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Paleoneurology is a complex field and the study of brain growth in human species is still in its infancy. The available fossil record is scattered, incomplete, subjected to interpretation. It is also difficult to estimate the individual ages of these exceptional milestones fossil specimen along our history. Finally, the overall shape of the skull and its size are not the only things that need to be documented, but also the variations in the details of the brain surface. It is essential to look at all the small traces left by the brain, documenting grooves, lobes and brain areas in brain endocasts, as well as their possible changes all along human evolution.
This text summarizes what we know about growth and development in our prehistoric ancestors, between Australopithecus, Homo erectus and Neandertals. The first results show how much the brain has varied within humanity, that changes between the youngest individuals and adults within each species are as many diverse responses that we have yet to document and to interpret.
Pour citer cet article :Balzeau Antoine (2020/2). What Do we Know about Growth and Development of the Brain in Prehistoric Humans? In A. de Beaune Sophie (Eds), Emergence and evolution of human cognition, Intellectica, 73, (pp.57-66), DOI: n/a.