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The Thoughtful Animal

The Thoughtful Animal

Exploring the evolution and architecture of the mind

Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His research focused on the evolution and architecture of the mind, and how different early experiences might affect innate knowledge systems. He also received his B.A. in Psychology in 2007, and his M.A. in Psychology in 2009, both from USC.

In addition, Jason is a freelance science writer. His blog The Thoughtful Animal, which discusses behavior and cognition in humans and animals, has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, SEED Magazine, the National Geographic Channel, the Charlotte Observer, the Raleigh News-Observer, and USA Today. He has also contributed to Scientific American, The Guardian, and LAist.

Jason writes about psychology and neuroscience, with a special focus on animal cognition and the evolution of the mind. What does it mean for a cognitive skill or capacity to be truly innate? How can the environment take the basic building blocks of cognition and push them around in different ways? How did those building blocks evolve? How do they develop throughout the lifetime? Understanding the animal mind can help us better understand the evolution of the human mind.

Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. You can also follow him on twitter, on and on tumblr. His professional website is

Jason's beautiful banner image, featuring a bonobo, common dolphin, and blue jay, was created by Carl Buell.

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