Oct 27th 2016

Origins of the Human Mind (edX)

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Learn about the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing our cognitive features to chimpanzees, our closest living relative. The human mind is an evolutionary product, just like the body. However, the mind does not remain in fossil form like bones and teeth. Therefore, to better study and understand our minds their evolutionary origins we need to compare our cognitive features with those of different living primates.

This approach is called "Comparative Cognitive Science (CCS)". CCS is a unique combination of Psychology and Primatology. CCS tries to give answers to the fundamental questions such as "what is uniquely human?", "where did it come from?”, "how did we get here?”, and "where do we go?" This intensive course focuses on chimpanzees, the closest relatives of humans.

This course covers selected areas of current research on CCS. We focus on behavioral studies of nonhuman animals, especially chimpanzees. Since the chimpanzee and the human share the latest common ancestor, only about five million years ago, this great ape provides the key to understanding our nature.

What you'll learn:

- The latest methodology of Comparative Cognitive Science

- Similarities and differences between human and non-human primates

- The current state of wild chimpanzees in Bossou

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