Research by Ornella Bertrand, Farrah Amador-Mughal and Mary Silcox Sheds New Light on Brain Evolution

Composite photo of Silcox, a skull and Bertrand
The discovery by Associate Professor Mary Silcox and Ornella Bertrand shows that brain size does not necessarily increase over time (composite image courtesy Perry Sheppard)

Research published last month by UTSC Anthropology PhD student Ornella Bertrand, undergraduate student Farrah Amador-Mughal, and Prof. Mary Silcox has demonstrated that brain size does not necessarily increase over time as previously thought, nor is it the only indicator of intelligence. The discovery resulted from analyzing the brains of ancient rodents to better understand brain evolution. While size is certainly important, this research gives a more nuanced understanding of how brains, especially in primates, evolved over time. Learn more in the U of T News article here, or read the academic paper published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B here. Prof. Silcox also has a great website highlighting all of her lab’s exciting research. Check it out here.