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New role for serotonin identified in the evolution of the developing brain

Written by Jenny Straiton (Assistant Editor)

Serotonin developing brain

Researchers have identified a potential new role for the neurotransmitter serotonin that could explain a heretofore unknown evolutionary mystery. Over the course of human evolution, the brain – in particular the neocortex – grew larger than our primate relatives, enabling us to think, speak and dream. The underlying mechanism of this neocortical expansion is unclear, with a number of potential molecular players having been identified. Each identified molecule is believed to act intrinsically in the basal progenitor cells of the developing neocortex, influencing its growth. Now, researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Dresden, Germany)...

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