Chet Sherwood

Chet Sherwood

Professor of Anthropology
Office: SEH (800 22nd St.) 6800
Address: Lab: SEH / (202) 994-5923
Phone: 202-994-6346

Areas of Expertise

Evolution of the primate brain; biological bases of human cognitive abilities; primatology.


Dr. Sherwood is a biological anthropologist interested in brain evolution and its behavioral correlates in primates and other mammals. He is advisor for students in the Human Paleobiology Doctoral Program and a member of the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and the GW Institute for Neuroscience.

Current Research

For the latest updates, visit the Laboratory for Evolutionary Neuroscience webpage.

Dr. Sherwood's comparative neuroanatomical research focuses on brain evolution in humans and other mammals. Previous studies have examined allometric scaling at macro- and microanatomical levels, brain asymmetry and behavioral lateralization, evolutionary changes in human language area homologues, neurochemical substrates of cognitive differences among primate species, and evolutionary specializations of neocortical development in great apes and humans.

Ongoing Projects

  • Investigations of histological differences in neocortical organization of primate species, including great apes and humans.
  • Examination of the correlation between behavioral lateralization, gross anatomical asymmetries, and histological asymmetries in chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys.
  • Exploration of the phenotypic and genotypic changes that accompany the evolution of encephalization across different mammalian groups.
  • Studies of neocortical development in humans and great apes.


To see Dr. Sherwood's CV, click here.

Ph.D. 2003, Columbia University
M.A. 1998, Columbia University
M.A. 1996, New York University
B.A. 1995, Columbia University


Selected Articles and Book Chapters

An up-to-date list of Dr. Sherwood's publications can be found on his laboratory's publications page.


2013  PNAS podcast: What makes us human? Published Jan. 17, 2013.

2012  Neurology Today podcast: How does myelination maturation affect thought and behavior? Published Oct. 21, 2012.


Awarded the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Prize for Faculty Scholarship, 2012

Classes Taught

To see syllabi, click on the course title.

Anth 0721 (old 721): Mind, Brain, and Evolution
Anth 1001 (001): Biological Anthropology
Anth 3413 (144): Evolution of the Human Brain
Anth 6101 (201): Proseminar in Biological Anthropology
Anth 6491 (249): Topics: Evolution of the Human Brain
Homp 8301 (301): Problem-Based Learning Seminar


Last updated September 3, 2015