The question of whether nature or nurture contributes more to development of individual human behaviour is by no means a new one. In fact, it is a debate that has raged on for centuries, as far back as Ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, a teacher and student with opposing views on the topic.
While scientists today largely agree that a complex combination of biological factors, like brain structure and genetics, and environmental factors shape who we are, new advances in the field of developmental neuroscience suggest we should be examining this question within an evolutionary framework.
From the brain’s factory settings that have developed over millennia, through genetic adaptations, to the influence of culture and experience, this discussion will explore the role that evolution has played in the development of our innate cognitive capabilities, like rational thinking and conscious reasoning.
The panel is hosted by neuroscientist and author Dr Kevin Mitchell and includes:
- Professor Uta Frith DBE FBA FMedSci FRS, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, University College London
- Professor Cecilia Heyes FBA, Senior Research Fellow in Theoretical Life Sciences and Professor of Psychology, University of Oxford
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