I am a Phd Candidate in Cognitive Science and Language at the University of Barcelona, under the supervision of Cedric Boeckx, with Erich Jarvis co-advising the experimental part of my project.
For my Phd project I am focusing on a twofold project. On the one hand, I am trying to identify whether Homo sapiens underwent a process of self-domestication, similar to what we find in domesticated species, and on the other, whether the molecule oxytocin has been a key molecule not only for the evolution of our species in general, but also in the evolution of our ability to speak. I consider these projects ultimately interconnected, since changes in the oxytocinergic system have been associated with domestication.
I am trying to uncover the role of oxytocin in vocal learning by running experiments on zebra finches, a vocal learning-species, while my work on (self-)domestication follows a more (paleo-)genomic approach.
Lately I have also been involved in MRI studies focused on brain differences between males and females, in an attempt to shed light on the feminization process found to be associated with domestication.