Cosmides, Leda


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Leda Cosmides is Professor in the Department of \Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A PhD from Harvard University, she works in the newly emerging field of evolutionary psychology. On evolutionary grounds, one would expect the architecture of the human mind to consist of a diverse collection of computational machines, each of which is well-designed for solving adaptive problems that were faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. She has been studying cognitive mechanisms that appear to be functionally specialized for reasoning about social exchange, threats, coalitions, and uncertain events. Because the kinds of cognitive processes she studies are expected to be universal among all humans, she is collaborating with anthropologists to test for their presence cross-culturally, and with neuroscientists to find their location in the brain.