Social Cognition


a student wearing a vr headset


The Social Cognition Lab investigates social intelligence in human and non-human primates. Our work focuses on a cornerstone of human intelligence: observational and imitation learning.

Through collaborations with institutions including the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Children’s National Medical Center, Columbia University, McMaster University and the University of Southern Mississippi, we shed light on the development and evolution of the social mind. 

Current Research Questions:

  • How and what do children and primates learn from others?
  • What are the characteristics of good versus bad imitators?
  • Do human and non-human primates differ in the types of rules or responses that they can copy?
  • In humans, does the imitation of different types of rules or responses (spatial, motor, cognitive, vocal) develop in different stages?



Lab Director