Evolutionary variation in cognitive abilities and decision-making

Which factors are responsible for interspecific differences in cognitive skills? My research seeks to elucidate how different species acquire and process information from the physical and the social world and whether variation in cognitive abilities, including decision strategies, relates to differences in life history, ecology, and social structure. I address these questions by studying the psychology of different primate populations, including captive brown capuchin monkeys at the Unit of Cognitive Primatology in Rome, two free-ranging population of macaques, rhesus and Barbary macaques, living respectively at Cayo Santiago Field Station, Puerto Rico and at Trentham Monkey Forest, and different species of lemurs – Coquerel’s sifaka (Propithecus coquereli), ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), and aye-aye (Daubentonia madascarensis) at the Duke Lemur Center. This line of research is conducted in collaboration with the Cognitive Evolution Group at the Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.