About the Section of Language and Intelligence

Our comparative cognitive studies aim to understand the 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 the differences between human cognition and ape cognition.

Research topics

The research topics of this laboratory include:

Acquisition and use of a visual articficial language;

Mathematical competence;

Short-term memory;

Categorization and concept formation;

Establishment of equivalence relations;

Recognition of facial expressions;

Perceptual illusion;

Visual search and attention;

Texture segregation;

Intermodal auditory-visual matching;

Choice behavior;

Acquisition and use of tokens;

Perception of unity of objects;

Olfactory perpection;

Drawing behavior;

Clay modeling;


Cortical laterality;

Tool use;

Delayed imitation;

Social cognition and communication;


Field experiments in Africa also examine the cognitive processes involved in tool use and cultural transmission in wild populations.