This seminar will be hosted jointly by Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study, Unit for Advanced Studies of the Human Mind, Kyoto University, and Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science, Kyoto University.
Date and Time

June 16, 2017



University of Lincoln / Kyoto University
Title & Abstract

Cold-Blooded Cognition

Very little is known about the cognitive abilities of reptiles. They have traditionally been considered to be “sluggish and unintelligent creatures” (Yerkes 1901, p 520) and have largely been ignored in the study of animal cognition. However, more recent research has revealed an impressive suite of cognitive abilities. To gain an understanding of the evolution of cognition in amniotes, it is necessary to carry out direct experimental investigations of the learning and memory abilities of reptiles that parallel the extensive work already available in mammals and birds. Examination of the cognitive mechanisms underlying the behaviour of these animals can provide crucial information about the evolution of the brain. This talk will present some recent research on the cognitive abilities of reptiles and compare them to what is known about these processes in other animals.