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Comparative Minds Research Group

VI Jornada Nacional sobre Evolución y Neurociencias 2024

Our doctoral researcher, José Miguel Martínez Gázquez, participated as a speaker, delivering a talk on the evolutionary history of violence in our species at the VI National Conference on Evolution and Neuroscience, held on April 24th and 25th, 2024, at the Bizkaia Aretoa UPV/EHU (Bilbao).

The VI National Conference on Evolution and Neuroscience, an annual event organized by the Mental Health Network of Bizkaia and the UPV/EHU Chair of Scientific Culture, convened at the Bizkaia Aretoa UPV/EHU (Bilbao) from the afternoon of Thursday, April 24th, to the morning of Friday, April 25th. Drawing an audience of over 130 attendees specialized in medicine, psychology, biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and archaeology, this year's conference served as a platform for professionals from diverse disciplines to delve into various topics through a lens of human evolutionary perspective.

Among the distinguished presenters was our doctoral researcher, José Miguel Martínez Gázquez, a psychologist and primatologist, member of the Comparative Minds Research Group at the Universitat de Girona. Gázquez's presentation delved into the evolutionary history of violence in humans, meticulously unravelling the potential causes of its emergence within our species while dispelling prevalent myths surrounding this complex subject. His discourse was structured into four intricately woven sections: an exploration of violence rooted in our primate lineage; an examination of the paradox of our species exhibiting violence despite (or perhaps because of) our self-domestication; a discussion on the correlation between violence, encephalization, and the hyper-social nature of humanity; and, finally, an analysis of the impact of human cultural evolution on the diverse manifestations of violence across our global landscape.

Throughout Gázquez's presentation, probing questions emerged regarding the inherent violent tendencies of human beings and the pivotal role of learning in shaping what is perceived as lethal violence: the deliberate use of force or power to attack and harm another individual with the intent to cause fatal injury.



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