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Animal minds: from computation to evolution









The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG



Organised by Professor Nicola Clayton FRS, Dr Uri Grodzinski and Dr Alex Thornton

The meeting was centred around recent discoveries of striking similarities in cognitive abilities between humans and other animals have fuelled attempts to understand the minds of other species and their relation to our own. This interdisciplinary meeting will bring together disparate fields to develop a theoretical infrastructure for cognition research, as well as to generate testable predictions as to the evolutionary basis and computational ucture of cognitive mechanisms.

Download the programme here (PDF).

This meeting was followed by a related Satellite meeting at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre entitled Theories of minds: the theoretical bases of comparative cognition from 18 - 19 January 2012.

The proceedings of this meeting are now available in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B.

Biographies and audio recordings are available below.


Event organisers

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Schedule of talks

Session 1

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What is comparable in comparative cognition?

Professor Lars Chittka, Queen Mary University of London, UK

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Co-evolution of learning and data acquisition mechanisms: a model for cognitive evolution

Professor Arnon Lotem, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

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Simple minds: a qualified defence of associative learning

Professor Cecilia Heyes, University of Oxford, UK

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Associative learning and animal cognition

Professor Anthony Dickinson FRS, University of Cambridge, UK

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Session 2

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Serial and parallel processes in animal cognition

Professor Murray Shanahan, Imperial College London, UK

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Do insects have internal models?

Professor Barbara Webb, University of Edinburgh, UK

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Biological and artificial cognitive architectures: perception and physical cognition

Dr Jackie Chappell, University of Birmingham, UK

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Session 2 Panel Discussion

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Session 3

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What does the modularity metaphor do for us?

Professor Alex Kacelnik FRS, University of Oxford, UK

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Modularity, comparative cognition, and human uniqueness

Professor Sara Shettleworth, University of Toronto, Canada

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Core knowledge and cognitive development: insights from comparative cognition

Dr Sang Ah Lee, Harvard University, USA

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Session 3 Panel Discussion

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Session 4

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Individual variation in sensory/cognitive ecology, behavioural type and response to human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC)

Professor Andy Sih, University of California, Davis, USA

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Individual variation in cognitive performance: developmental and evolutionary perspectives

Dr Alex Thornton

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The two-fold challenge of individual differences in problem-solving performance: distilling commonalities and harnessing variation

Dr Amanda Seed, University of St Andrews, UK

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Session 4 Panel Discussion and Overview

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Animal minds: from computation to evolution The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK