A window into human language evolution
Human language is underpinned by a universal infrastructure — cooperative turn-taking — which is suggested as an ancient mechanism that is claimed to exists across non-linguistic species. However, relatively little is known about turn-taking in non-linguistic species, where this project aims to bridge the gap by assessing turn-taking interactions in wild chimpanzees during their grooming interactions.
Building blocks of a cooperative communicative ability
Communicative repair was first introduced by Schegloff and his colleagues in their pioneering paper in 1977, and they defined it as "the fixing of a misunderstanding or breakdown". However, communicative repair - acclaimed as a cooperative communciaitve ability - seems to be limited to human communication. However, non-linguistic species also encounter breakdowns, therefore can we find building blocks of communicaitve repair in non-linguistic species? This project investigates this upcoming topic in wild chimpanzees during their grooming interactions.
Unearthing the roots of traditional medicinal practises
Medical practices are deeply rooted in human culture, with some practises involving the use of organic matter ranging from plant material to animal matter for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes. These practises can be doen by oneself or prosocially (one towards another). Thus this project aims at understanding the medicinal practises in wild Eastern chimpanzees.