Development and Evolution of the Human Neocortex

Organisers: Victor Borrell, Wieland Huttner and Arnold Kriegstein

Date: 10 - 13 June 2018

Location: Wiston House, UK

The human brain is one of the pinnacles of natural evolution, which endows us with unmatched cognitive performance and was likely key for our success during natural selection over other species, including other hominids. Evolution relies on the innovation of genetic, molecular, cellular and histogenetic processes that take place during development. In the case of the brain, this innovation ultimately results in changes on the complexity and function of neural circuits, and animal behaviour.

Recent technological advances in genomics, stem cell biology, and cerebral organoid models, as well as newly discovered hominids, have led to an explosion of new information that bears on the issue of human cortex development and evolution. These discoveries are multidisciplinary and have occurred at multiple and complementary levels: genes, molecules, cells, tissues and biomechanics. With this burst of new information comes an opportunity to integrate the findings into an updated, modern view of human cortical evolution.

The central topic of this workshop is understanding the relevant mechanisms of brain development responsible for the emergence of the modern human cerebral cortex, and how these evolved along mammalian history. The program includes presentations and discussions on four main topics with intersecting and complementary contributions to the main theme:

  1. Genetic and molecular evolution
  2. Evolution of cortical development: neurogenesis and gliogenesis
  3. Biomechanics of cortical expansion
  4. Human evolution and brain function

This Workshop aims to bring together a multidisciplinary team of scientists leading different but intersecting disciplines to exchange knowledge, hypotheses and arguments on the development and evolution of Homo sapiens, and the development of the human cerebral cortex, with the goal of reaching a multidimensional view and understanding of this fundamental issue.


About Wiston House

Wiston House

The Workshops will be held at the beautiful Wiston House, which is a 16th century Grade I listed building located at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex. The house is surrounded by over 6,000 acres of parkland with magnificent views from the mile-long drive.

Wiston House is the home of Wilton Park, one of the world’s leading centres for the discussion of key international policy issues. Wilton Park was created in 1946 to help re-establish peace and democracy in Europe as part of an initiative inspired by Winston Churchill. Wiston House has an amazing history and appears in the Domesday Book, the register of English possessions made by William the Conqueror in 1086, 20 years after he won the Battle of Hastings.

Wiston House is 32 miles from Gatwick Airport and 60 miles from Heathrow Airport. The nearest train station is Shoreham-by-Sea, which is a 20 minute taxi ride from Wiston House and takes 1 hour 10 minutes from London Victoria.

Wiston House
Steyning Road
West Sussex
BN44 3DZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1903 815020

About our Workshops

The Company of Biologists is widely known for its excellence in scientific publishing and it now runs a successful high level series of Workshops. The Workshops provide leading experts and early career scientists from a diverse range of scientific backgrounds with a stimulating environment for the cross fertilization of interdisciplinary ideas. The programmes are carefully developed and are intended to champion the novel techniques and innovations that will underpin important scientific advances.

About our Journal Meetings

The teams behind our journals bring you the most relevant and challenging topics for discussion through a series of international meetings.

Important meetings serving the communities around our journals.

Each meeting is individually crafted to suit the topic and audience, ranging from small intimate meetings with a focus on intense and detailed discussion to larger meetings with a focus on networking and opportunities for attendees to more widely share their latest research.

Themes explored in the Journal Meetings go on to be discussed in the Company’s journals, helping to shape the field and even the journals themselves.

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Development Journal of Cell Science The Journal of Experimental Biology Disease Models & Mechanisms Biology Open

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