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August 31, 1963

The evolution of the human brain

JAMA. 1963;185(9):734. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060090066031

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The writer of this small monograph is one of the few persons trained in both anthropology and neurology. The book treats the evolution of the brain from Australopithecus to modern man. It does not attempt to go anterior to Australopithecus, but touches upon a few points in the evolution of the brain prior to the primate stage. Studied here are the final steps in the evolution of the human brain, neglecting the contemporary great apes which must vary considerably from the fossil forms through which man went. Considerable data are given by the author to show that none of the living primates is in the direct ancestral line.

Chapter 2 presents a summary discussion of the fossil forms with which the book deals—Australopithecus, Sinanthropus-Pithecanthropus, Solo man and Neanderthal man—as an introduction to the description of their endocranial casts in chapter 3. The author notes that cranial capacity is not

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