sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2012

Do cuidar ao falar: tendências recentes em primatologia social e etologia humana

De 10 a 12 de Setembro realiza-se na Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL) um colóquio internacional dedicado ao tema "From Grooming to Speaking: Recent trends in social primatology and human ethology", uma iniciativa organizada por Nathalie Gontier, Olga Pombo e Marco Pina no âmbito das actividades do projecto de investigação "Epistemologia e Filosofia da Biologia" do Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (CFCUL). Origens da comunicação e da linguagem humana, evolução da mente e da linguagem, desenvolvimento e evolução da capacidade de atenção conjunta, estudos sobre linguagem gestual, gestos no desenvolvimento da linguagem da criança são algumas das questões em debate no presente encontro.


«The field of ethology arose in the 1930s, in Europe, as an outgrowth of both naturalized epistemology and comparative zoology. Inspired by early scholars such as Oskar Heinroth and Julian Huxley - Konrad Lorenz took on the study of imprinting and fixed action patterns; and Niko Tinbergen defined what became known as the 4 questions of ethology. Both would greatly enhance studies on the evolutionary origins of primate and animal behavior.

At around the same time, modern comparative psychology would, especially in America, turn behaviorism into a school. With their focus on learning and conditioning, scholars such as Edward Thorndike, John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner introduced the empirical and experimental study of behavioral development.

Both comparative psychology as well as ethology would lay the foundations for primatology and sociobiology. They would introduce cross-fostering experiments where they taught nonhuman primates to speak, sign or learn artificial languages such as Yerkes; and they took on the study of human and nonhuman primate behavior under experimental and artificial conditions. By the 1960s, pioneers such Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall would found modern primatology, that as a field, would take on the study of primate behavior in the wild.

Sociobiologists would criticize the early ethologists and comparative psychologists' exclusive focus on visible behavior. The deciphering of the genetic code in the 1950s provided them with the hope that soon, the genetic basis of primate and animal behavior would be discovered. In order to understand nurture, we need to understand nature, and early sociobiologists synthesized selection theory with the data provided by fieldwork and the outcomes of behaviorist experiments, and developed the first theories on the evolution of human and non-human primate behavior and cognition. Scholars from the classic humanity fields, such as Piaget and Chomsky, would also criticize the tenets of behaviorism and induce what is now called, the cognitive revolution. Advances made in the cognitive and neurological sciences allowed for research into the development of cognition and language. An important outcome of the cognitive revolution was the rise of the field of biolinguistics, as well as research on Theory of Mind.

By the beginning of the 1990s however, also the cognitive turn became partly criticized and partly expanded, by the "social turn" and "adaptationist turn". Evolutionary psychologists such as Cosmides and Tooby, and Pinker and Bloom, criticized all former approaches and argued that human behavior primarily needs to be understood from within evolutionary theory. The study of human behavior or language needs to be understood by making use of natural selection theory, and by studying our hominin past, much more than by studying behavior or cognition as it unfolds in modern human and non-human primates. Rather than focus on the proximate causes of behavior, evolutionary psychologists tackle the ultimate causes of behavior: how did behavior and cognition evolve? What are the adaptive benefits? Evolutionary linguistics and evolutionary anthropology are direct outgrowths of evolutionary psychology, and both fields examine how especially natural selection theory can provide theories on the rise of human sociocultural behavior.

The above described paradigm shifts have often been characterized as transitions from instructionism to cognitivism to selectionism. But the fact of the matter is that today, scholars remain active in all these fields, and all continue to provide valuable insights into the origin, development and evolution of human and nonhuman cognition and behavior. With this conference, we aim to bring together scholars who are active within all these fields. We will provide a platform where experts are able to reflect and discuss the pros and cons of their approach, and how their experiments, methodologies and theories enable insight into the origin and evolution of communication and human language. The conference will therefore focus on theoretical and methodological issues, much more than that it will focus on the dissemination of new results.»


10 de Setembro de 2012

09.30-10.00 - Welcome

10.00-11.00 - Common Descent and Convergence in the Evolution of the Mind
Johan Bolhuis

11.00-11.30 - Language evolution requires and reinforces inferential machinery
August Fenk & Gertraud Fenk-Oczlon

11.30-12.00 - 
Language Evolution: From Computing to Speaking?
Antonio Benítez-Burraco

12.00-13.30 - Lunch

13.30-14.30 - Experimental Conversations: Sign Language Studies with Chimpanzees
Mary Lee Jensvold

14.30-15.30 - The Bonobo Project in Planckendael (Belgium): 25 Years of Captive Breeding - 20 Years of Research
Jeroen Stevens

15.30-16.00 - Break

16.00-16.30 - How Primate Mothers and Infants Communicate, Characterizing Interaction in Mother-Infant Studies
Maria Botero

16.30-17.00 - Re-evaluating Great Ape Vocal Signals from the Ground Up
Adam See

17.00:17.30 - Refining Folk Psychology
Shoji Nagataki

17.30-18.00 - Discussion

20.00 - Conference Dinner

11 de Setembro de 2012

10.00-11.00 - Archetypes, Prototypes and Variation in Facial Expression: Lessons Learned from Actually Measuring Facial Behavior
Augusta Gaspar

11.00-11.30 - The Homology of Face Recognition Systems in Human and Non-Human Primates
Claudia Lorena Garcia

11.30-12.00 - The Ultimate and Proximate Causes of Contagious Yawning: The Effect of Ontogeny and Emotional Closeness on Low-Level Imitation in Humans, Chimpanzees, Dogs and Wolves
Elainie Alenkær Madsen

12.00-13.30 - Lunch

13.30-14.30 - 
Comparative Gestural Signaling: A New Approach to a Very Old Question
Simone Pika

14.30-15.30 - Towards a Clearer View of the Development and Evolution of the Capacity for Joint Attention
Tim Racine

15.30-16.00 - Break

16.00-16.30 - Are Apes’ Responses to Pointing Gestures Intentional?
Olivia Sultanescu and Kirsten Andrews

16.30-17.00 - Gestures in Child Language Development
Tove Gerholm

17.00:17.30 - Communication and Cooperation Riddles
Filomena de Sousa

17.30-18.00 - Discussion

12 de Setembro de 2012

10.00-11.00 - Bodily Mimesis in Hominid Evolution: Before and Beyond?
Jordan Zlatev

11.00-11.30 - The Emergence of Human Language. Simulating Multi-Modal Communication
Roland Muehlenbernd
 (Dankmar Enke, Natalie Gavrilov, Jonas David Nick, Matthias Villing)

11.30-12.00 - The Complexity of Action as Compared to That of Language
Hiroyuki Nishina

12.00-13.30 - Lunch

13.30-14.30 - Epistemological Issues in Social Primatology and Human Ethology
Nathalie Gontier

14.30-15.30 - Ethical Challenges in Primatology Research
Constança Carvalho & Luis Vicente

15.30-16.00 - Break

16.00-16.30 - How Humans Became Behaviorally Modern
Rita Nolan

16.30-17.00 - Lord Monboddo’s Ourang Outang and the Origin and Progress of Language
Stefaan Blancke

17.00:17.30 - Politics, Primates and Primary Sources in South African Social History
Sandra Swart

17.30-18.00 - Discussion and announcement of the winner of the Springer Book Voucher for the Best Presentation Award