Dr. Kristin Bonnie
I completed my PhD in the Neuroscience and Animal Behavior program in the Department of Psychology at Emory University in August 2007. I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at Beloit College, in Beloit, Wisconsin.
While a graduate student with Living Links, my research focused on social learning and culture in two species of non-human primates, capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees. In particular, I worked on projects which were designed to investigate when these non-human primates use social learning, and the types of behaviors that can be learned socially by these two gregarious and highly intelligent species.
My research involved testing predictions surrounding:
a) the role of reward in social learning among capuchin monkeys;
b) the influences of reward probability on the use of individual and social learning by chimpanzees;
c) the effects of social relationships on social learning and the transmission of social traditions among non-human primates;
d) the spread of arbitrary conventions among captive chimpanzees.
I also have interests in the broader concept of social information use among animals, which includes social learning, social eavesdropping and public information use.
de Waal, FBM & Bonnie, KE (in press). In tune with others: the social side of primate culture. To appear in: The Question of Animal Culture (K.N. Laland & B.G. Galef, Eds.).