Introducing ‘Many Minds’

Welcome to Many Minds, a podcast about the curious ways that mind manifests—in humans, animals, and machines. We spotlight the findings, theories, and phenomena that are changing how we think about minds.

Of Bees and Brains

Welcome to our first full-length episode! The guest for our inaugural interview is Dr. Andrew Barron, a neuroethologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. (In case you’re wondering what a neuroethologist is, don’t worry, we get to that.) Andrew specializes in honey bees. He studies their minute brains, their natural behaviors, and their remarkable cognitive […]

The Monkey in the Mirror

Welcome to our second episode—and our very first installment of Mini Minds! Mini Minds is a short, snack-sized format that will alternate with our longer conversations. Today’s Mini is a primer on the mirror self-recognition test. This is a classic paradigm in comparative psychology—and, as we’ll see, it continues to generate both results and criticism. […]

Can Artificial Minds Think Creatively?

Welcome back! Our guest today is Marta Halina, a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Marta’s current focus is the philosophy of artificial intelligence. We discuss what philosophers can contribute to AI. We talk about AlphaGo and its stunning defeat of one of […]

Artificial Olympians

Welcome to our next ‘Mini Minds’ installment!As I mentioned before, we’re still figuring out what we want this format to be, so you can expect a bit of tinkering over the coming months. Our first mini was a short audio blogpost of sorts, and today’s mini is a mini interview. I chatted with Matt Crosby. […]

Born to be Cultured

Welcome back! Today’s episode is a conversation with Cristine Legare. Cristine is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on how our minds allow us to do culture—to learn it, to create it, and to pass it on. Among other things, we talk about cumulative […]

Me, My Umwelt, and I

Welcome to the sixth episode of Many Minds! Today we have another ‘mini minds’ for you. We’ll be talking about umwelt theory—the idea that every species has its own self-world, its own private and peculiar mode of sensing and being. The theory was first put forth in the 1900s by a theoretical biologist named Jakob […]

Message to the Stars

Greetings all—and a warm welcome back for another episode! Today’s show is a conversation with Daniel Oberhaus. Daniel is a staff writer for Wired magazine and the author of the book Extraterrestrial Languages, published by MIT Press in 2019. The book charts the history of humanity’s efforts at “interstellar communication”—our attempts to send messages to […]

A Mini Minds with Many Voices

A warm welcome back! On this “mini minds” installment, we tried something a little different. We reached out to former participants in the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI)—including grad students, post docs, and faculty—to ask them a couple questions. What we’ve done for this episode put together a selection of their answers. Here were the […]

How Do Chimps Communicate?

Welcome back everyone! My guest on today’s show is Dr. Cat Hobaiter. Cat is a Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews, where she’s part of research unit called the Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution. Cat spends a good chunk of her time, not in Scotland, however, but in Africa, where she conducts […]