About this Research Topic
In the last 50 years, there were many studies devoted to explaining both the proximate and ultimate origins of animal behavior. By using modern experimental techniques, cognitive mechanisms underlying proximate causes of animal behavior were examined in close and distant taxa. These studies unveiled that these mechanisms share common and similar basic steps also in far distant taxa. Moreover, by deeply analyzing behavioral responses in relatively simple brains like those of invertebrates, cognitive features of complex brains, like for instance attention-like responses, were found. These studies led to an interesting framework of knowledge, at the beginning more contained in the description of single taxa brain functions and, more recently, to an open evaluation across different and distant taxa.
In this Research Topic, we would address simple and at the same time very complex questions:
- Do these similarities of basic processing steps observed in cognitive mechanisms across different taxa share also common basic neuronal circuits? Is it possible to observe across different and distant taxa basic neuronal circuits that are engaged in generating common cognitive tasks like for instance attentional-processes, decision-making, action selection?
- Moreover, as a corollary, are the sophisticated and fine-tuned cognitive responses observed in more complex brains the result of the redundancy of these basic shared neuronal circuits, or are they governed by the appearance of new neuronal circuits playing a modulatory effect on the core basic circuits above mentioned?
Despite many studies investigating the evolution of behavior in different animals and the cognitive mechanisms they share, there is little data about basic neural circuits, present across different and distant taxa where they appear fundamental for specific cognitive processes. The guest editors of this Research Topic welcome original research articles or reviews which aim to:
• Describe and define cognitive mechanisms studied in animal models that are shared with close and distant taxa.
• Describe the basic neural circuits underlying these mechanisms and shared with close and distant taxa.
• Try to build an integrated view of shared basic cognitive mechanisms and their shared basic neuronal circuits across close and distant taxa.
Keywords: Invertebrate, Vertebrate, Behaviour, Neuronal Circuits, Evolution
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.