Pre-CUNY Workshop at MIT

Searching for cognitive universals: evidence from remote societies


March 29, 2017, 9am - 6pm, MIT Room 10-250

Humans are endowed with a rich arsenal of cognitive abilities. Some of these have been argued to be universal (present across cultures), while others appear to be affected by cultural factors. Research from non-industrialized societies is critical to our understanding of what constitutes the core of the human nature (e.g., Henrich et al., 2010). This workshop brings together some of the world's leading scientists conducting research with remote tribes/societies across diverse cognitive domains, including language, color, numerical cognition, and music, to highlight some of the latest results that shed new light on what makes us human.

1. Language, syntax: Dan Everett, Bentley University
2. Language, syntax: Ray Jackendoff. Tufts University
3. Language, words: Lera Boroditsky, UC San Diego
4. Color: Bevil Conway, NIH
5. Color: Terry Regier, UC Berkeley
6. Number: Barbara Sarnecka, UC Irvine
7. Number: Julian Jara-Ettinger, Yale
8. Number: Liz Spelke, Harvard
9. Music: Josh McDermott, MIT

The format will be 20 minute talks, followed by a 10 minute discussion, by an invited discussant, with 10 minutes of open discussion following.

There is no charge for this event.