01.09.2015 - 14:11
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Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 0
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 119

e-mail: info@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de


Denisovan and Neanderthal introgression in 35 individuals from Papua New Guinea
September 04, 2015 11:00
Speaker: Benjamin Vernot (University of Washington, Seattle)
Talk at the Department of Evolutionary Genetics

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Seminar Area Genetics

Viola Mittag
phone + 49 (0) 341 3550 500

E-mail: mittag[>>> Please replace the brackets with an AT sign! <<<]eva.mpg.de
Website: http://www.eva.mpg.de/genetics

Towards an evolutionary psychological phenomics: Mapping human cognitive architecture using cross-cultural comparisons
September 11, 2015 14:00
Speaker: Clark Barrett, Department of Anthropology, University of California Los Angeles, USA
the Institute Seminar Series

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MPI-EVA, Lecture hall, 2nd floor

- 14:00 Clark Barrett: Towards an evolutionary psychological phenomics: Mapping human cognitive architecture using cross-cultural comparisons

- 15:30 Discussion and soft drinks just outside the lecture hall

Abstract: Because humans evolved, the study of human behavior and culture can’t do without evolutionary theory. However, something went wrong when the idea of an adaptation was imported into psychology. Through a series of unfortunate events, psychological adaptations became conceptualized as preformed, automatic homonculi lurking in the subconscious, triggered by ancestral stimuli, immune to environmental or cultural influence, and locked in a duel with the flexible, general-purpose mechanisms of higher cognition. As a result, many researchers are under the false impression that cognition consists of two ingredients: innate modules and general-purpose learning systems. On this view, human universals are the product of evolved mechanisms, and human variation is the result of general-purpose learning mechanisms. From a biological perspective, however, these are not the only options. A growing consensus in evolutionary anthropology is that humans possess psychological adaptations specifically designed to respond to cultural input, meaning that much psychological variation itself may be the product of specialized adaptations. To arrive at a biologically realistic map of human psychological architecture, then, we must develop more sophisticated models of psychological adaptations that include plasticity as part of their very design. We must also get out of the lab to study how psychological mechanisms develop and operate across the broad range of cultures and environments that humans inhabit. In this talk I will describe new theoretical approaches to psychological adaptations based on ideas from evolutionary developmental biology, illustrated with case studies on social learning, theory of mind, and moral judgment across cultures.

Some information on the speaker and a list of his publications can be found at http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/barrett/

The series featuring external speakers takes place roughly every two months and typically on Friday early afternoons. There is one speaker per session who will speak for 60 minutes with up to 30 minutes for questions. Refreshments are provided at the end of the sessions. The committee organizing the seminar series consists of: Aida Andrés, Catherine Crockford, Federico Rossano, Alexander Stoessel, Sandra Jacob and Jörg Noack. Please contact any of them with comments or suggestions.

Sandra Jacob, -122 or -156

E-mail: instituteseminar[>>> Please replace the brackets with an AT sign! <<<]eva.mpg.de