Duncan Wilson

PhD Candidate

Section of Language and Intelligence


I am interested in applying cognitive measures from human psychological research to assess emotion and welfare states in animals, especially non-human primates. My MSc project explored behavioural laterality (eye preferences) as a potential welfare measure in capuchin monkeys. For my PhD I am investigating attentional bias to understand emotional processes in chimpanzees.


After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Hull (UK), I worked as a Research Assistant in Psychology at Flinders University (Australia), and an Assistant Language Teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. I returned to the UK to study for an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh, where I developed an interest in non-human primate welfare. This led to a position as a PhD candidate at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute, where I am investigating attentional bias and emotion in humans and chimpanzees using touch screen experiments.




Selected Publications

Wilson, D. A., Tomonaga, M. (2018). Exploring attentional bias towards threatening faces in chimpanzees using the dot probe task. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0207378. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207378

Wilson, D. A., Tomonaga, M. (2018). Visual discrimination of primate species based on faces in chimpanzees. Primates. 59, 3, 243-251. doi: 10.1007/s10329-018-0649-8

Wilson, D. A., Tomonaga, M., Vick, S-J. (2016). Eye preferences in capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella). Primates, 57, 3, 433-440. doi: 10.1007/s10329-016-0537-z

Tlauka, M., Donaldson, P., Wilson, D. (2008). Forgetting in spatial memories acquired in a virtual environment. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 1, 69-84. doi: 10.1002/acp.1341

Wilson, P. N., Wilson, D. A., Griffiths, L., Fox, S. (2007). First-perspective spatial alignment effects from real-world exploration. Memory & Cognition, 35, 1432-1444. doi: 10.3758/BF03193613


Kyoto University Primate Research Institute, 41-2 Kanrin, Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, 484-8506, Japan