School of Psychology - Leading psychological science, scholarship and practice
Alex completed his BA in Biology at Oxford University and then his PhD, as a Commonwealth scholar, at The University of Auckland. After this he worked as a Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge. In 2012 he returned to The University of Auckland as a Lecturer in the School of Psychology.
One of the great mysteries of biology is intelligence. Why does it evolve? What structure does it take? Can its evolution be predicted?
Alex’s research attempts to pinpoint how humans and other animals (including corvids and sharks) think, in order to understand how intelligence evolves. He is also highly interested in the evolution of religious thought.
- Taylor, A. H., Elliffe, D., Hunt, G.R., Emery, N.J., Clayton N.S., & Gray, R.D. (2011) New Caledonian crows learn the functional properties of novel tool types. PLoS One. 6(12): e26887
- Taylor, A. H., Elliffe, D., Hunt, G. & Gray R.D (2010) Complex cognition and behavioural innovation in New Caledonian crows, Proc. R.Soc. B 277: 2637–2643.
- Taylor, A.H. and Gray, R.D. (2009). Animal cognition: Aesop’s fable flies from fiction to fact. Current Biology 19, R731-R732.
- Taylor, A.H., Hunt, G.R., Medina, F.S. & Gray, R.D. Do New Caledonian crows solve physical problems through causal reasoning? Proc. R. Soc. B 276, 247–254 (2009)
- Taylor, A.H., Hunt, G.R., Holzhaider, J.C. & Gray, R.D. Spontaneous metatool use by New Caledonian crows. Current Biology 17, 1504–1507 (2007).
- Science “Clever crows, complex cognition?”, 20 April 2010
- BBC “Clever New Caledonian crows can use three tools”, 20 April 2010
- New Scientist “Crows make monkeys out of chimps in mental test”, 17 Sept 2008
- Daily Telegraph (UK) “Crows may be smarter than apes”, 17 Sept 2008
- Guardian (UK) “Crows match apes in skilful tool use”, 17 August 2007
- Daily Telegraph (UK) “Crows are the Einsteins of the avian world”, 16 August 2007
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