The Role of Endocasts in the Study of Brain Evolution

A. M. Balanoff, G. S. Bever

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


Endocasts are windows into deep history and as such provide modern neuroscience a more complete appreciation of: (1) the brain's evolutionary potential (by allowing sampling of extinct lineages) and (2) the origins of modern neurological disparity. Imaging technology has increased the number of endocasts and thus their integrative potential for informing broad patterns of brain evolution. Our goal is to facilitate this integration by explicating the inferential framework in which endocasts are studied, their anatomical identity, and the hypotheses they can and cannot address. Examples of endocasts' explanatory power and limitations are drawn largely from birds and their extinct relatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEvolution of Nervous Systems
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780128040423
ISBN (Print)9780128040966
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Aves
  • Brain
  • Crown clade
  • Dinosauria
  • Endocast
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuroscience
  • Paleontology
  • Reptilia
  • Stem group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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