How the vertebrate brain has evolved is still a highly debated issue. Using modern analytical tools we studied how ecology, sexual selection and parental care have influenced brain evolution across the highly diverse cichlid fishes of lake Tanganyika.

Our results show that diet and parental care have had an important influence on total brain size. Moreover, by analyzing males and females separately, we show that females caring for offspring alone have larger brains than females sharing care with their partner.

Our results suggest that complex social interactions associated with diet and monoparental female care have favoured the evolution of larger brains.

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Proceedings B is the Royal Society's flagship biological research journal, dedicated to the rapid publication and broad dissemination of high-quality research papers, reviews and comment and reply papers. The scope of journal is diverse and is especially strong in organismal biology.

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

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