CBMM Weekly Research Meeting: The origin and development of uniquely human geometric intelligence

Molly Dillon - photo credit Rose Lincoln
February 28, 2014 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Progress on the CBMM challenge questions: what is there? and who is there?

Title: The origin and development of uniquely human geometric intelligence

Presenters: Moira Dillon, Elizabeth Spelke
Collaborators: L Mahadevan, Josh Tenenbaum; CBMM Thrust 1 – Development of Intelligence

Abstract: In the Jeopardy/Watson effort every week on Friday there was an evaluation of performance. We continue the series of weekly discussions and reports on each CBMM challenge question [e.g. what is there? what will happen next? what are they doing? etc] describing progress and problems of ongoing work at CBMM.

This Friday we will hear about the origin and development of uniquely human geometric intelligence. We will focus on studies with children and infants to explore what kinds of geometric information support uniquely human geometric knowledge, such as the appreciation of symbolic maps and intuitions about how distance and angle relate in triangles. Such knowledge develops in all humans regardless of formal schooling, but doesn’t come about until relatively late in a child’s development.

Presenters will initiate discussions on the following topics:
— What core concepts may be present from birth that support later geometric understanding?
— What learning mechanisms control this development?
— What role does experience play the the acquisition of these concepts? What kind of experience is necessary?
— How might we better elucidate the links between core geometric concepts and those that are later to emerge?


February 28, 2014
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Harvard University: Northwest Bldg, Room 243

52 Oxford Street, Harvard University Northwest Building, Cambridge, 02138