In brain evolution, size matters – most of the time

A study of 58 species of songbirds by Cornell University and Columbia University researchers found that once a species evolved a larger brain, brain regions that control the beak and mouth, and the area for song, developed additional complex neural networks. The findings suggest that this principle may also help explain human evolution; we may have first evolved larger brains, which then allowed for adaptations that enhanced brain regions that control specific abilities, such as language. The research were able to collaborate by using NYSERNet’s R&E network. (Photo by Jordan Moore)