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New Thinking: Advances in the Study of Human Cognitive Evolution

An interdisciplinary conference focusing on new ideas and discoveries in research on the evolution of human cognition The conference focuses on genetic, developmental, and socio-cultural processes that have played a particularly significant role in the evolution of human cognition, and on uniquely human cognitive achievements in domains such as causal understanding, language, social learning, theory of mind and meta-cognition.

The event was supported by All Souls College, The British Academy, Guarantors of Brain, and Magdalen College's Calleva Centre, and took place on 23rd and 24th June 2011.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons The Social Brain on the Internet In primates and humans alike, the number of social relationships an individual can have is constrained in part by its social cognitive competences and in part by the time available to invest in face-to-face interaction. Robin Dunbar 23 Aug 2011
2 Creative Commons Why the Hominin Cognitive Niche Was and Is a Crucially Socio-cognitive Niche Tooby and deVore argued that hominin evolution hinged on the exploitation of a unique 'cognitive niche'. We propose that a diversity of evidence indicates this was fundamentally a socio-cognitive niche. Andrew Whiten 23 Aug 2011
3 Creative Commons Metacognition and the Social Mind: How Individuals Interact at the Neural Level I will review recent research in neuroimaging and computation neuroscience, and present a new paradigm for studying decision making in pairs. Chris Frith 23 Aug 2011
4 Creative Commons Experiencing Language The evolutionary relationship between human linguistic capacity and humans' emotional make-up has not, as yet, received focused attention. Eva Jablonka 23 Aug 2011
5 Creative Commons Signals, Honesty and the Evolution of Language The evolution of language is a long-standing puzzle for many reasons. One is that its very virtues as a system of communication seem to open the door to ruinous free-riding and deception. Kim Sterelny 23 Aug 2011
6 Creative Commons Embodiment: Taking Sociality Seriously A very wise person of our acquaintance once said, 'Read old books to get new ideas'. Louise Barrett 22 Aug 2011
7 Creative Commons Cortico-cerebellar Evolution and the Distributed Neural Basis of Cognition Biologists interested in cognitive evolution have focussed on the dramatic expansion of the forebrain, particularly the neocortex, in lineages such as primates. Robert Barton 22 Aug 2011
8 A New Comparative Psychology In their classic 1969 paper Hodos and Campbell bemoaned the absence of appropriate evolutionary theory in comparative psychology. In this talk I will argue that despite the advent of Evolutionary Psychology the situation has changed only a little today. Russell Gray 22 Aug 2011
9 Creative Commons The Mystery of Cumulative Culture Human demographic and ecological success is frequently attributed to our capacity for cumulative culture, which allows human knowledge and technology to build up and improve over time. Kevin Laland 22 Aug 2011
10 Creative Commons Cultural Inheritance of Cultural Learning It is widely acknowledged that the cumulative cultural inheritance of technological skills and social practices has played a major role in shaping the ways of life of modern humans. Cecilia Heyes 22 Aug 2011
11 Creative Commons Welcome and Introduction Introduction to the "New Thinking: Advances in the Study of Human Cognitive Evolution" conference. Cecilia Heyes 22 Aug 2011