The Cradle of Mammalian Intelligence

Project: Research

Project Details

Layman's description

The aim of this project is to chart and closely compare fundamental cognitive mechanisms of the most ancestral mammals (monotremes and marsupials) with those that diverged more recently (placentals). The purpose is twofold: (I) To explore whether there is a basal mammalian cognitive level, and if cognition has become more flexible in the diverged lineages of mammals, or if variations can only be attributed to ecological differences. (II) To compare the mammalian data with data achieved through identical methods, from a sister project on ancestral birds and crocodilians, in order to explore whether and how the cognitive fundaments of birds and mammals differ. The project’s results will be the first of their kind and will greatly aid in understanding the origins of intelligence(s), in addition to generating several new hypotheses for further testing in large scale projects.
Effective start/end date2017/12/072020/12/31


  • Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.