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What makes humans so different

What Makes Humans So Different

The 2007 annual British Academy/British Psychological Society lecture was given by Professor Robin Dunbar FBA of the Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford on 11 October.

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. Professor Dunbar showed 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.

An audio recording of the lecture can be found on the British Academy website.