THE EVOLUTION OF LANGUAGE
Human language sets us apart from all other animals. How did this ability evolve in humans, but not in other species? Can we see evidence of any similar cognitive abilities in apes or monkeys? How can understanding these similarities and differences inform us about the evolutionary origins of language?
COMPARATIVE COGNITION IN PRIMATES
Much of our research involves designing experiments that can be used identically in humans, apes and monkeys. This allows direct comparisons of these species, not affected by different testing methodologies. This approach allows us to better understand cognition across the primate order.
CROSS SPECIES NEUROIMAGING
The seat of cognition is the brain. We are able to conduct neuroimaging experiments (e.g., fMRI scanning) in both humans and monkeys. By combining cognitive testing with comparative neuroimaging, we can better understand the evolution of the neural systems that support cognition.
COGNITIVE MECHANISMS OF LEARNING
We study learning in a range of experimental contexts, including implicit and statistical learning. This includes work with humans, apes and monkeys, as well as projects studying language acquisition in children, and language difficulties such as dyslexia or aphasia.