Evolution, Mind & Behavior Program HomePage


Evolution, Mind, and Behavior Conference at UCSB

Spring Quarter 2003


Joint UCLA-UCSB Conferences held quarterly by

UCSB’s Evolution, Mind, and Behavior Program (EMB)  and

UCLA’s Human Nature and Society Program (HNAS)


Sunday 4 May 2003

Location: Flying A Studio, University Center (UCEN), UCSB

(see directions below)


10:00  AM  Breakfast buffet opens

10:30  AM  First talk: Sally Boysen, The linguistic Piltdown: Exploring language origins with chimpanzees in the 2nd Millenium 

12:00  PM  Lunch.

  1:30  PM  Second talk:  Joan Silk, Coalitionary aggression in baboon groups: Conventional wisdom meets the real world 

  3:00  PM  Coffee break

  3:45  PM  Third talk:  Armand Kuris, Parasite manipulation of host behavior 

  5:30  PM Adjourn for no-host dinner, Ming Dynasty (see below)




Sally Boysen    Department of Psychology, Ohio State University   mailto:boysen.1@osu.edu

The linguistic Piltdown: 

Exploring language origins with chimpanzees in the 2nd Millenium 


Abstract. During the past three decades, several investigations of the acquisition of
artifical language systems by apes, particularly with chimpanzees, have offered a tantalizing glimpse into a heretofore unknown range of cognitive capacities in this species.  The extent to which such demonstrations might be described as linguistic remains unclear.  Methodological concerns raised upon publication of the early reports have not been resolved.  In addition, much folk knowledge exists as to actual demonstrated competence by ape subjects and such misconceptions have been further muddied by the insatiable interest and unquestioning acceptance of some conclusions by the public, often further fueled by misrepresentation of findings in the media.  With a discussion of these issues as a backdrop, more recent findings exploring natural chimpanzee vocalizations will be described. Results from a cross-modal, auditory/visual discrimination task using chimpanzee food bark vocalizations and subsequent acoustic analyses of an additional corpus of food barks suggest that extant chimpanzees may have the capacity for
inferring information about food quality and food type. This may occur via precursor productive and receptive mechanisms that are supported by neural architecture similar to that which ultimately came to support human spoken language.


Lunch, UCEN



Joan Silk   UCLA Anthropology  mailto:jsilk@anthro.ucla.edu

Coalitionary aggression in baboon groups: Conventional wisdom meets the real world





Blood sugar break




Armand Kuris    UCSB Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology) mailto:kuris@lifesci.ucsb.edu

Parasite manipulation of host behavior  


Abstract. . 



Self-funded dinner at Ming Dynasty

(Ming Dynasty 805-968-1308, 290 Storke Road, at the intersection of Storke and Hollister in Goleta. In the unlikely event you are coming from 101, take Storke exit North of UCSB).


Cosponsored by the UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology and the UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution and Culture. This event is organized as a working seminar for faculty and graduate students. For more information, please contact Leda Cosmides or John Tooby or call 805-893-8720.


UCLA and UCSB will hold a  conference once a quarter, alternating between the two campuses. This one will be in the UCSB University Center, Flying A Studio. 


Map of the UCSB campus (University Center is at coordinate F3)

There may be car pools coming from UCLA; ask Alan Fiske and Clark Barrett.



Take 101 North toward Santa Barbara. There is a double exit (Patterson; then 217 UCSB / Airport). Take the 217 UCSB exit. Follow the signs to campus (when road forks, take the left fork)

When you come into UCSB from 217, there is a UCSB gate & kiosk. Stop there to get a campus map. Turn left onto Lagoon Road (ocean on your left), then RIGHT onto Ucen road, and park in one of the lots.



Parking is free on Saturdays EXCEPT for spaces that are marked "Enforced 24 hours". The closest lot is #3 (but this has a number of illegal spaces, so be careful). Other close lots are #7, 9, and 4.  See map for lot location.