Professor Emerita, Neurobiology & Anatomy
What is the nature of the human mind and how did it evolve? This age-old philosophical question now holds center stage among evolutionarily-oriented anthropologists and psychologists. My own approaches to these issues have long been multi-pronged. One focus has been the comparative cognitive capacities of human and non-human primates. Another has been an examination of ecological circumstances that led to the evolution of advanced sensorimotor intelligence and enhanced brain size in the primate and human lineages. Other more neurologically-oriented foci have involved comparative human and monkey brain maturation patterns and the importance of absolute versus relative brain size as determinates of species differences in cognitive capacities.
Currently, I am interested in questions of epigenesis and neural plasticity in the development of human and non-human primate brains and behaviors and the nature of social intelligence in relationship to language capacities. During the course of my investigations, I have organized numerous international conferences and co-edited six interdisciplinary books.
- Parker, ST, Gibson, KR eds. (1990) Language and Intelligence In Monkeys and Apes: Comparative Developmental Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.
- Gibson, KR, Petersen, A eds. (1991) Brain Maturation and Cognitive Development: Comparative and Cross Cultural Perspectives. Aldine de Gruyter. Hawthorne, N. Y.
- Gibson, KR, Ingold, T eds. (1993) Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Mellars, P, Gibson, KR eds. (1996) Modeling the Early Human Mind. McDonald Institute Monographs: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. Cambridge, England.
- Box, H, Gibson, KG eds. (1999) Social Learning in Mammals: Comparative and Ecological Perspectives. Symposium of the Zoological Society of London, 72, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Falk, D, Gibson, KR eds. (2001) Evolutionary Anatomy of the Human Neocortex. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
- Gibson, KR. (2002) “Evolution of Human Intelligence: the roles of brain size and mental construction.” Brain, Behavior, and Evolution, 59:10-20.
- MacLeod, CE, Zilles, K, Schleicher, A, Rilling, JK, and Gibson, KR. (2003) Expansion of the neocerebellum in Hominoidea, Journal of Human Evolution: 44:401-29.