WAAL LAB 1993
WAAL LAB 2004
POLLICK OBSERVING BONOBOS
at the Psychology Department of Emory University, I set up research
at Yerkes, the oldest and largest primate research institute in
the nation. I became the academic advisor of graduate students recruited
through the Psychology Department's Neuroscience
& Animal Behavior Program. The students added energy and new
ideas to my work. By now, some have earned their Ph. D.'s and moved
on to independent careers.
18 of my team in 1993 and photo
19 in 2004 show a shift from mostly male to mostly female members,
but otherwise the balance of postdocs, technicians, and students
has changed little. We hold regular lab meetings, which include
presentations by students; so-called simian soirees, at which we
discuss our projects, and parties.
Director Fred King set me up with a nice new facility for behavioral
experiments. The Capuchin
Lab is a very active place for graduate and undergraduate students
with a socially housed colony of over thirty brown capuchin monkeys.
The lab has produced dozens of scientific papers on cooperation,
reciprocity, social learning, reconciliation, and so on.
main objective at Emory was a return to ape work, though. Apart
from the observations I had conducted all my life - continued at
Field Station - here, too, my work was becoming increasingly
experimental. The chimps at the Field Station live in large groups,
but voluntarily enter a testing building where we present them with
puzzle boxes, tools, mirrors, or tasks on a computer screen. At
the moment, we're running experiments on "cultural"
transmission". One student has even picked up bonobo
work again, visiting the San Diego Zoo two decades after I did.
main book during this period was Good Natured (1996), on
the origins of morality. This issue was further explored by a student,
Jessica Flack, and myself in an article entitled "Any
animal whatever .." (720KB pdf). Stephanie Preston and
I later produced an almost book-length review of the literature
on (human and animal) empathy, which was debated in The
Behavioral & Brain Sciences.
work at Living Links at Yerkes is continuing, as always focused
on social behavior and social cognition, mainly on chimpanzees and