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The vertebrate forebrain has undergone an extraordinary diversification in the course of evolution. For instance, could anyone see that the mammalian cerebral cortex, with its well-known organization into 6 layers, and the so-called everted pallium of teleost fishes, are homologous brain regions? Using an evolutionary developmental approach, we aim to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms which govern the unity (homology) and the differences (diversification) present in the forebrains of various vertebrates. To this end, we study original animal models: the naturally generated cavefish and the phylogenetically important lamprey, in addition to the conventional model, the mouse.