Animal Cognition Research Group

Active in both the lab and in the field

Our research focuses on the interactions between animal (including human) cognition, ecology and social behaviour within an evolutionary framework.

We investigate both proximate and ultimate questions, in the lab and in the field, in order to understand the mechanisms, development, adaptive value and evolution of animal cognition.

Staff experimentally investigate personality and leadership in birds, cognitive bias in hamsters and rhesus macaques and the neural mechanisms of somatosensation, olfaction and emotional behaviour. We are active in the field and engage in international collaborative projects in Puerto Rico, South Africa, the U.S. and Australia studying rhesus macaques, baboons, samango monkeys and birds.

Case study highlight

Developing attention bias as a novel measure of welfare in captive macaques – Dr Emily Bethell
(Details to follow)

Current MPhil projects

  • To mix or not to mix? Evaluating breeding performance in mixed species bird enclosures within European zoos – Yvette Foulds
  • The effect of genotype on attention bias in rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, as a welfare indicator – Isabelle Szott
  • What is Neutral?: Studying attention bias in Rhesus Macaques, Macaca mulatta, towards three different facial expressions – Harriet Thatcher

Recent PhD projects

  • Social relationships and social skills of young chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in captivity – Samina H. Farooqi, 2013

Opportunities for MPhil/PhD

If you’re interested in an MPhil or a PhD please contact the relevant member of staff below to discuss possible supervision and research direction.

If you are interested in our MSc programme, see the course fact file: Primate Behaviour and Conservation (MSc).

People

Meet the researchers within this group:


  • ALL
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Loading staff profiles…

PhD students

Meet the PhD students within this research area.


  • ALL
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Loading staff profiles…

Search for a research paper
Search publications

12 papers found

  • Journal article

    Affective Touch and Regulation of Stress Responses.

    Kidd T and Dferevine SL and Walker SC

    Publish date: 14/11/2022

  • Journal article

    Evaluating the role and effectiveness of co‐produced community‐based mental health interventions that aim to reduce suicide among adults: A systematic review

    Hanlon C, McIlroy D, Poole H and Chopra J and Saini P

    Publish date: 14/11/2022

  • Dataset

    Social distancing with chronic pain during COVID-19: a cross-sectional correlational analysis.

    Donaghy B and Walker S and Moore D

    Publish date: 06/10/2022

  • Journal article

    A deep transfer learning model for head pose estimation in rhesus macaques during cognitive tasks: towards a nonrestraint noninvasive 3Rs approach

    Bethell EJ and Khan W and Hussain A

    Publish date: 08/09/2022

  • Journal article

    Acute tryptophan depletion alters affective touch perception

    Trotter PD, Smith SA, Moore DJ, O'Sullivan N, McFarquhar MM and McGlone FP and Walker SC

    Publish date: 12/05/2022

  • Journal article

    A Time to Heal: MicroRNA and Circadian Dynamics in Cutaneous Wound Repair

    Fawcett SA, Al Kassas R, Dykes IM, Hughes AT and Ghali F and Ross K

    Publish date: 21/04/2022

Latest Tweets

  1. 📣 New paper from our own @AbiRose9 and colleagues #OpenAccess in @PLOSONE “#Alcohol use during pregnancy and mother… https://t.co/byXT5ejD6q

  2. New 🧠 paper from our own @shfairclough and colleagues out now #OpenAccess in #Neuroscience Letters - Functional con… https://t.co/e2RiSLPI4A