Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Lett. 2006 Dec 22;2(4):557-60.

Metabolic costs of brain size evolution.

Author information

1
Anthropologisches Institut und Museum, Universität Zürich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland. kisler@aim.unizh.ch

Abstract

In the ongoing discussion about brain evolution in vertebrates, the main interest has shifted from theories focusing on energy balance to theories proposing social or ecological benefits of enhanced intellect. With the availability of a wealth of new data on basal metabolic rate (BMR) and brain size and with the aid of reliable techniques of comparative analysis, we are able to show that in fact energetics is an issue in the maintenance of a relatively large brain, and that brain size is positively correlated with the BMR in mammals, controlling for body size effects. We conclude that attempts to explain brain size variation in different taxa must consider the ability to sustain the energy costs alongside cognitive benefits.

PMID:
17148287
PMCID:
PMC1834002
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2006.0538
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center