OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Louisiana prof looks at mentality ot apes in OSU Horning Lecture

04/05/2001

CORVALLIS - How do chimpanzees understand the physical and social world and how does that differ from the way humans view it?

Daniel Povinelli, professor of cognitive science at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, says there are profound differences and he will detail those in the final Horning Lecture Series presentation of the academic year at Oregon State University on Thursday, April 12.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will begin at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union East Forum.

Povinelli's lecture "The Mentality of Apes Revisited," will review a wide array of experimental evidence that suggests there are profound differences in how humans and chimpanzees understand the physical and social world - differences that offer important clues toward the understanding of the evolution of the human mind.

In 1999, Povinelli was one of only 10 researchers in the world to receive the prestigious $1 million James S. McDonnell Centennial Fellowship for his project on human cognition titled, "The Minds of Humans and Apes: Alternative Outcomes of an Evolutionary Experiment."

Povinelli, who received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1991, has established two laboratories exploring and testing the abilities of human children and chimpanzees. His cutting-edge research explores the fundamental question about human nature: Is there anything truly unique about the human mind? The Horning Lecture Series is sponsored by the Thomas Hart and Mary Jones Horning Endowment in the Humanities at OSU and co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Department of Philosophy. Povinelli's talk is also part of the Ideas Matter Lecture Series, which this year has a theme of "Minds, Animals and Machines."