Evolution of the mammalian brain
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Evolution of the mammalian brain

Evolution of the mammalian brain

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This Colloque Médecine et Recherche is the 25th annual meeting organized by Fondation Ipsen and is organized byFred Gage (The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, USA) and Yves Christen (Fondation Ipsen, Paris, France). 


The size and complexity of the human brain stands out in the animal kingdom and is associated with the remarkable capacities of humans to conduct behaviors that, in the aggregate, are more complicated then all other species. Studying human evolution is often approached by studying brain evolution. Progress has been made, to date, in unraveling some secrets or codes, to describe brain evolution and thus behavioral evolution, but detailed cell and molecular mechanisms have been more elusive. This symposium seeks to bring together experts on Brain and Behaviorial Evolution to discuss and delineate questions and techniques that are now being developed to frame the study of human evolution in a mechanistic context. How has the genome that builds a brain changed with evolution; how does the development of brain cells change across species and what are the molecular regulators that control the changes?  Why has the cortex, in particular, expanded so greatly over time and what specializations within the cortex have expanded most? What is the relationship of the expanding brain to increases or decreases in behavioral competencies? How do we map unique species-specific characteristics of behavior to specifically evolved or expanded brain structures, and which if any of these characteristics are unique to humans? While we do not expect to answer these questions completely at this meeting, we aspire to determine if these and other questions are answerable with current methods.

Scientific program: 

8:30am Yves Christen (Fondation Ipsen, Paris, France)

8:45am Svante Pääbo (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany)
A genomic approach to human uniqueness

9:15am Fred H. Gage (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, USA)
Species-specific maturation profiles of iPS derived neurons from human, chimpanzee and bonobo

9:45am Frederick J. Livesey (Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Studying primate cerebral cortex development and evolution using stem cell systems

10:15am Coffee break, posters and networking

11:00am Wieland B. Huttner (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany)
Neural stem and progenitor cells and neocortex expansion in development and evolution

11:30am Kenneth S. Kosik (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
Linking anatomical and molecular novelty in the primate brain

12:00pm Todd M. Preuss (Emory University, Atlanta, USA)
The evolution of human cortical organization

12:30pm Suzana Herculano-Houzel (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA)
Numbers of brain cells: What changes, what doesn't, and what does it matter

1:00pm Lunch and posters

2:15pm Ajit Varki (University of California, San Diego, USA)
Evolution of human brain siglecs 

2:45pm Chet C. Sherwood (The George Washington University, Washington, USA)
The evolutionary development of human brain plasticity

3:15pm Antoine Balzeau (Musée de l’Homme, Paris, France)
Paleoneurology or what can be said from brains that have disappeared

3:45pm Coffee break, posters and networking

4:15pm Asif A. Ghazanfar (Princeton University, Princeton, USA)
The evolution and developmental neuromechanics of vocal communication

4:45pm Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Kyoto University, Aichi, Japan)
Human mind viewed from the study of chimpanzees

5:15pm Nicola S. Clayton (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Ways of Thinking: from crows to children and back again 

5:45pm Conclusion 

For more information, please contact :   fondation@ipsen.com 

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