Statistical Sampling in Monkeys
Collaborators: Emma Tecwyn, Emily Messer, Stephanie Denison
The aim of this study is to expand research into the evolutionary origins of intuitive statistics. Recent research has demonstrated that both pre-verbal children and non-human apes are able to make predictions regarding samples drawn from populations of items. These findings suggest that the capacity for intuitive statistics may be shared by humans and other great apes. Of interest from an evolutionary perspective is whether this cognitive ability is also shared with monkeys. We have adapted the methodology used in these previous studies to investigate squirrel and capuchin monkeys’ capacity for intuitive statistics.
Social Referencing in Dogs
Collaborators: Anna Waisman, Lucia Jacobs, Alison Gopnik
Dogs appear to be able to leverage human social cues. This sensitivity may be the result of a unique co-evolutionary environment, of intense exposure to a human social environment, or a combination of both these factors. Previous work has looked at dogs’ understanding of human ostensive cues such as pointing. This project explores dogs’ sensitivity to human emotional information, such as emotional valence towards novel objects in the environment.