The Evolved Structure of Mammalian Memory

Don M. Tucker and Phan Luu

in Cognition and Neural Development

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199838523
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199985654 | DOI:
The Evolved Structure of Mammalian Memory

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New evidence on the control of neural development is emerging from studies of gene expression in mammalian and human neuroembryogenesis. This chapter reviews several findings from this research that provide additional clues to the origins of the archicortical and paleocortical divisions of the mammalian brain. It first outlines several features of the embryonic development of the mammalian cortex that provide important clues to the differentiation of its dorsal and ventral divisions. Understanding this differentiation requires understanding the evolutionary origins of the 6-layered mammalian cortex from both the 3-layered reptilian pallium and the subpallial reptilian telencephalon. From the perspective of this evolutionary-developmental analysis, the chapter then reconsiders the several clues to the functional differentiation of dorsal and ventral corticolimbic networks examined in Chapter 5. It concludes with a summary of the theoretical model. The central point is that the dorsal corticolimbic networks reflect a neocortical elaboration of the pyramidal pallial architecture, whereas the ventral networks evidence a remarkable integration of pallial and subpallial circuits. An accurate theoretical model of the evolutionary roots of mammalian neocortex is essential for interpreting how the differential cybernetics of regulating neural activity in time—habituation and redundancy—operate within fundamentally different neural architectures in the dorsal and ventral divisions of the cerebral hemispheres.

Keywords: neural development; gene expression; embryonic development; mammalian cortex; dorsal system; ventral system; corticolimbic networks

Chapter.  14775 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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