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Palaeoneurology: Brain growth, speech and human evolution

Prof. Dr. Helmuth Steinmetz, Clinic for Neurology


In year 1 after “Darwin Year” – and parallel to the exhibition “Safari to Primitive Man” still running in the Senckenberg Museum – the approximately 60 minute talk tried to analyze the connection between the three-fold expansion in size and new functions of our brain cortex arising over the last 4 million years. The hypotheses presented for discussion touched on fossil evidence, current imaging data on the development of the human brain and anatomical observations of the vocal tract. Professor Steinmetz is Director of the Neurological University Clinic at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. With his glimpse into our past he supported the theme of the global “Brain Awareness Week”, which started on the day of the talk.

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