Dr. Mary Ann Raghanti | Kent State University

Dr. Mary Ann Raghanti

Mary Ann Raghanti, Ph.D.

Research Areas of Expertise

  • Comparative neurobiology with an evolutionary perspective
  • Neuromodulation of cognition
  • Hormonal correlates of nonhuman primate behavior
  • Neural mechanisms of social attachment


Dr. Raghanti is a biological anthropologist whose primary research focus is the evolution of the human brain. She serves as graduate faculty for the Department of Anthropology and School of Biomedical Sciences (Biological Anthropology and Neurosciences). Dr. Raghanti’s lab uses numerous histological, immunohistochemical, and stereological techniques to investigate potential neuroanatomical correlates of human-specific cognitive and behavioral specializations. Dr. Raghanti also collaborates with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on projects involving the health and well-being of a diverse array of primate and nonprimate species. 

Visit Dr. Raghanti's laboratory website.

RECENT Publications

* KSU graduate student; ** KSU undergraduate student

Raghanti, M.A., Edler, M.E.*, Stephenson, A.R.*, Munger, E., Jacobs, B., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C., Holloway, R.L., Lovejoy, C.O. (2018) A neurochemical hypothesis for the origin of hominids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U.S.A. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073.pnas.1719666115.

Raghanti, M.A., Wicinski, B., Meierovich, R., Warda, T., Dickstein, D.L., Reidenberg, J.S., Tang, C.Y., Thewissen, J.G.M., Butti, C., Hof, P.R. (accepted) A comparison of the cortical structure of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), a basal mysticete, with other cetaceans. Anatomical Record, Part A.

Sousa, A.A.M., Zhu, Y., Raghanti, M.A., Kitchen, R.R., Onorati, M., Tebbenkamp, A.T.N., Stutz, B., Meyer, K.A., Li, M., Kawasawa, Y.I., Liu, F., Perez, R.G., Mele, M., Carvalho, T., Skarica, M., Gulden, F.O., Pletikos, M., Shibata, A., Stephenson, A.R.*, Edler, M.K.*, Ely, J.J., Elsworth, J.D., Horvath, T.L., Hof, P.R., Hyde, T.M., Kleinman, J.E., Weinberger, D.R., Reimers, M., Lifton, R.P., Mane, S.M., Noonan, J.P., State, M.W., Lein, E.S., Knowles, J.A., Marques-Bonet, T., Sherwood, C.C., Gerstein, M.B., Šestan, N. (2017) Molecular and cellular reorganization of neural circuits in the human lineage. Science 358, 1027-1032.

Edler, M.K.*, Sherwood, C.C., Meindl, R.S., Hopkins, W.D., Ely, J.J., Erwin, J.M., Mufson, E.J., Hof, P.R., Raghanti, M.A. (2017) Aged chimpanzees exhibit pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of Aging 59, 107-120.

Munger, E.*, Takemoto, A., Raghanti, M.A., Nakamura, K. (2017) Visual discrimination and reversal learning in aged common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Neuroscience Research 124, 57-62.

Duka, T., Collins, Z., Anderson, S.M., Raghanti, M.A., Ely, J.J., Hof, P.R., Wildman, D.E., Goodman, M., Grossman, L.I., Sherwood, C.C. (2017) Divergent lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme profile in cellular compartments of primate forebrain structures. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 82, 137-142.

Fuller, G., Schook, M.W., Raghanti, M.A., Dennis, P.M., Kuhar, C.W., Willis, M.A., Lukas, K.E. (2017) Behavioral and hormonal impacts of artificial night lighting for a nocturnal primate, Periodicticus potto. Animal Keepers Forum 44, 26-32.

Boddy, A.M., Harrison, P.W., Montgomery, S.H., Harrison, P.W., Caravas, J.A., Raghanti, M.A., Phillips, K.A., Mundy, N.I., Wildman, D.E. (2017) Evidence of a conserved molecular response to selection for increased brain size in primates. Genome Biology and Evolution 9, 700-713.

Dos Santos, S.E., Porfirio, J., da Cunha, F., Manger, P., Tavares, W., Pessoa, L., Raghanti, M.A., Sherwood, C.C. Herculano-Houzel, S. (2017) Cellular scaling rules for the brains of marsupials: not as primitive as expected. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 89, 48-63.

Charvet, C.J., Stimpson, C.D., Kim, Y.D., Raghanti, M.A., Lewandowski, A.L., Hof, P.R., Gomez-Robles, A., Krienen, F.M., Sherwood, C.C. (2017) Gradients in cytoarchitectural landscapes of the isocortex: diprotodont marsupials in comparison to eutherian mammals. Journal of Comparative Neurology 525, 1811-1826.

Stephenson, A.R.*, Edler, M.E.*, Erwin, J.M., Jacobs, B., Hopkins, W.D., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C., Raghanti, M.A. (2017) Cholinergic innervation of the basal ganglia among human and nonhuman primates. Journal of Comparative Neurology 525, 319-332.

