The department has been conducting interdisciplinary research in human and nonhuman primates for understanding the evolutionary origin of human minds and behavior.
Research in our group is aimed at understanding the evolutionary origins of the human mind and brain, and their underlying biological mechanisms. In particular, we focus on topics such as cognition, social behavior and communication, and their deficits in psychiatric disorders. We have been conducting research using a wide range of research techniques from genetic and molecular assays to psychological tests on various subjects, including humans, non-human primates and rodents.
From the standpoint of comparative cognitive science, our section aims to understand higher cognitive functions in the great apes, especially in the chimpanzee, the closest relative of humans. Both experimental and observational approaches illuminate the similarities and differences between human cognition and ape cognition. Current research topics include the acquisition and use of a visual artificial language, short-term memory, categorization and concept formation, face recognition, visual perception and cognition, visual search and attention, cross-modal perception, emotional ( I recognition, tool use, social cognition and social intelligence, communication, and socio-cognitive development.