Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


What it means to be human

Funded under: FP7-SSH


How and why are humans different? What features make our cognitive facilities unique and what are the origins of these features? The global understanding of the human mind is still a very long way off. However, in order to move forward, there is a crucial need for interdisciplinary work, and Europe has a vital interest in this area and real potential for fostering scientific progress.
This progress would have considerable future benefits. By understanding the specific nature and limits of human conceptual reasoning, for example, it would be possible to devise more powerful artificial learning technologies. Improved education strategies could be developed as a result of further knowledge of specifically human capabilities to perceive and encode information and experience. Furthermore, greater insight into the origins of human motivation, social behaviour and cooperation would assist the design of social and cultural institutions to accommodate human needs in better ways.
The focal questions behind the NEST Pathfinder initiative, What it Means to Be Human, foster cross-disciplinary research projects that bring to bear the latest insights from genetics, biology, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics and anthropology to help generate answers for one of science’s most elusive subjects.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22427 EN (2007), 41 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: KI-NA-22427-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 92-79-03833-8
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