The Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) and NIMBioS are hosting a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. Monthly seminars will be held at NIMBioS in Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. unless otherwise noted. For seminars held at NIMBioS, light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.
Speaker: Dr. Frans de Waal, Living Links, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory Univ., Atlanta, USA, and Utrecht Univ., the Netherlands
Time/Date: Thursday, February 14, 2019, 3:30 p.m.
Location: Strong Hall Auditorium 101
Topic: Animal Emotions and Empathy
Emotions suffuse much of the language employed by students of animal behavior — from "social bonding" to "alarm calls" — yet are still regularly avoided as an explicit topic in scientific discourse. Given the increasing interest of human psychology in the emotions, and the neuroscience on animal emotions such as fear and attachment, the taboo that has hampered animal research in this area is outdated. The main point is to separate emotions from feelings, which are the subjective experiences that accompany the emotions. Whereas science has no access to animal feelings, animal emotions are as observable and measurable (face, voice, physiology, neural activity) as human emotions. They are mental and bodily states that potentiate behavior appropriate to mostly social situations. I will discuss early ideas about animal emotions and draw upon research on empathy and the perception of emotions in primates to make the point that the study of animal emotions is a necessary complement to the study of behavior. Emotions are best viewed as the organizers of adaptive responses to environmental stimuli.
Dr. Frans De Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. He is the C.H. Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University where he directs the university's Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, one of the world's foremost centers for research on primate behavior. He is also a Distinguished Professor at Utrecht University. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds' 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science. His popular books have been translated into 20 languages. His next book is Mama's Last Hug: Animal and Human Emotions (Norton 2019).
Dr. de Waal will sign books after the talk. Books will be available for purchase. There will be no reception for this seminar.
Seminar Flyer (pdf)
This seminar will not be streamed live or recorded for later viewing.
For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit http://www.nimbios.org/announcements/seminars.