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Book Review: Two Phylogenetic Specializations in the Human Brain

Allman, John and Hakeem, Atiya and Watson, Karli (2002) Book Review: Two Phylogenetic Specializations in the Human Brain. Neuroscientist, 8 (4). pp. 335-346. ISSN 1073-8584. doi:10.1177/107385840200800409.

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In this study, two anatomical specializations of the brain in apes and humans are considered. One of these is a whole cortical area located in the frontal polar cortex (Brodmann’s area 10), and the other is a morphologically distinctive cell type, the spindle neuron of the anterior cingulate cortex. The authors suggest that the spindle cells may relay to other parts of the brain—especially to area 10, the outcome of processing within the anterior cingulate cortex. This relay conveys the motivation to act. It particularly concerns the recognition of having committed an error that leads to the initiation of adaptive responses to these adverse events so as to reduce error commission. This capacity is related to the development of self-control as an individual matures and gains social insight. Although the anterior cingulate deals with the individual’s immediate response to changing conditions, area 10 is involved in the retrieval of memories from the individual’s past experience and the capacity to plan adaptive responses. The authors suggest that these neurobehavioral specializations are crucial aspects of intelligence as defined as the capacity to make adaptive responses to changing conditions. The authors further hypothesize that these specializations facilitated the evolution of the unique capacity for the intergenerational transfer of the food and information characteristic of human extended families.

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Additional Information:© 2002 Sage Publications. We thank Archibald Fobbs, curator of the brain collections at the National Museum of Health and Science, for his support and assistance in using this resource; Andrea Vasconcellos for staining the nonphosphorlyated neurofilament-labeled cells depicted in Figure 2; Stephen Shepherd for preparing Figure 7; David Grether for Figure 9D; and Eliot Bush and Terry Sejnowski for their comments. This work was supported by the Mettler Fund for Autism Research and the Frank P. Hixon Fund.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Mettler Fund for Autism ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Hixson Professorship, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Anterior cingulate cortex, Area 10 of Brodmann, Spindle cells
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200629-134857324
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Official Citation:Allman, J., Hakeem, A., & Watson, K. (2002). Book Review: Two Phylogenetic Specializations in the Human Brain. The Neuroscientist, 8(4), 335–346.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104138
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Jun 2020 21:28
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:28

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