How have hominid brains evolved over time? How can we study the central nervous systems of species long ago fossilized? How does modern medical imaging and computed statistical analyses contribute to our understanding of archaic human brain size, shape, and even function? How can paleoneurology inform the investigations of cognitive archaeologists?
Join renowned paleoneurologist Dr. Emiliano Bruner (National Research Center on Human Evolution, Burgos, Spain) for this course presenting topics and issues associated with the field of human paleoneurology, namely the study of brain evolution in fossil species. Endocasts (endocranial casts) are introduced, along with past analog and current digital methods of anatomical reconstructions and morphometric analyses. Additional modules concern the brain and the skull, in terms of anatomy, ontogeny and evolution. The structural and functional relationship between brain and braincase (functional craniology) is a particular area of focus. The main paleoneurological features associated with fossil hominids are described and discussed, with special attention paid to Neandertals. Craniovascular features are also introduced and described as evidence of the vascular system and associated blood flow in extinct species. Accordingly, metabolism and brain energetic are also acknowledged.
Classes run from August 26 to December 21. For enrollment information, see https://www.uccs.edu/lases/full_program_listings/cca