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Have you ever wondered how animals communicate? This question has inspired psychologists to study the social lives of animals both in the wild and in our homes. More science than superpower, this is probably the closest we will get to Dr Dolittle! Come and join us for an evening of brilliant talks about some of the fascinating creatures studied by researchers in York.
Who's a good boy!?
The relationship we share with our four-legged friends is a really special one. My talk will explore some of the clever things our dogs are paying attention to during interactions with humans. We will discover the importance of dog-directed speech for building social bonds and explore dogs' sensitivity to human-given cues like eye-gaze. If you’re looking for an excuse to show off your pets on social media (do we need a reason!?) this talk will give an overview of scientific evidence that shows there is good reason why dogs really are man’s (and woman’s!) best friend.
Chilled and chatty: dominance style and communication in primates
We’re probably all familiar with having to deal with a nasty boss or teacher who lords their authority over us. Similarly, hopefully we’ve also all had a superior who treats us with kindness and respect. Like humans, other primates also vary in how high-ranking individuals treat their inferiors. I’ll be talking about how different approaches to dealing with dominance hierarchies influence communication in primates, and what this means for the evolution of communication and language.
What are bonobos and how do they communicate?
Have you ever heard of a “bonobo”? No? Don’t worry, most people haven’t, even though they are our closest cousins alongside the chimpanzee. By the end of this evening, not only will you have heard about bonobos, they will be your favourite primate species! We will discuss what makes bonobos and chimps so different from each other, and then move on to see how they communicate (spoiler alert: their gestures are not so different from each other).