From: Textbook of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
– David P Moore and Basant K Puri 2012
“It is instructive to begin by briefly reminding ourselves of our place within an evolutionary context. Rather than believing that the human body, including the human brain, sits at the pinnacle of an Aristolelian scala naturae, it is more accurate to recognize that there is nothing particularly superior about our place in the phyologenetic tree.
An anthropocentric view of the superiority of the anatomy of the human brain is further deflated by the realization that, while larger mammalian brains have more neocortex than smaller brains, for our species the average total cortical surface area is no more than would be expected given the average human brain volume.
Moreover in light of recent findings in molecular genetics, Butler has suggested that:
We are now confronted with compelling evidence that … the whole nervous system itself is organized in essentially the same way across all bilaterally symmetrical animals and is specified by the same set of regulatory genes during development. As humans we essentially share the ‘same’ brain not only with other primates, mammals and craniates but also with fruit flies and octopuses. (Butler 2000)”