Matthew Campbell, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow ⋅ Living Links
Visiting Lecturer ⋅ Georgia State University
Curriculum Vitae
I am interested in the evolution of social complexity. At the Living Links Center, I have studied empathy and precursors to empathy in chimpanzees by looking at contagious expressions and behaviors. Having measured empathetic responses in nonhumans, next I plan to test whether I can induce stronger contagion, and thus a stronger empathetic response. Techniques for increasing empathy responses would inform us about the origins of human flexibility in empathy and may have therapeutic benefits for conditions like autism and societal problems like bias and bullying. In graduate school at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, I studied the social learning of skills needed by captive primates to survive in the wild, with my main topic being predator learning. My future aim for this line of research is to study how I can train naïve, captive-bred primates to recognize natural predators. This research can tell us about the evolutionary pressures faced by human ancestors, and it may have benefits for captive reintroductions, and thus biodiversity conservation.


Research on 3D animations and empathy.


Campbell, M. W. & de Waal, F. B. M. (2011). Ingroup-outgroup bias in contagious yawning by chimpanzees supports link to empathy. PLoS ONE, 6, e18283. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018283
Campbell, M. W. & de Waal, F. B. M. (2010). Methodological problems in the study of contagious yawning. In O. Walusinski (Ed.), The Mystery of yawning in physiology and disease. Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience (vol. 28, pp. 120-127). Basel: Karger.
Campbell, M. W., Carter, J. D., Proctor, D., Eisenberg, M. L., & de Waal, F. B. M. (2009). Computer animations stimulate contagious yawning in chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 276, 4255-4259. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1087
Campbell, M. W. & Snowdon, C. T. (2009). Can auditory playback condition predator mobbing in captive-reared Saguinus oedipus? International Journal of Primatology, 30, 93-102. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9331-0
Friant, S. C., Campbell, M. W., & Snowdon, C.T. (2008). Captive-born cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) respond similarly to vocalizations of predators and sympatric non-predators. American Journal of Primatology, 70, 707-710. doi:10.1002/ajp.20552
Campbell, M. W. & Snowdon, C. T. (2007). Vocal response of captive-reared Saguinus oedipus during mobbing. International Journal of Primatology, 28, 257-270. doi:10.1007/s10764-007-9123-y

Last updated: Jan 10, 2013