Charvet, C.J., Hof, P.R., Raghanti, M.A., Van der Kouwe, A.J., Sherwood, C.C., Takahashi, E. (2017) Combining diffusion magnetic resonance tractography with stereology highlights increased cross-cortical integration in primates. Journal of Comparative Neurology 525, 1075-1093.

Johnson, C.B., Schall, M., Tennison, M.E., Garcia, M.E., Shea-Shumsky, N.B., Raghanti, M.A., Lewandowski, A.L., Bertelsen, M.F., Waller, L.C., Walsh, T., Roberts, J.F., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C., Manger, P.R., Jacobs, B. (2016) Neocortical neuronal morphology in the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). Journal of Comparative Neurology 524: 3641-3665.

Fuller, G., Raghanti, M.A., Dennis, P.M., Kuhar, C.W., Willis, M.A., Schook, M.W., Lukas, K.E. (2016) A comparison of nocturnal primate behavior in exhibits illuminated with red and blue light. Applied Animal Behavior Science 184, 126-134.

Asmus, S.E., Raghanti, M.A., Beyerle, E.R., Fleming, J.C., Hawkins, S.M., McKernan, C.M., Rauh, N. (2016) Tyrosine hydroxylase-producing neurons in the human cerebral cortex do not colocalize with calcium-binding proteins or the serotonin 3A receptor. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 78, 1-9.

Ruth, A.A.*, Raghanti, M.A., Meindl, R.S., Lovejoy, C.O. (2016) Locomotor pattern fails to predict foramen magnum angle in rodents, strepsirrhine primates, and marsupials. Journal of Human Evolution 94, 45-52.

Jacobs, B., Lee, L., Schall, M., Raghanti, M.A., Lewandowski, A., Kottwitz, J.J., Roberts, J.F., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C. (2016) Neocortical neuronal morphology in the newborn giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) and newborn African elephant (Loxodonta africana).  Journal of Comparative Neurology 524, 257-287.

Raghanti, M.A., Edler, M.E.*, Stephenson, A.R.*, Wilson, L.J.**, Hopkins, W.D., Ely, J.J., Erwin, J.M., Jacobs, B., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C. (2016) Human-specific increase in dopaminergic innervation in a striatal region associated with speech and language: a comparative analysis of the primate basal ganglia. Journal of Comparative Neurology 524, 2117-2129.

Reyes, L.D., Stimpson, C.D., Gupta, K., Raghanti, M.A., Hof, P.R., Reep, R.L., Sherwood, C.C. (2015) Neuron types in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Brain Behavior and Evolution 86, 21-231.

Phillips, K.A., Stimpson, C.D., Smaers, J.B., Raghanti, M.A., Jacobs, B., Popratiloff, A., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C. (2015) The corpus callosum in primates: Processing speed of axons and the evolution of hemispheric asymmetry. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20151535. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1535.

Sensor, J.D., Suydam, R., Liberman, M.C., Lovano, D., Raghanti, M.A., Usip, S., Vinyard, C.J., Thewissen, J.G.M. (2015) The spiral ganglion and Rosenthal’s canal in Beluga whales. Journal of Morphology 276, 1455-1466.

Schook, M.W., Wildt, D.E., Raghanti, M.A., Wolfe, B.A., Dennis, P.M. (2015) Increased inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity indicate metabolic disturbances in zoo-housed managed compared to free-ranging black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). General and Comparative Endocrinology 217-218, 10-19.

Muntané, G., Horvath, J.E., Hof, P.R., Ely, J.J., Hopkins, W.D., Raghanti, M.A., Lewandowski, A.H., Wray, G.A., Sherwood, C.C. (2015) Analysis of synaptic gene expression in primates reveals changes in glutamate processing. Cerebral Cortex, 25, 1596-1607.

Raghanti, M.A., Spurlock, L.B., Treichler, F.R., Weigel, S.E.*, Stimmelmayr, G.R., Butti, C., Thewissen, J.G.M., Hof, P.R. (2015) An analysis of von Economo neurons in the cerebral cortex of cetaceans, artiodactyls, and perissodactyls. Brain Structure and Function 220, 2303-2314.

Jacobs, B., Johnson, N., Wahl, D., Schall, M., Maseko, B.C., Lewandowski, A., Raghanti, M.A., Wicinski, B., Butti, C., Hopkins, W.D., Bertelsen, M.F., Walsh, T., Roberts, J.R., Reep, R.L.,  Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C., Manger, P.R. (2014) Comparative neuronal morphology of the cerebellar cortex in afrotherians, carnivores, cetartiodactyls, and primates. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy doi. 10.3389/fnana.2014.00024.

Duka, T, Anderson, S.M., Collins, Z., Raghanti, M.A., Ely, J.J., Hof, P.R., Wildman, D.E., Goodman, M., Grossman, L.I., Sherwood, C.C. (2014) Synaptosomal lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme composition is shifted toward aerobic forms in primate brain evolution. Brain Behavior and Evolution 83, 216-230.

Less, E.H., Lukas, K.E., Bergl, R., Ball, R., Kuhar, C.W., Lavin, S.R., Raghanti, M.A., Wensvoort, J., Willis, M.A., Dennis, P.M. (2014) Implementing a low-starch biscuit-free diet in zoo gorillas: The impact on health. Zoo Biology 33, 74-80.

