UM-Dearborn offers Animal Speaker Series for limited time

By NOUHAD ALAME, Staff Writer

Ever wondered if humans were merely the only species on Earth that could dominate language and speech? Or how about the fact that, coincidentally, 96% of all humans are right-handed and can use language and speech in their everyday conversations as a means of communication? Perhaps there is a link there, as Dr. Bill Hopkins, a professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the Neuroscience Institute of Georgia State University, suggests. Dr. Hopkins lays down the foundations of the evolution of hemispheric specialization of the left-handed and right-handed human brain. In fact, he points out that speech and language were likely present once upon a time, by none other than our common ancestors; yes, the chimpanzees.

The College of Arts, Sciences and Letters (CASL) ,along with the Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, and the Integrated Learning Program, has been generously sponsoring a series of lectures/talks since the beginning of January of the Winter 2013 semester on animal behavior and other topics relevant to primatology. Not only are these topics well-organized and fascinating, but in addition provide some of the latest research to students with direct insights relating to appropriate methods found in graduate research carried out by Ph.D professors who have traveled across the globe, and finally came back in person to present their findings to the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The series has been free and open to faculty, staff, students and the general public every Friday from 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. in 1030 CASL building. Thanks to the well-managed support and contribution of Dr. Francine Dolins, a Professor of Psychology who specializes in areas of research such as: Primatology,

Spatial Cognition, Animal Behavior and more, the series has supplemented students with a broader range of engaging topics. Beginning January 2013, students were welcomed to register for the 1-3 credit hours as an independent study while attending these various talks; however, these lectures welcome anyone whether they are registered for independent-study credit or not.

Currently, the next two talks pertain to the following topics of “Left, Right, Hand and Brain: Evolution of Hemispheric Specialization in Primates” by Dr. Bill Hopkins on March 27th, and “Minimizing reproductive loss: Female counterstrategies to infanticide in a wild primate” by Drs. Jacinta Beehner and Thore Bergman of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor on April 3rd 2013. For any special accommodations, questions or interests, please contact Dr. Francine Dolins at Don’t miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to get the latest and most up-to-date research from the researchers themselves.