Thomas O’Rourke

I am a PhD candidate interested in the evolution of cognitive capacities that converge in language. I am currently researching the evolution of memory systems, the genetic basis of modern humans’ semantic memory systems, and the extent to which structures involved in semantic memory may be shared with other species. I am also researching how the evolution of semantic memory may be tied to that of other crucial aspects of human cognition, in particular socio-emotional cognition. Related to this, I have an interest in prenatal and neonatal development of cortical association areas and white-matter connections to these, as well as how these structures deteriorate in neurodegenerative diseases.


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