Nicola Clayton is Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Clare College and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Her expertise lies in the contemporary study of comparative cognition, integrating a knowledge of both biology and psychology to introduce new ways of thinking about the evolution and development of intelligence in non-verbal animals and pre-verbal children. She is currently President of the British Science Association Psychology Section.
Nicky is also the first Scientist in Residence at Rambert (formerly Rambert Dance Company), a position she has held for 11 years. She collaborates with Mark Baldwin, the former Artistic Director, on new choreographic works inspired by science including the Laurence Oliver award winning The Comedy of Change (2009, 2013), Seven For A Secret Never To Be Told (2011), What Wild Ecstasy (2012), The Strange Charm of Mother Nature (2014), and The Creation (2016), and Grave (2018). In addition, she has written the words and collaborated on Perpetual Movement (2016, 2017), an exhibition of paintings inspired by Rambert at the Lowry and Embodied Cognition, a series of art works drawn and painted by Mark Baldwin (2019).
Nicky is also the first Scientist in Residence at Rambert (formerly Rambert Dance Company). She collaborates with Mark Baldwin, the Artistic Director, on new choreographic works inspired by science including the Laurence Oliver award winning Comedy of Change, and Seven For A Secret Never To Be Told. Their latest piece, What Wild Ecstasy, saw its London première in May 2012.
Nicky's most recent collaboration is with artist and writer, Clive Wilkins, who is Artist in Residence in the Psychology Department. Together they founded The Captured Thought. This started about three years ago and arose out of their mutual interest in mental time travel, and its consequences for consciousness, identity, memory and creativity. They also regularly dance tango together. You can watch their TEDx talk Conversations Without Words here.
She has been appointed Visiting Professors at Nanjing Institute of Technology and Beijing University of Language and Culture. She has also been appointed Honorary Professors at Hangzhou Diangi University.