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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Professor Robert A. Barton

Mars, Rogier, Neubert, Franz-Xaver, Verhagen, Lennart, Sallet, Jérôme, Miller, Karla, Dunbar, Robin & Barton, Robert (2014). Primate comparative neuroscience using magnetic resonance imaging: promises and challenges. Frontiers in Neuroscience 8: 298.

Author(s) from Durham


Primate comparative anatomy is an established field that has made rich and substantial
contributions to neuroscience. However, the labor-intensive techniques employed mean
that most comparisons are often based on a small number of species, which limits the
conclusions that can be drawn. In this review we explore how new developments in
magnetic resonance imaging have the potential to apply comparative neuroscience to a
much wider range of species, allowing it to realize an even greater potential. We discuss (1)
new advances in the types of data that can be acquired, (2) novel methods for extracting
meaningful measures from such data that can be compared between species, and (3)
methods to analyse these measures within a phylogenetic framework. Together these
developments will allow researchers to characterize the relationship between different
brains, the ecological niche they occupy, and the behavior they produce in more detail
than ever before.