Chapter

When did Directional Asymmetry Enter the Record?

James Steele

in The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263112
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734885 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.003.0009

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

When did Directional Asymmetry Enter the Record?

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This chapter reviews evidence for the evolution of primate asymmetries in brain morphology and in behaviour, including the fossil and archaeological record of human evolution. This evidence suggests that, while morphological asymmetries are conserved features of the human brain, human functional asymmetries are derived, at least in their degree and consistency. The discussion offers a partial explanation that takes account of allometric scaling in the evolution of brain size, neocortex size, and intra- and interhemispheric connectivity.

Keywords: primate asymmetry; brain morphology; human evolution; allometric scaling; neocortex size

Chapter.  6756 words. 

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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