题目: The Primate Brain may be a Rapid Self-Evolving Machine Programmed to Produce Language in Humans
报告人: Prof. IRIKI, Atsushi （RIKEN Brain Science Institute）
时间: 2018年5月22日 星期二 13:00-15:00
Vocal learning and production of social calls, as a precursor of language, seem to have evolved convergently only in a very few species distant from humans. Among primates as human lineage, marmosets (a New World monkey) appears ideal for such an example, despite its phylogenetical distance over Apes or Old World monkeys. I will discuss its reasons based on the theory of “Triadic Niche Construction”, which I proposed earlier in monkeys, as a mechanism of brain expansion by cultural learning depending on environmental conditions. Then, I will further advance speculations how this can become evolutionary mechanisms across generations, based on a series of recent demonstrations of interactions between gene and culture (including vocal communication and foraging behaviors) resulting in rapid speciation in killer whales, and epigenetic mechanisms (both in broad and narrow senses) as is biological bases. Finally, I will conclude by a review of comparative neuroanatomy, that primate brains are unique in exhibiting such phenomena as a rapid self-evolving machine through cortical area duplications, which eventually resulted in evolution of sophisticated language only in humans to the date.
邀请人: 纳家勇治 研究员