Distinguished Speaker Series

Asifa Majid (University of Oxford), “Establishing Human Universals”

Abstract: Psychology, the "science of mental life", aims to provide models and theories that apply universally. However, there is a growing concern that what we gather from studying humans in a particular place and time might not accurately reflect how humans behave in other contexts. This talk will consider how we can establish whether something

Hot Topics in Intelligence Research

Iain Couzin (Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior & University of Konstanz), “Collective intelligence in animals and robots”

Abstract In 1905 the biologist Edmund Selous wrote of his wonderment when observing a flock of starlings flying overhead “they circle; now dense like a polished roof, now disseminated like the meshes of some vast all-heaven-sweeping net...wheeling, rending, darting...a madness in the sky”. He went on to speculate “They must think collectively, all at the

Hot Topics in Intelligence Research

Christof Koch, (Allen Institute for Brain Sciences) “Integrated Information Theory – Or Why Consciousness is Fundamentally Distinct from Intelligence”

MAR 2.057

Humans not only can act intelligently in the world but consciously experience it, such as the delectable taste of Nutella, the sharp sting of an infected tooth, or the terror and ecstasy of a near-death experience. I will discuss progress achieved in tracking the footprints of conscious experiences to the posterior regions of the cerebral cortex,

Hot Topics in Intelligence Research

Oren Forkosh (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), ” Behavior, Personality, Social Structure, and Emotions in Freely Behaving Groups of Mice and Other Animals”

MAR 2.057

Abstract: In recent years, the study of animal behavior in neuroscience has seen a significant shift towards more naturalistic and less intrusive methods. It is under these conditions that the true spectrum of animal behavior can be exhibited, free from the artificial constraints and stressful conditions often imposed by traditional laboratory settings. In this talk, I will focus

Hot Topics in Intelligence Research

Brian Scholl (Yale University), “Visual Intelligence: On the Unexpected Sophistication of Perception “

MAR 2.057

It is natural to think of vision as relatively primitive, compared to the richness of higher-level cognition. But recent work has revealed how perception is unexpectedly sophisticated along several related dimensions.  First, recent work suggests that visual processing spontaneously extracts not only simple features such as color, shape, and motion, but also properties more associated

Hot Topics in Intelligence Research

Katja Liebal (Universität Leipzig), “Comparative Approach to Human Cognition: Possibilities and Challenges”

MAR 2.057

Aiming to understand human psychology and what makes humans “unique” benefits from a frame of reference against which to assess it. Comparing human psychology with that of other animals, particularly our closest relatives, nonhuman primates, can provide such a frame of reference and thereby contribute to identifying the defining characteristics of the human species. Studying

Thursday Morning Talk

Caleb Weinreb (Harvard Medical School), “A seconds-long timescale in naturalistic behavior structures neural dynamics”

A core task of animal cognition is to carve the world up into relevant contextual states – based on sensory input, internal drives, and awareness of one’s own recent behavior – and then hold these state assignments in working memory as guides for action and anchors for learning. By training animals to perform asks with

Distinguished Speaker Series

Marta Halina (University of Cambridge), “Intuitive Physics in Nonhuman Animals”

Abstract: Comparative psychologists have spent the last few decades examining whether nonhuman animals understand the physical world in a way that is similar to humans. Broadly, human intuitive physics is thought to include a collection of abilities, such as knowing that solid objects continue to exist even when no longer perceived and that objects tend