Prepared Minds lab
A research adventure by Elisabetta Versace and collaborators


We are so fast in learning and so efficient with novel tasks: we are prepared to succeed. Understanding how minds are prepared to make sense of the world is a fascinating adventure. We study the interface between spontaneous abilities and learned behaviours in animal models, humans and artificial intelligence.

On the one hand, predisposed cognitive abilities produce intelligent behaviour at first sight, in the absence of previous experience: a chick that is attracted by a moving object, and that flees away from predators. On the other hand, learning supports responses to stimuli and features encountered multiple times, such as a chick that recognises her mother hen and is able to find its way to rejoin the group. Are predispositions and learning just two sides of the same coin? Follow our research to know more!

Our research is based at the
School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences at Queen Mary University of London.

Carousel imageCarousel imageapplying joint scattering for chick categorisation, in collaboration with the Benetos labCarousel imageLars Chittka and Cristine NIcol admire a baby tortoise raised by Silvia Damini (right) at Sperimentarea (Museo Civico Rovereto, Italy)Carousel imageCarousel imageCollaboration at the Trinity Laban ConservatoireCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image