Patterns of neural stem and progenitor cell division may underlie evolutionary cortical expansion

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Nov;7(11):883-90. doi: 10.1038/nrn2008. Epub 2006 Oct 11.


The dramatic evolutionary expansion of the cerebral cortex of Homo sapiens underlies our unique higher cortical functions, and therefore bears on the ultimate issue of what makes us human. Recent insights into developmental events during early proliferative stages of cortical development indicate how neural stem and progenitor cells might interact to produce cortical expansion during development, and could shed light on evolutionary changes in cortical structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology