The Journal of Neuroscience, 11 April 2012, 32(15): 5039-5053; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4788-11.2012
How much can studying monkeys help us learn how our own brains develop and function? Researchers in Japan comparing marmoset and mouse brains found some brain structures in marmosets, small monkeys in South America, are more similar to those of humans than rodents. They examined different gene activity patterns in the marmoset brains (pictured above) to determine whether studying marmosets could help us learn about higher cognitive abilities like language and attention. Thanks to these documented similarities, studies of marmosets may help us understand the evolution of brain development and function.