Monday, March 8, 2010

More Brain Talk: Evolution of Mind and Brain

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 10:24 AM

The UA College of Science's Tuesday night lecture series, "Mind and Brain," is drawing near-capacity crowds at UA's Centennial Hall, which is no small accomplishment.

Here's a video of the first lecture by Dr. Lynn Nadel, who talked about "Building Brains, Making Minds."

This week in the free series: Anna Dornhaus, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, talks about the evolution of mind and brain. Here's what you have to look forward to:

What does anybody need a brain for? Brains are energetically expensive to make and to use, and susceptible to making mistakes. Accordingly, not learning, i.e. sticking to an innate or random strategy, is often the best thing to do. Still, humans and other animals display sophisticated learning and cognition. Recent research shows that each animal has specific learning abilities and lacks others according to its environment and evolutionary history. Understanding what different brains are used for can help us understand why they evolved.

Also happening tomorrow night: A Science Cafe talk focusing on Biosphere 2, which is now under the management of the College of Science, at 6 p.m. at Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant. Details here.

More on the Mind and Brain series here.

If you'd like to listen to podcasts of the series, you can get them from iTunes by starting here.

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