THE EVOLVING BRAIN LABORATORY
Mission: Our mission is to embrace the diversity of mammalian brain architecture at all levels of analysis and to use knowledge garnered from this to help us better understand the emergence of the human brain and the biological basis for variation in brain function and disease liability.
Cetacean brains generate lots of heat! Read our recent collaborative research on uncoupling proteins in the cetacean brain published in Scientific Reports!
Read our recent publication on asymmetry in the chimpanzee brain
published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, London.
A small snippet from the DMU blog on the context of our recent work -Read more
Learn more about some of our ongoing work on domestication in the Canid and Artiodactyl brain.
Neuro-SMART high school students present their research at the DMU Research Symposium.
Central Campus and EBL awarded a Verizon Foundation Innovative Learning Grant to expand their high school brain research module!
The Evolving Brain Laboratory (EBL) is an educational and research initiative dedicated to the study of comparative neuroanatomy and the evolutionary origins of the human brain.
Our Work: We use a histological framework in conjunction with phylogenetically informed procedures to investigate the neuroanatomical features underlying the behavioral repertoire of mammalian species.
Our Focus: To date our work has primarily centred around the study of brain asymmetry, exploring scaling relationships at different levels of organization and characterizing the phenotypic changes that accompanied the evolution of large brains.
Our Commitment to the region has also seen us gear some of our work towards the study of indigenous and domestic animals that play a pivotal role in the livelihood of the local community.
We are located within the Anatomy Department at Des Moines University upon the backdrop of the beautiful and friendly City of Des Moines, Iowa. PI- Muhammad Spocter
Are you Interested in obtaining a Masters or PhD degree in comparative neuroanatomy? - Check out Des Moines Universities MSA Masters in Anatomy Thesis and PhD in Biomedical Sciences programs.
Neuro-SMART gets a STEM BEST Award!
Dolphins have small hippocampi that lack adult neurogenesis
The 34th Karger Workshop in Evolutionary Neuroscience
3200 Grand Avenue
Department of Anatomy
Des Moines University
Des Moines, IA 50312
41st Annual Meeting of the J.B. Johnston Club for Evolutionary Neuroscience ABOUT
25, 26 JULY
Neuroanatomy in an Afternoon- Teachers Workshop- Free!
Target Audience: High School & Community College science educators - REGISTRATION
The JBJC Spring Virtual Symposium - REGISTRATION
First day of class for the Spring semester of the high school comparative neuroanatomy STEM Class (Neuro-SMART)
We completed our preliminary description of the major sensory cortical areas of the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). This work was the result of a Carnegie-Wits Alumni fellowship funding collaborative links between Des Moines University and the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). Click the link to read more about the project. One recent publication emerging from this project is:
Chengetania, S., Tenley, J., Bertelson, M,F., Hard, T., Bhagwandin, A., Haagensen, M., Tang, C., Wicinski, B., Hof, P.R., Manger, P.R., & Spocter, M.A (2020). The brain of the African wild dog. I. Anatomy, architecture and volumetrics. Journal of Comparative Neurology. -link
The Neuro-SMART program
awarded a STEM BEST® award
from the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council. This program is now recognized as one of 50 innovative models in Iowa working to unite the workplace with the classroom.