Carys Phillips

The convergent evolution of advanced cognition in hominid primates, cetaceans and proboscideans (Carys Phillips, University of Liverpool)

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Thursday 5th November 2020
Type: Webinar / Category: Department
  • Admission: Free. Registration via Zoom is required to attend.
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Analyses of cognitive evolution in hominins have made significant contributions to our understanding of human intelligence and behaviour. Studies have revealed correlations between high EQ (encephalisation quotient) values, large and structurally complex brains, and “intelligent” behaviour. Hominid primates, cetaceans, and proboscideans are orders which are all generally above average levels of encephalisation, they all possess large and complex brains, and all display behaviours and abilities that we can consider to be “intelligent”. However, these orders are seldom considered in comparison with each other. Therefore, in this webinar Carys will highlight the benefits of taking a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of cognition and its evolution, both inside and outside of humans and our closest ancestors. By analysing the behaviour and cognitive abilities of hominid primates, cetaceans, and proboscideans we can gain a better understanding of how and why “intelligence” evolves, and we can also learn more about how to care for these animals and how to make sure that they are still around in the future.