Nature Reviews Neuroscience web focus on CNS evolution

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

Pasko Rakic

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

Editors’ summary of these articles.

NPG library of articles on CNS evolution.

Nature celebrates Darwin 200.

Nature Publishing Group celebrates Darwin 200 with a range of articles from its journals.

Fifteen evolutionary gems from Nature’s archives.

More about Nature Reviews Neuroscience.


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