Mark Turner is Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University
He is Founding Director of the Cognitive Science Network; Co-Director of the Red Hen Lab; Founding President of the Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts; Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Humanities Center, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, the Centre for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for the Science of Origins; Extraordinary Member of the Humanwissenschaftliches Zentrum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität; External Research Professor of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.
Professor Turner's research focuses on the mental operations that make it possible for cognitively modern human beings to be so astoundingly creative as a species and to have such remarkable higher-order cognition. His research particularly emphasizes cognitively modern abilities for mapping and conceptual integration.
Professor Turner has proposed theories concerning the nature and emergence of higher-order cognitive operations that distinguish human beings from other species and that appear in the record of our descent during the Upper Paleolithic. These higher-order cognitive operations make it possible for human beings to have remarkable behaviors: Language, gesture, art, music, mathematical insight, scientific discovery, religion, advanced social cognition, refined tool use, dance, fashions of dress, sign systems, and social systems of politics, economics, and law.
As Founding Director of the CSN: the Cognitive Science Network, Professor Turner oversees electronic publications in