Avian brains and a new understanding of vertebrate brain evolution

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Feb;6(2):151-9. doi: 10.1038/nrn1606.


We believe that names have a powerful influence on the experiments we do and the way in which we think. For this reason, and in the light of new evidence about the function and evolution of the vertebrate brain, an international consortium of neuroscientists has reconsidered the traditional, 100-year-old terminology that is used to describe the avian cerebrum. Our current understanding of the avian brain - in particular the neocortex-like cognitive functions of the avian pallium - requires a new terminology that better reflects these functions and the homologies between avian and mammalian brains.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Birds
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Vertebrates