Where: First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)
Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)
Welcome to CFI’s monthly lecture night series! The title of this months talk is “Evolutionary Psychology” and it is almost an imperative for anyone thinking about having or raising children.
Our speaker is David Rakison, Director of the Infant Cognition Lab at CMU. Here is his desciption of his talk:
“Whether or not infants’ earliest perception of the world is a “blooming, buzzing, confusion,” it is not long before they develop mental representations or concepts of the structure and order among the objects and events around them. Research in my lab focuses on studying how this is achieved. When and how do infants categorize perceptually different objects as the same and generalize from their experience to novel instances? When and how do infants learn about the motion properties of animates and inanimates such as self-propulsion, causality, and goal-directed action? How does infants’ actions in the world affect their emerging concepts? And how does conceptual change occur through the first years of life? I address these questions within an information-processing framework, although I also combine this approach with aspects of evolutionary Psychology. As a result, a focus of my research is to examine the extent to which early learning and development is underpinned by domain-specific or domain-general mechanisms.
The major approach I use to address these questions is to study the behavior of human infants. In most cases, I employ behavioral methodologies that make use of infants’ looking (e.g. habituation, visual preference) and action behavior (e.g. imitation). I also conduct research with very young children with autism and compare their conceptual development to that of typically developing infants. Finally, I develop computational models of early perceptual and conceptual development as a means of providing greater insight into the mechanisms of change in the first years of life.”
If you have speaker suggestions and/or ideas that are in keeping with our mission, please feel free to email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
See you there!
P.S. We usually head to Ali Baba’s on nearby Craig Street at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-lecture or pre-movie dinner. Please leave a comment below if you are coming to dinner so we can include you in the reservation. Thanks!
*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization. Please email email@example.com to request accommodations.
Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00 PM