Animal Cognition

Cold-blooded Cognition

Very little is known about the cognitive abilities of reptiles. They have traditionally been considered to be “sluggish and unintelligent creatures” (Yerkes, 1901) and have largely been ignored in the study of animal cognition.

However, to gain an understanding of the evolution of cognition in amniotes, it is necessary to carry out research into the learning and memory abilities of reptiles that parallel the extensive work already available in mammals and birds. Our research has revealed that reptiles possess an impressive suite of cognitive abilities from complex social learning (e.g. Kis et al.,2015) to extensive long-term memory (e.g. Soldati et al.,2017). They can even use a touchscreen!

Academics: Prof Anna WilkinsonProf Oliver BurmanDr Tom Pike

Researchers and research students: Dr Tanja KleinhappelAgnese Crisante, Kirstin Nelson, Erin Rickman, Kelsey Felder

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Working Animal Cognition

Animals are used to help humans in all sorts of tasks, from explosive detection to search and rescue. The Working Animal Cognition group uses cutting edge science to improve the performance of working animals. We investigate a range of areas, from novel training techniques to to the impact of environmental changes on performance.

This research takes our knowledge about the mechanisms underlying animal cognition and uses it to solve real-world problems.

Academics: Prof Anna WilkinsonProf Daniel MillsDr Tom PikeDr Carl Soulsbury

Researchers and research students: Dr Carla Eatherington, Dr Elizabeth Sheldon, Dr Anjuli Barber, Rebecca Sumner.

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Dynamic Brain

This group examines how the brain and behaviour interact over both an individual’s lifetime and across generations.

Academics: Dr Elisa Frasnelli, Dr Teresa RomeroProf Daniel MillsProf Anna WilkinsonProf Kun Guo

Researchers and research Students: Chloe India Wright, Tim Simon, Claire Ricci Bonot, LuLu Xu