Human Brain Evolution: II. Embryology and Brain Allometry

  • Terrence W. Deacon
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 17)


The unusually large size of the human brain with respect to the human body as compared to other mammals is a dominating fact in the study of human evolution. No account of the similarities and differences between human and other primate brains is complete without accounting for this quantitative fact. The intuitive correlation between this statistic, encephalization, and the seemingly astronomical gulf between human and non-human intellectual capabilities has led many to argue that this disproportionate size in itself reflects the fundamental adaptation in human brain evolution (Dubois, 1898; 1924; von Bonin, 1952; Jerison, 1973; Van Valen, 1974; Gould, 1975, Passingham, 1975a).


Human Brain Brain Structure Brain Size Brain Organization Human Brain Evolution 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terrence W. Deacon
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological AnthropologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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