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THE second in the Brain Matters Seminar series was held at Wits University on Thursday 25 May 2017. Paul Manger, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of the Witwatersrand, spoke on ‘The Five Evolutions of Large Brains in Mammals: Humans, Elephants, Cetaceans, Seals and Camels’.

The summary stated: ‘Humans have large brains, and so do whales, dolphins and elephants. But when do we consider a brain to be ‘large’, and does increased brain size evolve for the same purpose in each of these species? This lecture will explore the definition of large brain size and the multiple independent evolutions of large brains across mammals.’

Third seminar

The next seminar in the series will be on Friday 18th August 2017. The presenter will be Professor Mark Solms, Director of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town, who will talk on: ‘The neural mechanisms of dreaming’.

About the Brain Matters Seminar Series

The Brain Matters Seminars are a joint initiative of the University of the Witwatersrand, the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), the Southern African Neuroscience Society (SANS) and the Wits Cortex Club.

It is an interdisciplinary seminar series that explores the past, present and future of neuroscience in southern Africa, with the aim of building a network of researchers that are dedicated to advancing the field in this region.

The series will consist of five seminars, to be held in April, May, August, October and December 2017. They will have a multidisciplinary neuroscience focus, and will cover topics that are both locally relevant and internationally significant.

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