NYCEP Alumnus Profile

Douglas Broadfield

Associate Professor Department of Anthropology Florida Atlantic University


B.S. Emory University Ph.D. 2001, City University of New York



Tel: (561) 297-2256

Overview of Research

My research focuses on the evolution of the human brain.  My approach is to examine all forms of evidence.  The primary method of looking at human brain evolution is to look at the human fossil record.  In particular, this involves the study of endocast, which are the only direct evidence we have the brains of our ancestors.  We can also learn a great deal from others forms of data. 

My second area of research involves comparative neuroanatomy, which involves direct comparison of the brains of humans to other primates.  Of the greatest importance here is what we can learn from the brains of our closest living relatives, chimpanzees.  With access to a large collection of ape brains we are beginning to understand where changes in the brain may have occurred since the last common ancestor of chimps and humans.

Finally, we look at chimpanzee cognition.  This allows us to understand the capacity of the chimpanzee brain as well as the similarities between human and chimpanzee cognitive abilities.


Holloway, R.L., Broadfield, D.C., and Yuan, M.S. (2004) The Human Fossil Record, vol. 3: Brain Endocasts. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p315.a

Broadfield, D.C. (2006) Origin of Language. In: H.J. Birx (ed.), Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Thousand Oaks, CA:SAGE Publications. pp10-19.

Broadfieild, D.C. (2004) Human homologies in the chimpanzee brain. In: V. Landau (ed.). Chimpanzee Conference Proceedings 2003. pp10-19.

Proctor, D.J., Broadfield, D.C., Proctor, K. (2008) Quantitative three-dimensional shape analysis of the proximal hallucial metatarsal articular surface in Homo, Gorilla and Hylobates. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 135:216-224.

Broadfield, D.C. (2005) Do asymmetrical differences in primate brains correspond to cerebral lateralization? Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 28:590-591.

Holloway, R.L., Broadfield, D.C., and Yuan, M.S. (2003) Morphology and histology of chimpanzee primary visual striate cortex indicate that brain reorganization predated brain expansion in early hominid evolution. Anatomical Record. 273A: 594-602.

Sherwood, C.C., Broadifleld, D.C., Hof, P.R., and Holloway, R.L. (2003) Variability in Broca's area homologue in great apes: Implications for language evolution. Anatomical Record. 271A-276-285.