Is prefrontal white matter enlargement a human evolutionary specialization?

Chet C Sherwood1, Ralph L Holloway2,3, Katerina Semendeferi4 & Patrick R Hof3,5
  1. Department of Anthropology and School of Biomedical Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, USA.
  2. Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10025, USA.
  3. New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York, New York, USA.
  4. Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.
  5. Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.

Correspondence to: Chet C Sherwood1 e-mail:

Using a comparative volumetric analysis of MRI scans of brains from 11 primate species (including monkeys, apes and humans), Schoenemann and colleagues1 claim that the prefrontal white matter of humans is enlarged compared to that of other primates. This would suggest that the evolution of human cognitive capacities mediated by prefrontal circuitry relies on enhanced interconnectivity.



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