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12 March 2021 - 12 March 2021

1:00PM - 2:00PM


  • Free

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This talk is part of the Department of Psychology (Durham University) seminar series.


"Nonhuman great apes were long thought to lack the critical ingredients for joint action: While humans excel at communicating intentions and emotions in working towards shared goals, great apes seemingly lack emotion control and act egoistically to reach personal goals.

My research aims at revisiting this long-held view by applying methods typically used in human interaction research and developmental psychology to the natural interactions of bonobos and chimpanzees.

The results show that great apes can engage in an impressive palette of skills needed for joint action coordination. Not only do they communicate to establish, maintain and dissolve collective action, they also communicate their emotional distress purposefully, to trigger empathy when togetherness is lost.I discuss these findings in light of current theories on shared intentionality and language evolution and hope to inaugurate new discussions on a possible Pan-homo capacity for joint action."

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