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Nat Rev Genet. 2004 Nov;5(11):850-60.

Human brain evolution: insights from microarrays.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience and Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA. tpreuss@rmy.emory.edu


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.

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