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Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher K. Starr

Brain Development and Brain Evolution

  • Sean O’DonnellEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_163-1
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Synonyms

Central nervous system

The field of neuroecology focuses on adaptive evolutionary changes in the central nervous system, particularly in the brain. Brains are excellent organs for exploring the limits of adaptive evolution, as they combine immediate payoffs (such as effective decision-making and behavioral regulation) with elevated costs (such as high metabolism and nutritional costs for their production). Because brain tissue comes at greater cost than most other tissues, increased investment in brain tissue will disproportionately come at the expense of meeting animals’ other bodily needs. Given this balance of great benefits tempered by strong costs, we can expect increased brain investment to be generally favored but tightly constrained. Therefore, brain investment should closely match the cognitive demands a species encounters.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biodiversity Earth & Environmental ScienceDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA