Laurie R Santos

Associate Professor of Psychology

Research Interests

Primate Cognition


Research Summary

My research explores the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing the cognitive abilities of human and non-human primates. I study a number of different non-human primate species incorporating methodologies from cognitive development. My research examines the following broad questions: what domains of knowledge are unique to the human mind? Given that human infants and non-human primates both lack language, what similarities and differences do we see in the expression of non-linguistic domains of knowledge?


Selected Publications

  • Chen, M.K., Lakshminaryanan, V., and Santos, L.R. (2006). The evolution of our preferences: Evidence from capuchin monkey trading behavior. J. Political Economy 114(3):517-537.
  • Santos, L.R., Nissen, A.G., and Ferrugia, J. (2006). Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) know what others can and cannot hear. Animal Behaviour 71(5):1175-1181.

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