Leçon ULB 2012 – 2013

Le 9 novembre 2012 Nicky Clayton, Professeur de Comparative Cognition à l’Université de Cambridge, a donné la Philippe Wiener lecture à l’ULB sur invitation du Professeur Axel Cleeremans (Centre de Recherches Cognition & Neurosciences – ULB).

Au cours de cette leçon, qui avait pour titre « Food for Thought: Planning of Meal Choices by Jays and Humans », Nicky Clayton a présenté les résultats d’expériences permettant de comparer la façon dont les êtres humains et les geais programment leurs repas.

Ainsi que l’explique le Professeur Clayton,

« as humans, we spend much of our time planning for the long-term future, from shopping lists to pension plans. Traditionally, it has been argued that only humans are capable of such prospective cognition. I shall argue, however, that some non-human animals are also capable of anticipating the future, at least in a rudimentary form, and surprisingly, some of the most convincing evidence comes from members of the crow family that hide food for future consumption.

In this talk I shall also focus on when these abilities develop in young children and the future planning of meal choices by humans, which are akin to the caching and food recovery behaviour of the birds. I shall argue that even as adults we are not always very good at planning realistically for a future state that must be dissociated from current needs ».

La conférence a été suivie d’une séance de questions-réponses et d’une réception.