Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Lecture, delivered by Professor Judith Dunn FBA.
More about the Joint British Academy / British Psychological Society Lectures
On 5 November 2001, Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith FBA FMedSci, Head of the Neurocognitive Development Unit at University College London, delivered a special lecture at the Academy to celebrate the Centenary of the British Psychological Society. In this edited extract, she outlines the theme of her lecture.
Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Lecture, delivered by Professor Brian Butterworth FBA, on 16 November 2004. Poor numeracy is a serious educational and social problem. It is more of a handicap in employment than poor literacy. One of the most important causes of poor numeracy is dyscalculia, a selective congenital disability for arithmetic. Although the current best estimates put its prevalence at more than 5%, more than dyslexia, few parents, teachers, or government bodies recognise it, as they failed to recognise dyslexia thirty years ago. However, recent research has discovered that the dyscalculic’s painful struggle to acquire basic arithmetical facts and procedures seems to be due to a pathologically weak grasp of basic number concepts, despite normal intelligence, memory and language. This can be detected even in simple tasks that come easily to most of us, such as estimating small numbers of objects and comparing numbers. The brain systems underlying these tasks have now been identified, and there is evidence suggesting that these systems are abnormal in dyscalculics.
Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Lecture, delivered by Professor Robin Dunbar FBA, on 11 October 2007 (venue: The British Academy). Although we share many aspects of our behaviour and biology with our primate cousins, humans are, nonetheless, different in one crucial respect: our capacity to live in the world of the imagination. This is reflected in two core aspects of our behaviour that are in many ways archetypal of what it is to be human: religion and story-telling. The lecture will show how these remarkable traits seem to have arisen as a natural development of the social brain hypothesis, and the underlying nature of primate sociality and cognition, as human societies have been forced to expand in size during the course of our evolution over the past 5 million years.