About this Research Topic
This Research Topic is oriented to develop an integrative evolutionary view involving ecology, behavior, cognition and neurodevelopmental processes. We will be addressing questions such as: (i) How do ecological variables impinge on different brain, behavioral and cognitive abilities? (ii) How are developmental pathways involved in the evolution of brain, behavior and cognition? (iii) Do different cognitive processes rely on developmentally separated modules? (iv) What is the role of neural plasticity in brain, behavioral and cognitive evolution? (v) Is non-genetic or epigenetic inheritance relevant for the evolution of brain, behavior and cognition? (v) Which is more important, development, adult structure or function, to determine homology and phylogenetic history? (vi) How do behavior and cognition affect subsequent brain evolution? (vii) How relevant is sensory perception for brain evolution? (viii) What is the relation of brain asymmetry to the evolution of behavior and cognition?
We expect to contribute to bridge two approaches that have been difficult to reconcile, one that focuses on the evolution of adult brain structure and function, and the other that is concerned with the developmental mechanisms involved in the generation of novel brain structures. We hope that this initiative will serve to establish a new interdisciplinary trend, which addresses the nervous system (and more generally the whole organism) as a unified organ, subject to both functional and developmental constraints, where the final outcome results of a compromise between different parameters rather than being the result of several single variables acting independently of each other.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.