Human Brain Evolution: Insights From Microarrays

Nat Rev Genet. 2004 Nov;5(11):850-60. doi: 10.1038/nrg1469.


Several recent microarray studies have compared gene-expression patterns n humans, chimpanzees and other non-human primates to identify evolutionary changes that contribute to the distinctive cognitive and behavioural characteristics of humans. These studies support the surprising conclusion that the evolution of the human brain involved an upregulation of gene expression relative to non-human primates, a finding that could be relevant to understanding human cerebral physiology and function. These results show how genetic and genomic methods can shed light on the basis of human neural and cognitive specializations, and have important implications for neuroscience, anthropology and medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Species Specificity