Home > Events > CogSci Colloqium: Tecumseh Fitch (Vienna)
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CogSci Colloqium: Tecumseh Fitch (Vienna)

Time: 
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Location: 
Bioscience Research Building 1103

Title: A Comparative Biological Approach to Language Evolution: People are Animals Too

Abstract: Since the ancient Greeks there has been a tension between those who emphasize the similarities between humans and animals, and those who focus on the differences. In this talk I show that modern biology validates, and indeed requires, both perspectives, arguing that human cognition is based on broadly shared building blocks, but also includes several distinctive cognitive characteristics that are either rare or non-existent in non-human animals.  I illustrate this perspective with examples from color vision and animal tool use, before turning to human language, where shared and exclusive components both play important roles.

Bio: Tecumseh Fitch is an evolutionary biologist and cognitive scientist. He is Professor of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. Fitch’s interests include bioacoustics and biolinguistics, specifically the evolution of speech, language and music.