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Sizing Up Hominids

Friday, November 4 at 12:00 PM
Des Moines University, Student Education Center (SEC) 115, Des Moines, IA, 50312 Show Map

Des Moines University Friday Seminar Series


  1. Reflect upon the influence of narrative and theory on our interpretation of the biology and behavior of fossil species.
  2. Define some of the relevant information concerning brain and body size that can be extracted from a comparative anatomical approach.

Muhammad Spocter, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, Anatomy, Des Moines University

I am a biological anthropologist with a special interest in the comparative neuroanatomy of primates and reconstructing the evolutionary history of our species. Using a histological framework in conjunction with phylogenetically informed procedures, I aim at investigating the neuroanatomical features underlying the behavioral repertoire of large brained, social animals. 

My research has focused on issues relating to brain asymmetry and correlates with handedness, evolutionary changes in the homologues of human language areas, exploring scaling relationships at different levels of organization (e.g. at the level of receptors, the synapse, neuron, or cortical area) and the effects of restructuring at these levels on cortical output, and characterizing the phenotypic changes that accompanied the evolution of large brains in other taxa. 

My goals are to continue to contribute to our understanding of the primate brain and to explore the unique insights gained through the study of cognition and comparative neuroanatomy in analogue groups such as Canids and Suids.

Accreditation statements

AOA: Des Moines University Continuing Medical Education and the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education approve this program for a maximum of 1.0 hour of AOA Category 2-A CME credits.

Other: Attendees will be awarded 1.0 hour of continuing education credit.

Disclosure statement

Everyone in a position to control the content of this educational activity will disclose to the CME provider and to attendees all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. They will also disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Determination of educational content for this program and the selection of speakers are responsibilities of the program director. Firms providing financial support did not have input in these areas.

Discrimination statement

Des Moines University (DMU) prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all DMU sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the DMU Continuing Medical Education Office at 515-271-1541 or cme@dmu.edu prior to the program.