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Recent developments in behavioural neuroscience and genomics are providing exciting new tools for understanding mammalian evolution. Drawing on a range of disciplines including genomic reprogramming, immunology, genomic imprinting, placentation and brain development, Beyond Sex Differences examines the leading role played by the mother's genome and epigenome in the successful evolutionary progression of humans from ancestral mammals. Keverne begins by discussing the historic context of the perceived dominance of males and the patriline, before arguing that it is instead the matriline that exerts the dominant influence in shaping the evolution of our brain development and behaviour, especially the co-adaptive development of brain and placenta. Presenting a balanced outlook on the development of sex differences and an alternative to traditional views, Beyond Sex Differences will be of interest to anyone studying and researching mother and infant development.
1. On the genetic origin of sex differences
2. Epigenetics – the gene-environment interface
3. Genomic imprinting: matrilineal regulatory control over gene expression
4. Puberty – developmental reorganisation of sex differences in body and mind
5. Mother– infant bonding
6. Brain and placenta: the coming together of two distinct generations
Eric B. Keverne is Emeritus Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, with a lifetime fellowship at King's College, Cambridge. A neuroscientist with a career spanning over forty years, his research has more recently brought molecular genetic techniques to focus on brain development, focusing in particular on mammalian brain evolution and behaviour and the importance of genomic imprinting in this context.