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Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Nicholas Strausfeld FRS and Dr Frank Hirth

Event details

The origin of brains and central nervous systems is thought to have occurred before the Paleozoic era. Yet in the absence of tangible evidence there has been continued debate whether today’s brains derive from one ancestral origin or whether similarities amongst them are due to convergent evolution. This meeting will consider the origin of nervous systems, integrating knowledge ranging from evolutionary theory and palaeontology to comparative developmental genetics and phylogenomics. It will cover discoveries of fossil brains, as well as correspondences of neural circuit organisation and behaviours, all of which allow evidence-based debates for and against the proposition that the nervous systems and brains of animals all derive from a common ancestor.

Abstracts and biographies of the organisers and speakers are available below. Papers from the meeting will be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions B.

Attending this event

This event has already taken place. Recorded audio of the presentations can be found below.

This meeting was immediately followed by a related, two-day satellite meeting, Homology and convergence in nervous system evolution, at the Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre.

Enquiries: Contact the events team