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Rethinking Thinking: How Intelligent Are Other Animals?

Intelligence was once thought to be uniquely human. But researchers have discovered astonishing cognitive abilities in many other species—not just our close cousins like chimps, or fellow mammals like dolphins—but also crows, parrots, and even octopuses. If we consider the intelligence of swarms, we must add bees, termites, and ants to the list of super smart creatures. Join the scientists who study smarts as we ask: What is intelligence? Why do some species get an extra dose? And just how special are humans, really?

This program is part of the BIG IDEAS SERIES, made possible with support from the JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION.

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Rethinking Thinking: How Intelligent Are Other Animals?

Intelligence was once thought to be uniquely human. But researchers have discovered astonishing cognitive abilities in many other species—not just our close cousins like chimps, or fellow mammals like dolphins—but also crows, parrots, and even octopuses. If we consider the intelligence of swarms, we must add bees, termites, and ants to the list of super smart creatures. Join the scientists who study smarts as we ask: What is intelligence? Why do some species get an extra dose? And just how special are humans, really?

This program is part of the BIG IDEAS SERIES, made possible with support from the JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION.

View Additional Video Information

Moderator

Faith SalieAuthor, Journalist, Comedian

Faith Salie is a three-time Emmy-winning contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and a regular on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! She’s hosted five seasons of PBS’s Science Goes to the Movies and is a storyteller for The Moth. She hosts the new podcast “One Plus One,” from Wondery.

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Participants

Frank GrassoNeuroscientist

Frank Grasso directs the Biomimetic and Cognitive Robotics lab which researches the control, organization, and coordination of behavior using robots and living animals.

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Suzana Herculano-HouzelNeuroscientist

Suzana Herculano-Houzel, PhD, is a biologist and neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, where she is associate professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on what different brains are made of.

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Denise HerzingMarine Mammalogist

Dr. Denise Herzing, Founder and Research Director of the Wild Dolphin Project, has completed 34 years of her long-term study of the Atlantic spotted dolphins inhabiting Bahamian waters. She is an affiliate assistant professor in Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

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Simon Garnier Biologist

Simon Garnier is an associate professor in the Federated Department of Biology at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers-Newark. He is the head of the Swarm Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab that studies the mechanisms underlying collective behaviors and swarm intelligence in natural and artificial systems.

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