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The mammalian brain under domestication: Discovering patterns after a century of old and new analyses


Balcarcel, A M; Geiger, M; Clauss, Marcus; Sánchez‐Villagra, Marcelo R (2022). The mammalian brain under domestication: Discovering patterns after a century of old and new analyses. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 338(8):460-483.

Abstract

Comparisons of wild and domestic populations have established brain reduction as one of the most consistent patterns correlated with domestication. Over a century of scholarly work has been devoted to this subject, and yet, new data continue to foster its debate. Current arguments, both for and against the validity of brain reduction occurring in domestic taxa, have repeatedly cited a small set of reviews on this subject. The original works, their sampling, methodological details, and nuances of results that would be key to establishing validity, particularly in light of new data, have not been investigated. To facilitate and encourage a more informed discussion, we present a comprehensive review of original brain reduction literature for four mammalian clades: Artiodactyla,
Perissodactyla, Carnivora, and Glires. Among these are studies that generated the most cited brain reduction values in modern domestication literature. In doing so, we provide a fairer stage for the critique of traits associated with domestication. We conclude that while brain reduction magnitudes may contain error, empirical data collectively support the reduction in brain size and cranial capacity for domestic forms.
KEYWORDS allometry, Artiodactyla, encephalization, skull

Abstract

Comparisons of wild and domestic populations have established brain reduction as one of the most consistent patterns correlated with domestication. Over a century of scholarly work has been devoted to this subject, and yet, new data continue to foster its debate. Current arguments, both for and against the validity of brain reduction occurring in domestic taxa, have repeatedly cited a small set of reviews on this subject. The original works, their sampling, methodological details, and nuances of results that would be key to establishing validity, particularly in light of new data, have not been investigated. To facilitate and encourage a more informed discussion, we present a comprehensive review of original brain reduction literature for four mammalian clades: Artiodactyla,
Perissodactyla, Carnivora, and Glires. Among these are studies that generated the most cited brain reduction values in modern domestication literature. In doing so, we provide a fairer stage for the critique of traits associated with domestication. We conclude that while brain reduction magnitudes may contain error, empirical data collectively support the reduction in brain size and cranial capacity for domestic forms.
KEYWORDS allometry, Artiodactyla, encephalization, skull

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Paleontology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > Developmental Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Developmental Biology, Genetics, Animal Science and Zoology, Molecular Medicine, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 December 2022
Deposited On:01 Dec 2021 12:23
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 02:56
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1552-5007
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.23105
PubMed ID:34813150
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)