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March 2021

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

April 2021

Nadia Chernyak – Socio-cognitive mechanisms of fairness

Socio-cognitive mechanisms of fairness Nadia Chernyak UC Irvine Department of Cognitive Sciences One of the most critical societal issues is our perpetuation of inequality. One important quandary, however, is that humans agree that equality is important, but continue to endorse and perpetuate existing inequalities. This talk presents some developmental evidence for why this may be the case. In particular, this talk presents data suggesting that our understanding equality and inequality follow distinct developmental trajectories and are underpinned by separate underlying…

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April 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Oliver Sng – Rethinking stereotypes: Social perceivers as lay adaptationists

Rethinking stereotypes: Social perceivers as lay adaptationists Oliver Sng Department of Psychological Science, UC Irvine Individuals have evolved to adaptively allocate energy across different life tasks, such as mating effort, parenting effort, and building embodied capital. From various theoretical perspectives (e.g., parental investment theory, life history theory), an individual’s biological sex, current life stage, and ecological conditions interact to influence how energy is allocated across different tasks. I propose that social perceivers are in fact “lay adaptationists,” generating predictions about…

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

Celeste Kidd – How to know

How to Know Celeste Kidd Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley This talk will discuss Kidd’s research about how people come to know what they know. The world is a sea of information too vast for any one person to acquire entirely. How then do people navigate the information overload, and how do their decisions shape their knowledge and beliefs? In this talk, Kidd will discuss research from her lab about the core cognitive systems people use to guide their learning…

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April 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Sheina Lew-Levy – Learning to forage in hunter-gatherer societies

Learning to forage in hunter-gatherer societies Sheina Lew-Levy Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University & Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University Studying how contemporary hunter-gatherer children learn to forage can help shed light on the evolution of human cognition, life history, and social organization. Still, our species’ developmental plasticity and socioecological diversity complicates the applicability of single-population findings to our understanding of human evolutionary processes. In this presentation, I draw upon systematic literature reviews and empirical research with…

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April 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

May 2021

Agustín Fuentes – Meaning-making, belief and world shaping as core processes in the human niche

Meaning-making, belief and world shaping as core processes in the human niche Agustín Fuentes Department of Anthropology, Princeton University Humans are not unique in the world. But we are quite idiosyncratic. Across the Pleistocene the genus Homo developed a distinctive suite of cognitive, behavioral, ecological, and technological processes and patterns; in short, a human niche. This niche eventually included a core role for meaning making, augmenting the capacity to engage with more than the “here and now” to develop novel…

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May 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Kim TallBear – Indigenous STS, Governance, and Decolonization

Indigenous STS, Governance, and Decolonization Kim TallBear Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta Like traditional Science and Technology Studies, the new field of Indigenous STS studies the cultures, politics, and histories of non-Indigenous science and technology efforts. In addition, it studies Indigenous-led science and technology, including knowledges classified as “traditional.” Indigenous STS refuses the purported divide between scientific and Indigenous knowledges, yet it does not…

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May 13 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Isabelle Laumer – Physical and social cognition in a parrot (Cacatua goffiniana) and ape model species (Pongo abelii)

Physical and social cognition in a parrot (Cacatua goffiniana) and ape model species (Pongo abelii) Isabelle Laumer Department of Anthropology, UCLA The comparative approach is a powerful tool to deepen our understanding of the adaptive value of complex information processing. Modern approaches of comparative cognition are interested in how cognitive outputs are influenced on the basis of convergence (distantly related species facing similar demands) or on the basis of divergence (closely related species facing different cognitive challenges). Birds diverged from…

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May 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Chris Krupenye – The social minds of humans and other apes

The social minds of humans and other apes Chris Krupenye Department of Psychology, Durham University and Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Few traits characterise humans more profoundly than the complexity of our social lives, and the depth of our insights into the social and mental lives of others. To predict behaviour and make decisions in a dynamic and uncertain social world, we track others’ social relationships, evaluate others based on their behaviour or identity, and even…

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May 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Alyssa Crittenden – Microbiomania, rewilding, and the threat of bioprospecting: How anthropologists can help to set a more ethical research agenda in microbiome sciences

Microbiomania, rewilding, and the threat of bioprospecting: How anthropologists can help to set a more ethical research agenda in microbiome sciences Alyssa N. Crittenden Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Scientific knowledge and commercial interest in the human microbiome are growing exponentially. As our understanding of the vital role of microbes increases, so does “microbiomania” – the fervor in which microbes are lauded in popular media and scientific press as capable of revolutionizing human health in the Global…

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May 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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