|Citizenship United Kingdom|
|Name Nicola Clayton|
Fields Comparative cognition
|Born 22 November 1962 (1962-11-22) |
Institutions University of Cambridge, Rambert Dance Company
Residence United Kingdom, United States of America
Alma mater University of Oxford, University of St Andrews
Imagination the door to identity talk by professor nicola clayton and clive wilkins
Nicola Susan Clayton PhD, (born 22 November 1962) is a British psychologist. She is Professor of Comparative Cognition at the University of Cambridge, Scientist in Residence at Rambert Dance Company, a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where she is Director of Studies in Psychology, and a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2010.
- Imagination the door to identity talk by professor nicola clayton and clive wilkins
- Nicola clayton frs ways of thinking from corvids to children and back again
- Early life and education
- University of Cambridge
- Rambert Dance Company
- Other work
- Published works
Nicola clayton frs ways of thinking from corvids to children and back again
Early life and education
Clayton graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in zoology from the University of Oxford in 1984, before gaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews in 1987.
University of Cambridge
Clayton has made major contributions in the study of animal cognition as well as cognitive development in human children, with significant impact in the neurobiology of memory and overall cognitive development. Her expertise in the study of comparative cognition integrates a knowledge of both biology and psychology in providing new methods of thinking about the evolution and development of intelligence in non-verbal animals and pre-verbal children. Clayton studies cognition not only in humans but also in members of the crow family (including jackdaws, rooks and jays). This work has challenged many assumptions that only humans can reminisce about the past and plan for the future, and that only humans can understand other times as well as other minds. Her work has also led to a re-evaluation of the cognitive capacities of animals, specifically birds, and resulted in a theory that intelligence evolved independently in at least two groups, the apes and the crows.
Rambert Dance Company
Since 2009, Clayton has worked with the Rambert Dance Company as science collaborator, then scientific adviser, and now scientist-in-residence. As a dancer, specializing in tango and salsa, she draws evidence from both the arts and science in her collaborations. In 2009, Clayton experienced her first collaboration by becoming involved in a dance piece called The Comedy of Change, which was inspired by Charles Darwin's ideas of natural and sexual selection. She met the choreographer and Artistic Director of Rambert Dance Company, Mark Baldwin, and gave input about science that could inform the piece. Other choreographic works inspired by science Clayton has collaborated with Baldwin on include Seven For a Secret, Never To Be Told and What Wild Ecstasy.
The piece Seven For a Secret, Never To Be Told was based on the psychology of children, an area of Clayton's research. Clayton singled out themes related to the behavioural development of children, such as the importance of play, which helped to inspire the choreography. This piece was another collaboration between Clayton and Baldwin; the title inspired by a line from the nursery rhyme One for Sorrow, which was based on a superstition associating the number of magpies one sees to prediction of one's future.
One of Clayton's collaborations was with artist and writer, Clive Wilkins, who was Artist in Resident in the Psychology department at the University of Cambridge. This collaboration in 2012 rose out of their mutual interest in mental time travel and resulted in a series of lectures entitled, "The Captured Thought." These lectures explored the subjective experience of thinking, by drawing evidence from both science and the arts to examine the nature of mental time travel and mechanisms we use to think about the future and reminisce about the past. The goal of this project was to illuminate ideas concerning memories and question the power of analysis.