Computational behavior theory and cultural evolution

Thinking Conference

Understanding Human Cognitive Uniqueness

May 29-30, 2012, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

This conference brought together researchers from many disciplines to pursue the common goal of understanding what makes human thinking different from the cognitive abilities of other species. Is there a single ‘magic feature’ that has allowed humans to surpass other animals in learning and creative potential? Or are our abilities the product of many small advances? What could the ‘magic feature’ and the small advances be?

We recorded the entire conference, and the videos and speaker slides are being made available below. You can also have a look at the conference program.

The conference was made possible by the Carol L. Zicklin Endowment to Brooklyn College and the Stockholm University Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.

Videos and Slides:

  • Jerry Hogan, University of Toronto: What is Thinking? Video (365 MB) Slides (1.6 MB)
  • Johan Lind, Stockholm University: What can Animals do? Really. Video (250 MB)
  • Lisa Son, Barnard College: The Evolution of Metacognition. Video (243 MB) Slides (3.6 MB)
  • Discussion featuring previous three speakers. Video (142 MB)
  • Stefano Ghirlanda, Brooklyn College: What do Animals Know about the Order of Events? Video (240 MB) Slides (8.4 MB)
  • Richard Granger, Dartmouth College: The Human Algorithm: What Computations are Uniquely Human? Video (173 MB)
  • Richard S. Sutton, University of Alberta: Learning about Sensorimotor Data. Video (280 MB) Slides (2.0 MB)
  • Discussion featuring the previous three speakers. Video (142 MB)
  • Paul W. Glimcher, New York University: The Neurobiology of Decision Making. Video (282 MB)
  • Robert Lurz, Brooklyn College: Is Mindreading Unique to Humans? Video (332 MB) Slides (2.4 MB)
  • Discussion featuring the previous two speakers. Video (132 MB)
  • Louis Lefebvre, McGill University: Innovation and Cultural Evolution. Video (223 MB)
  • Magnus Enquist, Stockholm University: Intelligence is not enough: Why Culture Matters. Video (221 MB)
  • Eric Baum, Azure Sky Research: Humans are Smarter because Language allows us to develop mental programs collaboratively. Video (132 MB)
  • Discussion featuring the previous three speakers. Video (215 MB)

11 responses to “Thinking Conference

  1. Esther 2012/04/16 at 20:08

    Exciting! Can’t wait to find out the details

  2. Pingback: Conference May 29-30: Understanding Human Cognitive Uniqueness « the neuron club


  4. Pingback: Understanding Human Uniqueness: Full Program « drghirlanda

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  7. Pingback: Videos and slides for Understanding Human Cognitive Uniqueness « drghirlanda

  8. Pingback: All talks from the Human Cognitive Uniqueness conference online! « drghirlanda

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  10. Thomas Schmall 2013/09/17 at 19:39

    The link to the “The Neurobiology of Decision Making” video is broken. It should be : http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4000198/thinking-conference/PaulGlimcher:TheNeurobiologyOfDecisionMaking.mp4

    Thanks a lot for posting these. Great videos. “The Human Algorithm” one was the most stunning so far.

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