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between the proximate genotypic level and the ultimate phenotypic
level. This commonly ignored level of biological organization
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we extend our previous arguments concerning strategic weaknesses
of evolutionary psychology by advocating a foundational view that
focuses on similarities in brain, behavior, and various basic
psychological features across mammalian species. Such an approach
offers the potential to link the emerging discipline of evolutionary
psychology to its parent scientific disciplines such as biochemistry,
physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology and the
neuroscientific analysis of animal behavior. We detail an example
of this through our impending work using gene microarray technology
to characterize gene expression patterns in rats during aggressive
and playful social interactions. Through a focus on functional
homologies and the experimental analysis of conserved, subcortical
emotional and motivational brain systems, neuroevolutionary psychobiology
can reveal ancient features of the human mind that are still shared
with other animals. Claims regarding evolved, uniquely human,
psychological constructs should be constrained by the rigorous
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