Further limits on using monkeys to understand human brains

This 2015 Columbia human/macaque study found:

“Fundamental differences in the attention-related brain areas in the two species, including the complete absence, in monkeys, of a ventral-attention network present in humans.

We did not find functional evidence of a temporoparietal junction in macaques.

The two species last shared a common ancestor 25 million years ago, and in the intervening time the brain areas underlying cognition have likely evolved along different paths.

The results of this study indicate that macaque data should be applied to human models of cognition cautiously, and demonstrate how evolution may shape cortical networks.”

The main point of this study was the same as noted in Limits of dMRI brain studies, which advised – instead of performing studies on monkeys to understand humans:

“Assess human anatomical connections directly and comprehensively.”

We can look forward to times when using macaques in studies such as:

is no longer acceptable.

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/30/9454.full “Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans”

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