Neuroanatomical Implications for Neuroethology

  • Sven O. E. Ebbesson
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 56)


Neuroethology is the science concerned with elucidating the neurophysiological bases of behavioral functions (Ewert, 1980). The methods used in this field range from brain stimulation to single unit recording. Needless to say, such studies depend on a thorough understanding of neuroanatomy, but the relationship between neuroanatomy and neuroethology is more important than that. In fact, I propose that comparative neuroanatomy must be considered an integral part of neuroethology, each giving meaning to the other. The interspecific variability of structures forms the bases for the variability in behavior and neurophysiological interactions. Since most of the contributors to this volume are ethologists and physiologists, I will review some aspects of comparative neuroanatomy that relates specifically to neuroethology. I will deal prinicpally with the evolution of neuroanatomical methods and interspecific variability of brain organization and show how this relates to a new view of evolutionary and ontogenetic plasticity of connections. It is my purpose to show the wonderful potential of integrating the comparative morphological discipline with those of neurophysiology and behavior.


Brain Organization Ontogenetic Development Interspecific Variability Nurse Shark Optic Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven O. E. Ebbesson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Abt. NeurobiologieMPI f. Biophysikalische ChemieGöttingenF. R. of Germany
  2. 2.Dept. of AnatomyPonce School of MedicinePonce, P.R.USA

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