive self-interaction. For repulsive self-interaction, the scalar field undergoes a stiff matter era followed by a pressureless dark matter era in the weakly self-interacting regime and a stiff matter era followed by a radiationlike era and a pressureless dark matter era in the strongly self-interacting regime. For attractive self-interaction, the scalar field undergoes an inflation era followed by a stiff matter era and a pressureless dark matter era in the weakly self-interacting regime and an inflation era followed by a cosmic stringlike era and a pressureless dark matter era in the strongly self-interacting regime (the inflation era is suggested, not demonstrated). We also find a peculiar branch on which the scalar field emerges suddenly at a nonzero scale factor with a finite energy density. At early times, it behaves as a gas of cosmic strings. At later times, it behaves as dark energy with an almost constant energy density giving rise to a de Sitter evolution. This is due to spintessence. We derive the effective cosmological constant produced by the scalar

  2. 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

  3. Evidence for dust evolution within the Taurus Complex from Spitzer images

    CERN Document Server

    Flagey, N; Boulanger, F; Carey, S J; Brooke, T Y; Falgarone, E; Huard, T L; McCabe, C E; Miville-Deschênes, M A; Padgett, D L; Paladini, R; Rebull, L M

    2009-01-01

    We present Spitzer images of the Taurus