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March 2021

Manvir Singh – The nature and origins of religious super-attractors

The nature and origins of religious super-attractors Manvir Singh Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse Human societies reliably develop “cultural super-attractors”, or complex practices and beliefs that exhibit striking similarities. In this talk, I will present research on the nature and origins of three religious super-attractors: shamanism, religious self-denial, and beliefs in supernatural punishment. These cultural practices appeared in the vast majority of human societies, predated doctrinal religions, and persist even when doctrinal religious authorities try to…

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March 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Sophie Scott – It’s funny: the evolution and science of laughter

It's funny: the evolution and science of laughter Sophie Scott Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL Laughter is a nonverbal emotional expression associated with play and joyful emotions. In this talk I will explore the evolutionary roots of laughter, it's role in human development, social interactions and communication, and some evidence about the neural systems recruited by the perception and production of laughter.

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March 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Britt Florkiewicz – At Face Value: The Role of Chimpanzee Facial Expressivity in the Evolution of Gestural Communication and Social Bonding

At Face Value: The Role of Chimpanzee Facial Expressivity in the Evolution of Gestural Communication and Social Bonding Britt Florkiewicz UCLA Department of Anthropology Primates make frequent use of visual signals when communicating with conspecifics, which includes facial expressions and gestures. These two forms of visual communication are thought to be different from one another: facial expressions are perceived as being spontaneous and inflexible, whereas gestures are perceived as being intentional and flexible. As a result, facial expressions are seldom…

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March 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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