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Next Week in EvoS: Joan Silk on the Roots of Altruistic Preferences

The regular schedule of the spring 2010 EvoS seminar series concludes next Monday, May 3, at 5:00 PM in S1-149 with a presentation by Joan Silk on The Roots of Altruistic Preferences. Joan is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Genetics and Society at UCLA. From the abstract:

In many cases, the beneficiaries of prosocial acts are unknown to the donors, and do not reciprocate directly.  Currently, there is considerable interest in the origins of how we came to be such an unusual species. One school of thought holds that the roots of prosociality can be traced back to our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, who display rudimentary forms of morality, punishment, inequity aversion, empathy, and compassion. However, others disagree. They point out that the range of altruistic and mutualistic behaviors in chimpanzees (and other primates) is much more limited than it is in humans.

Joan studies the evolution of social behavior in primates, most recently informed by field work with female baboons.

Here, I discuss a body of recent experiments that were designed to examine the phylogenetic range and ontogenetic development of prosocial sentiments and behavior.

Here is a PDF poster:

Posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 in Events/News by EvoS.


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