Evolutionary Anatomy of the Primate Cerebral Cortex , 2001 et S.J. Gould : regards croisés

Michel THIREAU & Jean-Christophe DORE

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 2 (6-7) - Pages 373-381

Published on 30 November 2003

This article is a part of the thematic issue Les chemins de l’Évolution : sur les pas de Steven Jay Gould

Evolutionary Anatomy of the Primate Cerebral Cortex , 2001 and S.J. Gould: crossed paths

The book Evolutionary Anatomy of the Primate Cerebral Cortex (Falk and Gibson, 2001) is a report of the congress in honor of H.J. Jerison held in USA (1998). Gould wrote the foreword of that book and Jerison its epilogue. For some participants, Gould’s successive works on organisms' evolution have given an important background to their own research. Jerison and Gould met for the first time something like 40 years ago and all along they have shared common scientific interests. In this article, we shall attempt an overview of Evolutionary Anatomy of the Primate Cerebral Cortex, one of the themes close to an ‘influential’ (fide Gould) book entitled: Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence (Jerison 1973). Tendencies in the organization of the brain volume of Vertebrates, and especially in still-living or fossils mammals, is a major question (cf. recent publications and the debate in Nature ). If Jerison was a leader for the encephalization concept ( sensu 1D, 2D), Gould clearly introduced modern research (nD) on encephalization. From him, the representation through hyperspace could describe the complexity of the paths followed by Vertebrate brain evolution. From this, the new concept of neurotaxonomy (see Thireau et al., Bull. Soc. Zool. France 122 (4) (1997) 393–411) relates encephalic organisation to species taxonomy. So, in the future, paleoneurologists should be using some results from the neurotaxonomy of existing species, for help in completing interpretation of endocranian casts. Throughout this article, special attention is given to Gould’s arguments, proposed in his foreword to Falk et Gibson, 2001. Each of these deserves to be discussed, thus benefiting evolutive neurobiology, and should be completed by the reading of his major contribution to modern biology: The structure of Evolutionary Theory (Gould 2002).


Neuroanatomy, encephalization, neurotaxonomy, paleoneurology, multivariate analysis, correspondence factor analysis (CFA)

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