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Neuron. 2007 Oct 25;56(2):201-8.

The magnificent compromise: cortical field evolution in mammals.

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  • 1Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95618, USA.


The neocortex of mammals is composed of cortical fields that have a unique organization associated with the animal's ecological niche and lifestyle. Each cortical field has a specific pattern of connections with other cortical fields and brain structures, and together they comprise a neocortical network that generates a variety of behaviors. These networks and the behaviors they generate are variable across mammals, and are particularly complex in some species such as humans. Here I discuss the mechanisms that contribute to neocortical organization in mammals, and how this organization has been altered to generate the variability that exists in different lineages.

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