Gouldian finches

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

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PhD students

Meet the PhD students within this research area.


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Publications

Search for a research paper

5 papers found

  • Journal article

    Anthropogenic influences on the time budgets of urban vervet monkeys.

    Thatcher H and Downs CT and Koyama NF

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Behavioural changes in African elephants in response to wildlife tourism

    Szott I and Pretorius Y and Koyama N

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Effects of MDMA on attention to positive social cues and pleasantness of affective touch.

    Bershad AK, Mayo LM, Van Hedger K, McGlone F and Walker SC and de Wit H

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Gouldian finches are followers with black-headed females taking the lead

    O'Reilly AO and Hofmann G and Mettke-Hofmann C

    Publish date:2019

  • Journal article

    Heritability and maternal effects on social attention during an attention bias task in a non-human primate, Macaca mulatta

    Bethell E

    Publish date:2019

Showing 5 papers

Latest Tweets

  1. Well done to all our PhD students graduating today! https://t.co/UN0OqekvW8

  2. It’s #graduation day @LJMUPsychology @LJMU https://t.co/HtrjyAXwKN