Imagination and Human Origins
Co-sponsored by the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group
Try to remember the first time in your life when you imagined something. It may have been imagining what was behind the door or under the bed, or a fantastic universe of wonders and exciting adventure. As children, our imaginations are furtive and encouraged as ways in which we develop our cognitive capabilities. As we grow older, we may not imagine these territories in quite the same manner, but we continue to heavily use and depend on our imagination in our daily lives, imagining different situations that might occur in a few moments or in a few years. Thus, we actually spend a large amount of time in our own particular universe imagining many possible different ones. Why we do this and how this capacity evolved during evolution? Imagination probably helped our ancestors to be successful in making decisions and live in complex societies. Imagination is key to advancing technology. In this CARTA meeting, we plan to explore imagination as a unique/enhanced human ability. We will discuss the impact of human imagination in sciences and arts, the evolutionary origins, the consequences of imagination impairment and the fundamental genetic and neurological basis of human imagination.
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