Human uniqueness/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Human uniqueness.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.
Posits that the relationship between humans and other animals played a key role in establishing key traits of our species: "tool making, symbolic behavior and language, and the domestication of plants and animals."
  • Toro, R.; Perron, M.; Pike, B.; Richer, L.; Veillette, S.; Pausova, Z.; Paus, T. (2008). "Brain Size and Folding of the Human Cerebral Cortex". Cereb Cortex: in press. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhm261. Research Blogging.
Reports on spindle neurons (also known as "von Economo neurons") in humpback whale, thereby showing that this cell type is not unique to great apes.
One of several papers claiming (without a comparative study) that von Economo neurons are unique to humans and great apes. However, studies in cetaceans and elephants have found this kind of neurons, too.
Provides comparative histological data on the glia-neuron ratios in prefrontal area 9L of the neocortex in 18 anthropoid primate species and on the allometric scaling of this ratio with brain size, concluding that the value in humans is well within the range allometrically expected for an anthropoid primate with our brain size.
  • Critchley, H.D.; Wiens, S.; Rotshtein, P.; Öhman, A.; Dolan, R.J. (2004). "Neural systems supporting interoceptive awareness". Nature Neuroscience 7: 189-195. DOI:10.1038/nn1176. Research Blogging.
  • Kobayashi, H.; Kohshima, S. (2001). "Unique morphology of the human eye and its adaptive meaning: comparative studies on external morphology of the primate eye". Journal of Human Evolution 40 (5): 419-435. DOI:10.1006/jhev.2001.0468. Research Blogging.
Posits that spindle neurons (also known as "von Economo neurons") may be unique to great apes.
Based on large compilations of previously published cross-species data on brain weight (or skull volume for odontocetes) and body weight, the article concludes "that the encephalization level of Homo sapiens is still extraordinary relative to that of nonhuman species. Nevertheless, a subset of delphinid odontocetes are significantly more highly encephalized than the most highly encephalized anthropoid primates and narrow the gap in encephalization between humans and nonhumans substantially. These findings may have implications for comparative models of the relative importance of brain size versus brain organization for the evolution of intelligence."
  • Hockett, C.F.; Altmann, S.A. (1968). "A note on design features". Animal Communication: Techniques of Study and Results of Research: 61-72.
  • Hockett, C.F. (1960). "The origin of speech". Scientific American 203: 88-96.