Robert A. Barton

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Several theories have been proposed to explain the evolution of species differences in brain size, but no consensus has emerged. One unresolved question is whether brain size differences are a result of neural specializations or of biological constraints affecting the whole brain. Here I show that, among primates, brain size variation is associated with(More)
The neocortex is widely held to have been the focus of mammalian brain evolution, but what selection pressures explain the observed diversity in its size and structure? Among primates, comparative studies suggest that neocortical evolution is related to the cognitive demands of sociality, and here I confirm that neocortex size and social group size are(More)
Predictions of the model of van Schaik (1989) of female-bonding in primates are tested by systematically comparing the ecology, level of within-group contest competition for food (WGC), and patterns of social behaviour found in two contrasting baboon populations. Significant differences were found in food distribution (percentage of the diet from clumped(More)
The scaling of metabolic rates to body size is widely considered to be of great biological and ecological importance, and much attention has been devoted to determining its theoretical and empirical value. Most debate centers on whether the underlying power law describing metabolic rates is 2/3 (as predicted by scaling of surface area/volume relationships)(More)
The anatomical basis and adaptive function of the expansion in primate brain size have long been studied; however, we are only beginning to understand the genetic basis of these evolutionary changes. Genes linked to human primary microcephaly have received much attention as they have accelerated evolutionary rates along lineages leading to humans. However,(More)
Primates are usually thought of as "visual" mammals, and several comparative studies have emphasized the role of vision in primate neural and sociocognitive specialization. Here I explore the role of olfactory systems, using phylogenetic analysis of comparative volumetric data. The relative sizes of the main olfactory bulb (MOB) and accessory olfactory bulb(More)
Brain size variation in mammals correlates with life histories: larger-brained species have longer gestations, mature later, and have increased lifespans. These patterns have been explained in terms of developmental costs (larger brains take longer to grow) and cognitive benefits (large brains enhance survival and increase lifespan). In support of the(More)
The amount of time asleep varies greatly in mammals, from 3 h in the donkey to 20 h in the armadillo. Previous comparative studies have suggested several functional explanations for interspecific variation in both the total time spent asleep and in rapid-eye movement (REM) or "quiet" (non-REM) sleep. In support of specific functional benefits of sleep,(More)