Hominins and the emergence of the modern human brain.
Evidence used to reconstruct the morphology and function of the brain (and the rest of the central nervous system) in fossil hominin species comes from the fossil and archeological records. Although the details provided about human brain evolution are scarce, they benefit from interpretations informed by interspecific comparative studies and, in particular, human pathology studies. In recent years, new information has come to light about fossil DNA and ontogenetic trajectories, for which pathology research has significant implications. We briefly describe and summarize data from the paleoarcheological and paleoneurological records about the evolution of fossil hominin brains, including behavioral data most relevant to brain research. These findings are brought together to characterize fossil hominin taxa in terms of brain structure and function and to summarize brain evolution in the human lineage.