Less, E.H., Bergl, R., Ball, R., Dennis, P.M., Kuhar, C.W., Lavin, S.R., Raghanti, M.A., Wensvoort, J., Willis, M.A., Lukas, K.A. (2014) Implementing a low-starch biscuit-free diet in zoo gorillas: The impact on behavior. Zoo Biology 33, 63-73.

Raghanti, M.A., Edler, M.K.*, Meindl, R.S., Sudduth, J.*, Bohush, T.*, Erwin, J.M., Stimpson, C.D., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C. (2014) Humans and great apes share increased neocortical neuropeptide Y innervation compared to other haplorhine primates. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00101.

Butti, C., Fordyce, E.R., Raghanti, M.A., Gu, X., Bonar, C.J., Wicinski, B.A., Wong, E.W., Roman, J., Brake, A., Eaves, E. Tang, C.Y., Jacobs, B., Sherwood, C.C., Hof, P.R. (2014) The cerebral cortex of the pygmy hippopotamus, Hexaprotodon liberiensis (Catartiodactyla, Hippopotamidae): MRI, cytoarchitecture, and neuronal morphology. The Anatomical Record 297, 670-700.

Barks, S.K., Bauernfeind, A.L., Bonar, C.J., Cranfield, M.R., de Sousa, A.A., Erwin, J.M., Hopkins, W.D., Lewandowski, A.H., Mudakikwa, A., Phillips, K.A., Raghanti, M.A., Stimpson, C.D., Hof, P.R., Zilles, K., Sherwood, C.C. (2014) Variable temporo-insular cortex neuroanatomy in primates suggests a bottleneck effect in eastern gorillas. Journal of Comparative Neurology 522:844-860.

Perez, S.E., Raghanti, M.A., Hof, P.R., Kramer, L., Ikonomovic, M.D., Lacor, P.N., Erwin, J.M., Sherwood, C.C., Mufson, E.J. (2013) Alzheimer’s Disease pathology in the neocortex and hippocampus of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Journal of Comparative Neurology 521, 4318-4338.

Bauernfeind, A.L., de Sousa, A.A., Avasthi, T., Dobson, S.D., Raghanti, M.A., Lewandowski, A.H., Zilles, K., Semendeferi, K., Allman, J.M., Craig, A.D., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C. (2013) A volumetric comparison of the insular cortex and its subregions in primates. Journal of Human Evolution 64, 263-279.

Raghanti, M.A., Conley, T.**, Sudduth, J.*, Erwin, J.M., Stimpson, C.D., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C.C. (2013) Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral cortex of humans and other haplorhine primates. American Journal of Primatology 75, 415-424.

Sayers, K. RaghantiM.A., Lovejoy, C.O. (2012) Human evolution and the chimpanzee referential doctrine. Annual Review of Anthropology 41, 119-138.

Muehlenbein, M.P., Ancrenaz, M., Sakong, R., Ambu, L., Prall, S., Fuller, G., Raghanti, M.A. (2012) Ape conservation physiology: Fecal glucocorticoid responses in wild Pongo pygmaeus morio following human visitation. PLoS One doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033357.

Sherwood, C.C., Bauernfeind, A.L., Bianchi, S., Raghanti, M.A., Hof, P.R. (2012) Human brain evolution writ large and smallProgress in Brain Research 195, 237-254.

Eaton, J.L., Roache, L., Nguyen, K.N., Cushing, B.S., Troyer, E., Papademetriou, E., Raghanti, M.A. (2012) Organizational effects of oxytocin on serotonin innervation. Developmental Psychobiology 54, 92-97.


Raghanti, M.A., Munger, E.A.*, Wicinski, B., Butti, C., Jacobs, B., Hof, P.R. (2017) Comparative structure of the cerebral cortex in large mammals. In Evolution of Nervous Systems 2e, Volume 2, pp 267-289Kaas, J.H., Editor. Elsevier.

Sherwood, C.C., Bauernfeind, A.L., Verendeev, A., Raghanti, M.A., Hof, P.R. (2017) Evolutionary specializations of human brain microstructure. In Evolution of Nervous Systems 2e. Kaas, J.H., Editor. Volume 4, pp 121-139. Elsevier.

Spocter, M.A., Raghanti, M.A., Sherwood, C.C. (2015) The minicolumn in comparative context: variation and evolution in the cortical column. In Recent Advances on the Modular Organization of the Cerebral Cortex, pp 63-80Casanova, M. and Opris, I., Editors. Springer Publishing.

Raghanti, M.A., Spurlock, L.B., Uppal, N., Sherwood, C.C., Butti, C., Hof, P.R. (2015) Von Economo neurons. In Brain Mapping: An Encyclopedic Reference, vol. 2, pp 81-91. Academic Press: Elsevier.


 Raghanti, M.A., Todd, N., Hof, P.R. (2015) Probing the Proboscidea: Lessons from the past. Journal of Comparative Neurology 523, 2321-2325

Visit Dr. Raghanti’s laboratory website for a full list of publications.

Job Title

Associate Professor and Chair

Job Department






Personal Website

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