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5月22日北大学术报告—Atsushi Iriki
发布时间:2018-05-14关键字:

Topic: The Primate Brain may be a Rapid Self-Evolving Machine Programmed to Produce Language in Humans

Speaker: Atsushi Iriki, Riken Brain Science Institute

Time: 13:00-15:00, Tue, May 22, 2018

Location: #1113, Wangkezhen Building, Peking University

Host: Prof. Yuji Naya

Abstract: 

Vocal learning and production of social calls, as a precursor of language, seem to have evolved convergently only in a very few species distant from humans. Among primates as human lineage, marmosets (a New World monkey) appears ideal for such an example, despite its phylogenetical distance over Apes or Old World monkeys. I will discuss its reasons based on the theory of Triadic Niche Construction, which I proposed earlier in monkeys, as a mechanism of brain expansion by cultural learning depending on environmental conditions. Then, I will further advance speculations how this can become evolutionary mechanisms across generations, based on a series of recent demonstrations of interactions between gene and culture (including vocal communication and foraging behaviors) resulting in rapid speciation in killer whales, and epigenetic mechanisms (both in broad and narrow senses) as is biological bases. Finally, I will conclude by a review of comparative neuroanatomy, that primate brains are unique in exhibiting such phenomena as a rapid self-evolving machine through cortical area duplications, which eventually resulted in evolution of sophisticated language only in humans to the date. 




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