Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Neonatal Brain Size

Average size of the brains of newborns in a species, expressed in cm3 (or cc). Monkeys such as macaques have NBS about two thirds of adult size at birth, and great apes about half, whereas the human NBS is only about one fourth of its eventual adult size. Unlike mammals, which exhibit the fastest rate of brain growth in utero, humans sustain high rates of growth, including brain size hypertrophy, for nearly a year after birth.

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