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  • Cited by 8
  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: October 2011

Epilogue: The study of primate brain evolution: where do we go from here?


I am pleased to accept the title that Dean Falk and Kathleen Gibson assigned me for this concluding essay. And of course I thank them for arranging the meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in my honor. Most of all I must thank the contributors at that meeting and the others who have taken time to prepare the chapters in this book, which commemorates that meeting. In my judgment it would be inappropriate for me to comment on those excellent chapters, to argue with some of them or to agree with others. The chapters speak well for themselves, I will leave commentary to the journals, such as Current Anthropology or Brain and Behavior Sciences, that specialize in it. It has been a great pleasure to be involved with these activities.

I will depart from my assignment in three ways. First I must write about where I would go from here rather than prescribe for others. The chapters in this book present better prescriptions than I am competent to offer for the route our field as a whole can take. Second, I would like to write about where we have been, because my particular route is so much one involving the fossil evidence that I think it takes some explaining. Finally, I have to write about more than only primates, because my emphasis has been and continues to be on the evolution of the vertebrate brain, including the primates among the mammals.