Integrating brain, behavior, and phylogeny to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds
Wylie, Douglas R.
Gutierrez-Ibanez, Cristian I.
Iwaniuk, Andrew N.
The comparative anatomy of sensory systems has played a major role in developing theories and principles central to evolutionary neuroscience. This includes the central tenet of many comparativestudies, the principle of proper mass, which states that the size of a neural structure reflects its processing capacity. The size of structures within the sensory system is not, however, the only salient variable in sensory evolution. Further, the evolution of the brain and behavior are intimately tied to phylgenetic history, requiring studies to integrate neuroanatomy with behavior and phylogeny to gain a more holistic view of brain evolution. Birds have proven to be a useful group for theses tudies because of widespread interest in their phylogenetic relationships and a wealth of information on the functional organization of most of their sensory pathways. In this review, we examine the principle of proper mass in relation differences in the sensory capabilities among birds. We discuss how neuroanatomy, behavior, and phylogeny can be integrated to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds providing evidence from visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. We also consider the concept of a “trade-off,” where by one sensory system (or subpathway within a sensory system), may be expanded in size, at the expense of others, which are reduced in size.
Sherpa Romeo green journal: open access
Principle of proper mass , Wulst , Lentiformis mesencephali , Isthmo-optic nucleus , Somatosensory specializations , Prv , Brain-behavior relationships , Sound localization
Wylie, D. R., Gutierrez-Ibanez, C., & Iwaniuk, A. N. (2015). Integrating brain, behavior, and phylogeny to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 9, 281. doi:10.3389/fnins.2015.00281