Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Biol. 2011 Aug 23;21(16):1397-402. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.07.019. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Differential prefrontal white matter development in chimpanzees and humans.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Curr Biol. 2012 Jan 24;22(2):171.

Abstract

A comparison of developmental patterns of white matter (WM) within the prefrontal region between humans and nonhuman primates is key to understanding human brain evolution. WM mediates complex cognitive processes and has reciprocal connections with posterior processing regions [1, 2]. Although the developmental pattern of prefrontal WM in macaques differs markedly from that in humans [3], this has not been explored in our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee. The present longitudinal study of magnetic resonance imaging scans demonstrated that the prefrontal WM volume in chimpanzees was immature and had not reached the adult value during prepuberty, as observed in humans but not in macaques. However, the rate of prefrontal WM volume increase during infancy was slower in chimpanzees than in humans. These results suggest that a less mature and more protracted elaboration of neuronal connections in the prefrontal portion of the developing brain existed in the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans, and that this served to enhance the impact of postnatal experiences on neuronal connectivity. Furthermore, the rapid development of the human prefrontal WM during infancy may help the development of complex social interactions, as well as the acquisition of experience-dependent knowledge and skills to shape neuronal connectivity.

PMID:
21835623
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2011.07.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center