Charles Darwin’s theory of descent with modification by means of natural selection has stood the test of time, with new discoveries in genetics and the mathematical basis of natural selection providing ever growing evidence for the theory. The October issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience — contains an online focus, free to access online for six months from the issue date, celebrating the contribution of Darwin’s ideas to our current understanding of the evolution of the nervous system. The articles in this special issue discuss the molecular, cellular and structural changes that have contributed to CNS (central nervous system) evolution and their functional consequences. The focus consists of reviews and perspectives on:
The origin and evolution of synapses
Tomás J. Ryan & Seth G. N. Grant
Considering the evolution of regeneration in the central nervous system
Elly M. Tanaka & Patrizia Ferretti
Evolution of the neocortex: a perspective from developmental biology
Chordate roots of the vertebrate nervous system: expanding the molecular toolkit
Linda Z. Holland
Sleep viewed as a state of adaptive inactivity
Jerome M. Siegel
MicroRNAs tell an evo–devo story
Kenneth S. Kosik
Nature Publishing Group celebrates Darwin 200 with a range of articles from its journals.
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