Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Encephalization

Developmental process by which the cerebral cortex has taken over the functions of subcortical centers. In general, there has been a tendency for classes of animals to evolve larger brains (see neocortex) relative to their remaining body size, such that there is progressively more encephalization from invertebrates to fish to amphibians to reptiles and birds to mammals. Within the mammals, primates are more encephalized than all other groups. The relation of brain size to body size is expressed as a ratio, the encephalization quotient.

See thermoregulation and the expensive tissue hypothesis.

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