The expensive-tissue hypothesis may help explain brain-size reduction during domestication

Raffaela Lesch, Kurt Kotrschal, Andrew C. Kitchener, Tecumseh Fitch, Alexander Kotrschal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Morphological traits, such as white patches, floppy ears and curly tails, are ubiquitous in domestic animals and are referred to as the ‘domestication syndrome’. A commonly discussed hypothesis that has the potential to provide a unifying explanation for these traits is the ‘neural crest/domestication syndrome hypothesis’. Although this hypothesis has the potential to explain most traits of the domestication syndrome, it only has an indirect connection to the reduction of brain size, which is a typical trait of domestic animals. We discuss how the expensive-tissue hypothesis might help explain brain-size reduction in domestication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-192
Number of pages3
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Brain size
  • cranial volume
  • gut
  • intestine
  • neural crest


Dive into the research topics of 'The expensive-tissue hypothesis may help explain brain-size reduction during domestication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this