April 6, 2010

INTRODUCTION
-MS Walk on May 1, we will send info via e-mail soon
-we still need people to volunteer with Alzheimer's patients, contact Dinah if interested
-make sure to sign attendance sheet at every meeting! It helps determine our funding.
-interested in participating in an MRI study where you get paid? subjects must be right-handed and have no metal in their head/torso. Contact Thalia if interested

SPEAKER
Prof. Laurie Godfrey, "Brain Evolution in Primates"
-humans have largest brains of hominids

Big Brains: Who Needs Them?--haplorrhines have largest brains, followed by strepsirrhines, then scandentia, and insectivores

What's Special About Primates?
-fetal and neonate brain weight is higher relative to body mass compared to other groups
-negative allometry of brain growth: slows before body growth

What's the Big Deal?--extractive foraging? predation? maternal investment? slow development? multiple offspring over lifetime?

Ecological correlates associated with relatively large or small brains?
-Propithicus lemur (folivore): small brain, dental development accelerated, weaning early, maternal investment limited
-Daubentonia lemur (extractive forager): brain relatively larger, weaning late, maternal investment high
-ecological divide between monkeys/apes and lemurs?

Extinct Lemurs
-based on dental analysis which examines daily cross-striations in teeth, extinct lemurs fill ecological divide
-extractive forager extinct lemurs display striking convergences to large-bodied Anthropoids; similar only to living Daubentonia