Evolution of speech: anatomical and cognitive factors
Keynote lecture by prof. dr. Bart de Boer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Friday April 21st 16:15 - 17:15

Bart de Boer is professor at the artificial intelligence laboratory of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He studies evolution of speech using computer models and experiments, focusing on both anatomical and cognitive adaptations. He studied computer science in Leiden, did his PhD in artificial intelligence in Brussels and has also worked at the UW in Seattle, the rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the University of Amsterdam and the MPI in Nijmegen.

In his talk he will give an overview of work on the evolution of speech (and language). He will present work on the evolution of the vocal tract and its implications for understanding when speech and language started to evolve. However, from this work it has become clear that cognitive adaptations are what must have driven evolution. He will therefore also present experiments and models investigating what adaptations for speech (and language) could have evolved.