Cumulative Culture & Evolution

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Stories of Impact

Cumulative Culture & Evolution

Cumulative culture can be defined by the knowledge systems, technologies, and innovations which are passed on from generation to generation. So, why is it that our closest primate relative, the chimpanzee hasn’t notably evolved physically or cognitively, whereas humans have evolved tremendously? Cristine H. Legare PhD explains how the human species’ extensive preoccupation with social learning, consistent curiosity and drive to learn have boosted the human evolution. It’s imminent we recognize the importance of teaching and learning roles as it pertains to cultural complexity and the development of species. The Templeton World Charity Foundation helps to fund Legare’s project at the University of Texas at Austin’s EVO Learn program, which attempts to discover the natural building blocks of culture.

11:50 | 2020

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About Cristine H. Legare PhD

Cristine Legare is a professor of psychology and the director of the Evolution, Variation, and Ontogeny of Learning Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines how the human mind enables us to learn, create, and transmit culture. She conducts comparisons across age, culture, and species to address fundamental questions about cognitive and cultural evolution.

Her research and training reflect her commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of cognitive development. She draws on insights from cognitive, cultural, developmental, educational, and evolutionary psychology as well as cognitive and evolutionary anthropology and philosophy, with the aim of facilitating cross-fertilization within and across these disciplines.

Visit her website http://cristinelegare.com/about