In the course of its evolution, the architecture of the mouse brain may have barely changed. Similar to the tiny ancestors of modern mammals that lived about 80 million years ago, nerve cells in the mouse visual cortex are densely packed in a small area of the brain. However, during the subsequent evolution of larger brains the architecture of the cerebral cortex was radically restructured. This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers led by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, the University of Göttingen and the Bernstein Center Göttingen. The brains of larger mammals, such as humans, however, have a completely different structure to those of mice. Processes of self-organisation led to the emergence of modules in which neurons conjointly are responsible for specific tasks.