Despite the huge complexity of the question, our understanding of cortical evolution has progressed recently in parallel with our understanding of developmental mechanisms. Further advances can be made by careful comparative analyses of cortical development in different species, using simple techniques such as comparative genomics, immuno-histochemistry, and in situ hybridization. Two conditions are requisite to make this possible, however. First, genomic sequences should be available for monotremes and at least one member of other amniote lineages (chelonians, crocodilians, sphenodon, squamates). Second, a significant multi-national effort should aim at providing access to high-quality embryonic material from representatives of these lineages.
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