Evolution of Cultural Complexity

September 21, 2017 (8:30-17:00) Cancun, Mexico

Tom Froese (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

Image - Tom Froese, UNAM

Tom Froese is a faculty member of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), at the Department of Computer Science in the Institute of Applied Mathematics and Systems Research (IIMAS).

He is also a member of the Center for the Sciences of Complexity (C3) and coordinator of the 4E Cognition Group.

He is interested in the dynamics of ritual practice, especially in the role of extreme rituals in the emergence of cognitive modernity (e.g. Froese et al. 2013; Woodward et al. 2015) and in the role of community ritual as a driver of early sociocultural complexity (e.g. Froese et al. 2014).

     Froese, T., Woodward, A., & Ikegami, T. (2013). Turing instabilities in biology, culture, and consciousness? On the enactive origins of symbolic material culture. Adaptive Behavior, 21(3), 199-214.
     Woodward, A., Froese, T., & Ikegami, T. (2015). Neural coordination can be enhanced by occasional interruption of normal firing patterns: A self-optimizing spiking neural network model. Neural Networks, 62, 39-46
    Froese, T., Gershenson, C., & Manzanilla, L. R. (2014). Can government be self-organized? A mathematical model of the collective social organization of ancient Teotihuacan, Central Mexico. Plos One, 9(10), e109966. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109966

webpage: froese.wordpress.com

Alex Bentley (University of Houston)

Image - Alex Bentley, Houston Univ.

Alex Bentley is a Professor at the University of Houston and soon to be Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. His research has explored cultural change in different environments, from prehistoric societies to contemporary communities. He just wrote a book with Michael O’Brien on a topic closely related to the session :

“The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms” (M.I.T. Press, forthcoming 2017)

Image - Alex Bentley, Houston Univ.

webpage: alex-bentley.com

Sergi Valverde (Univ. Pompeu Fabra & CSIC)

Image - Sergi Valverde

Sergi Valverde is a lecturer in the department of experimental and health sciences at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and member of the Complex Systems Lab at Universitat Pompeu Fabra where he leads the program on the evolution of technology. Trained in informatics engineering, Valverde’s research work spans the evolution of technology, the dynamics and evolution of complex networks and artificial life.

webpage: svalver.github.io