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By Ann B. Butler

It is a useful textual content for knowing the why's and wherefore's of neuroanatomy in vertebrates and a superb source for examine in cognitive neuroscience and behavioral neurobiology while evaluating neuroanatomy inside of and throughout species.

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Extra resources for Comparative Vertebrate Neuroanatomy: Evolution and Adaptation

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This speciation has a pattern of punctuated equilibrium—rapid change followed by a longer period of little or no change, as discussed below. Species-poor clades, on the other hand, have a lower rate of speciation but are more resistant to environmental and habitat assaults. This balance permits both types of clades to flourish in the intervals between mass extinctions. In mass extinctions, the species-rich clades are more vulnerable, and thus over time, fewer higher categories survive. More species arise in at least some of the remaining higher categories due to new waves of speciation following each period of mass extinction.

Many of the genes that specify the basic divisions of the brain and the formation of the eye, for example, are the same in fruit flies and mice. In such cases, the word “homology” is sometimes used. However, because the common ancestor clearly did not possess a comparable brain or eyes, these structures in mice and flies cannot be historically homologous. Nonetheless, even their designation with the same words, “brain” and “eye,” denotes recognition of a basic level of sameness, and, as products of the same patterning genes that were present in the common ancestor, they are indeed the same.

Biological homology focuses on developmental pathways and the behavior of morphogenetic fields to account for variability of character expression but does not define sameness by them. It attempts to link historical homology to developmental processes and constraints. Biological homology was defined by Leigh Van Valen in 1982 as “resemblance caused by a continuity of information”and by Louise Roth in 1984 as based on “sharing of pathways of development . . ” In 1989, Günter Wagner stated that “Structures from two individuals or from the same individual are homologous if they share a set of developmental constraints, caused by locally acting self-regulatory mechanisms of organ differentiation.

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