Our research centers on the multimodal communication of human and nonhuman primates with focus on the expression of emotions by means of gestural and facial signals. We use a cross-species, cross-cultural approach and combine both behavioral and non-invasive experimental methods to investigate different aspects of primate communication and the underlying socio-cognitive skills.
Current projects include the investigation of the communicative interactions between mother and infants during their first year of life, the examination of the negativity bias in great apes and humans in different cultures, and the development of methods to identify and describe the facial expressions of gibbons. Further projects investigate the dynamics of food sharing in humans and nonhuman great apes as well as their socio-cognitive skills related to the Theory of Mind. Recently started projects concern the role of emotions of researchers and the interplay of social, ecological, and genetic factors in regard to the cognitive skills of orangutans.
More detailed information for some of these projects can be found here: Projects and cooperations.