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CARTA: Mind Reading: Human Origins and Theory of Mind

745The Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) brings together top researchers from around the world to explore and explain the origins of the human phenomenon. This fall at the Salk Institute, they gathered to discuss, Mind Reading: Human Origins and Theory of Mind. 

The phrase “Theory of Mind” (ToM) has historically referred to the ability to impute mental states to oneself and others, but has been used in a variety of ways during the 35 years since the original Premack and Woodruff paper (1978). The analysis of ToM has been the subject of many papers in developmental psychology and in anthropogeny, the latter focusing on differences in mental performance between humans versus other mammals and birds. Because precise definition is necessary for rigorous scientific analysis, the first talk will focus on what ToM is. The rest of the talks will cover the Ontogeny of Human ToM, relevant information on other mammals and birds, and the neuronal correlates and mechanisms of human ToM performance.

Excerpt from CARTA 

25934The symposium begins with the topic of human brain development: What is Theory of Mind?, Emergence of Theory of Mind in Human Babies, and The Social Brain in Adolescence. Ralph Adolphs, professor of psychology and neuroscience and professor of biology at Caltech, offers his working definition of Theory of Mind. Next, with a little help from a clip of  cult classic The Princess Bride, Jessica Sommerville of the University of Washington delves into the topic of Emergence of Theory of Mind in Human Babies. Lastly, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of University College London goes over the hilariously awkward topic of The Social Brain in Adolescence.

25935In the next hour the focus shifts to animals; “Mind Reading” in Chimpanzees, Comparing Apes and Dogs, and Reflections of Dolphin and Elephant Minds. Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University shares his extensive research on chimpanzees, including videos and a live demonstration of their “language.” He is followed by Comparing Apes and Dogs with Juliane Kaminski of the UK University of Portsmouth. Diana Reiss of Hunter College, CUNY wraps up the talk on other species with Reflections of Dolphin and Elephant Minds.

25936The symposium concludes by taking a closer look into our brains with, What Makes Humans Different?, Brain Imaging Studies, and Mirror Neurons and More. Elizabeth Spelke, professor of psychology at Harvard University argues that human’s combinatorial minds make us different from other species. Followed by fellow Harvard professor, Jason Mitchell, and his research on Brain Imaging Studies. Michael Arbib of the University of Southern California ends the day on the notion that Mirror Neurons and More give us the ability to “put oneself in the other’s shoes.”

Airing on UCTV April 2014; CARTA will host Birth to Grandmotherhood: Childrearing in Human Evolution at UC San Diego.

Head to www.ucsd.tv/carta for a full list of CARTA programs.

Join the conversation @UCTelevision, @salkinstitute, #CARTA

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The Atlantic Meets the Pacific 2013

tamtpThe Atlantic and UC San Diego has once again teamed up to host The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, a must-attend event for top thought leaders in technology, the sciences, and health. Striking at the heart of health technology and innovation, this year’s event united scientists, engineers, business leaders, culinary experts, physicians, writers, and policymakers to discuss topics ranging from wireless health technologies and leaps in longevity research to the history of cancer and new approaches to food policy. Gathering in San Diego, one of the world’s nerve centers for breakthroughs in nanotechnology, cancer research, and medical device engineering, the program showcases progress being made on the frontier of health research and IT and critically examines the best policies and practices for bringing these innovations to life.

Cancer Bestseller to Big ScreenCancer was a big topic at The Atlantic Meets the Pacific this year. In “How Far Away is a Cure for Cancer?” Clifton Leaf, the author of “The Truth in Small Doses: Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer and How to Win It,” talks with The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons about the future of cancer research. Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of “The Emperor of All Maladies” discusses with Clemons about what it’s like to take his best-selling book on the history of cancer to television in this live Skype interview.

In an innovative technology panel, “Domestic Drones: The Next Decade of American Airspace” Chris Anderson, the former Editor-in-Chief of Wired and now CEO of 3-D Robotics,
Living Longertalks with The Atlantic’s James Fallows about the role of drones for civilian uses. In the healthcare arena, taking responsibility for one’s body is the common theme among three visionaries in personal health in “Living Longer, Living Smarter: Innovations in Longevity Research.” Larry Smarr of Calit2 joins Deborah Szekely, the co-founder of the highly acclaimed Rancho La Puerta wellness center and Kunal Sarkar, the CEO of the brain-trainer Lumosity for an invigorating conversation with The Atlantic’s Megan Garber and Corby Kummer.

If you enjoyed these panels, browse the full list of programs in The Atlantic Meets the Pacific 2013 series.

Join the conversation: @ATLANTIC_Live, @UCtelevision, #TAMTP
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