Chennai Mathematical Institute


How Monkeys See the World! The Search for an Animal Mind.
Dr. Anindya ``Rana" Sinha
National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata.
31-01-05 (Ideas for all - Popular Lecture Series)


Social primates appear to be knowledgeable about one another's behaviour to different extents. But do they know as much about one another's beliefs and intentions? Are they adept at recognising the similarities and differences between their own and others' states of mind? Attribution of mental states to other individuals could manifest itself in diverse situations as, for example, when individual animals closely observe the actions of others, when they interact competitively, or when they deceive each other in the social sphere. This talk will examine some of the theoretical and philosophical issues in animal cognitive psychology, with a particular focus on the acquisition of social knowledge and tactical deception, processes integral to the development of social relationships in wild bonnet macaques, a primate species found commonly in peninsular India.

About the Speaker:

Anindya Sinha, a Fellow at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, has wide-ranging research interests in the areas of behavioural ecology and cognitive psychology of primates, population genetics, evolutionary biology, conservation biology and the philosophy of biology. He has a master's degree in botany, a doctorate in molecular biology, and has earlier worked on the biochemical genetics of yeast, the social biology of wasps, and the classical genetics of human disease. He is also interested in biology education and popularisation of science, and has lectured extensively in a variety of educational and research institutions.