Hodos, William Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Last reviewed:April 2021
- Central nervous system
- Brain size
- Subdivisions of brain
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A highly complex organ consisting of sensory and motor systems that constitutes part of the nervous system. Virtually all of the brain systems that are found in mammals occur in birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as in fishes and sharks. These systems have become more complex and sophisticated as the adaptive requirements of the animals changed. Occasionally, new sensory systems arose, most likely as specializations of existing systems; however, some of these disappeared as animals left the aquatic world. Some sensory systems arose and declined several times in different lineages. In spite of the many changes in brain structure (some being quite dramatic), the evolution of the nervous system, from the earliest vertebrates through to those of today, has been relatively conservative. See also: Brain; Nervous system (invertebrate); Nervous system (vertebrate); Vertebrata
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