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The “Social Cognition Platform” Project

Kagan / Gail
Photo: WQ Media GmbH

It is commonly assumed that the social lifestyle of primates has shaped the cognitive abilities of monkeys, apes and humans. As social animals, they spend much time in interactions with group members and partners. This requires communicative skills and the ability to assess and integrate other individuals’ behavior in one’s own decision-making processes.

Embedded in the Leibniz ScienceCampus, researchers from the University of Göttingen, the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, and the German Primate Center joined forces. With funding from the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, we are developing novel methodological and analytical tools to study the behavioral and neural basis of decision making processes in interactive social settings, in humans and non-human primates.


Moeller S, Unakafov AM, Fischer J, Gail A, Treue S, Kagan I (2020). Human and macaque pairs coordinate differently in a dyadic decision game with face-to-face action visibility. bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.03.13.983551

Unakafov AM, Schultze T, Gail A, Moeller S, Kagan I, Eule S, Wolf F (2020). Emergence and suppression of cooperation by action visibility in transparent games. PLoS Computational Biology 16(1), e1007588

Unakafov A, Schultze T, Kagan I, Moeller S, Gail A, Treue S, Eule S, Wolf F (2019). Evolutionary successful strategies in a transparent iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. In: Kaufmann P, Castillo P (Eds.), Applications of Evolutionary Computation. EvoApplications 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 11454. Springer, Cham; pp. 204-219

Wilson V, Kade C, Moeller S, Treue S, Kagan I, Fischer J (2019). Development of a monkey avatar to study social perception in macaques. BioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/758458

Unakafov AM (2018). Pulse rate estimation using imaging photoplethysmography: generic framework and comparison of methods on a publicly available dataset. Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express 4(4), 045001.

Unakafov AM, Keller K (2018). Change-Point Detection Using the Conditional Entropy of Ordinal Patterns. Entropy 20(9), 709

Unakafov AM, Möller S, Kagan I, Gail A, Treue S, Wolf F (2018). Using imaging photoplethysmography for heart rate estimation in non-human primates. PLoS One 13(8), e0202581

Wilson VAD, Gartner M, D'Eath RB, Little A, Buchanan-Smith HM, Blake Morton F (2018). Capuchin monkeys do not differentiate between images of different facial width. PsyArXiv, doi: 10.31234/osf.io/4yde8

Wilson VAD, Inoue-Murayama M, Weiss A (2018). A comparison of personality in the common and Bolivian Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus and Saimiri boliviensis). Journal of Comparative Psychology 132(1), 24-39

Video presention of the project