Amy Bauernfeind

Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Biological Anthropology
PhD, The George Washington University
research interests:
  • Molecular expression
  • Quantitative neuroanatomy
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    A comparative neurobiologist, Bauernfiend is interested in how the biology of the brain underlies a species' particular cognitive specializations and behavioral repertoire.

    Her research program investigates neuroanatomical and molecular variation in primates to address questions of evolutionary significance, particularly with regard to the unique cognitive abilities of humans. She uses two approaches when evaluating research questions of these types: molecular expression and quantitative neuroanatomical techniques.

    Molecular expression

    Bauernfiend's studies of molecular expression (RNA-seq and high throughput proteomics) are informed by our knowledge of the anatomical and functional specificity of a brain region. This perspective is critical in order to isolate differences in expression to functionally distinct regions of the brain or classes of neurons.

    Quantitative neuroanatomy

    Bauernfiend uses modern quantitative neuroanatomical techniques to investigate how variation in the volume of brain regions and in neuronal composition may underlie behavioral diversity. Additional work pertains to differences in regional neuronal morphology across species to assess how the complexity of neuronal structure supports species-specific cognition.


    Recent Courses

    The Human Body: Anatomy, Embryology, and Imaging (Medical School) (M05 501A)

    The course is primarily lab-based, focusing on dissection of the human body. Lectures on functional and topographic anatomy emphasize the principles of organization of the various systems of the body. Lectures on developmental anatomy stress organogenesis as an adjunct to understanding the normal and abnormal anatomy. Small group discussions emphasize radiological anatomy and clinical correlations.Frequent use of CT, MRI, and X-ray images aid in the synthesis of knowledge gained through dissection. Cross-listed with L41 (Bio) 501.

      Selected Publications

      Bauernfeind AL, Soderblom EJ, Turner ME, Moseley MA, Ely JJ, Hof PR, Sherwood CC, Wray GA, Babbitt CC. Evolutionary divergence of gene and protein expression in the brains of humans and chimpanzees. Genome Biology and Evolution. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv132 PDF

      Bauernfeind AL, Reyzer ML, Caprioli RM, Ely JJ, Babbitt CC, Wray GA, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. High spatial resolution proteomic comparison of the brain in humans and chimpanzees. Journal of Comparative Neurology. doi: 10.1002/cne.23777 PDF

      Bauernfeind AL, Barks SK, Duka T, Grossman LI, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Aerobic glycolysis in the primate brain: reconsidering the implications for growth and maintenance. Brain Structure & Function 219: 1149-1167. PDF

      Bauernfeind AL, Babbitt CC. The appropriation of glucose through primate neurodevelopment. Journal of Human Evolution 77: 132-140. PDF

      Barks SK, Bauernfeind AL, Bonar CJ, Cranfield MR, de Sousa AA, Erwin JM, Hopkins WD, Lewandowski AH, Mudakikwa A, Phillips KA, Raghanti MA, Stimpson CD, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Variable temporal-insular cortex neuroanatomy in primates suggests bottleneck effect in eastern gorillas. Journal of Comparative Neurology 522: 844-860. PDF

      Bianchi S, Stimpson CD, Duka T, Larsen MD, Janssen WG, Collins Z, Bauernfeind AL, Schapiro SJ, Baze WB, McArthur MJ, Hopkins WD, Wildman DE, Lipovich L, Kuzawa CW, Jacobs B, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Synaptogenesis and development of pyramidal neuron dendritic morphology in the chimpanzee neocortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110: 10395-10401. PDF

      Bauernfeind AL, de Sousa AA, Avasthi T, Dobson SD, Raghanti MA, Lewandowski AH, Zilles K, Semendeferi K, Allman JM, Craig AD, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. A volumetric comparison of the insular cortex and its subregions in primates. Journal of Human Evolution 64: 263-279. PDF