I’m generally interested in comparative cognitive science. My previous work was to investigate the understanding of a circular relationship in chimpanzees, our closest relatives, by training them the rule of the rock-paper-scissors game. I found some interesting response by chimpanzees to chimpanzee hands and human hands, and it led me to my current project: body perception in chimpanzees. Bodies are the direct agent of animals to explore and to interact with the environment. Bodies also convey important social cues. I’m interested in how animals (chimpanzees) perceive bodies, and their knowledge about body structures and body parts.
Body perception in chimpanzees: from the perspective of comparative cognitive science
Bodies are imporant social cues for animals. However, it is not clear how animals perceive bodies. I'm interested in body perception and knowldege about body structures and body parts in chimpanzees as well as humans. The study in chimpanzees and human adults and children could faciliate the understanding of body perception from the evolutionary and developmental perspectives.
Gants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) 18J21474 (2,800,000 JPY for three years)
Gao, J., & Tomonaga, M. (2020). Body perception in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): The effect of body structure changes. Journal of Comparative Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/com0000214
Gao, J., Tomonaga, M. (2018) The body inversion effect in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). PLoS ONE 13(10): e0204131. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204131
Gao, J., Su, Y., Tomonaga, M., Matsuzawa, T. (2017). Learning the rules of the rock–paper–scissors game: chimpanzees versus children. Primates 59(1), 7-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-017-0620-0
Chen, T., Gao, J., Tan, J., Tao, R., Su, Y. (2017). Variation in gaze-following between two Asian colobine monkeys. Primates 58(4), 525-534. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-017-0612-0
Chimpanzee rock-paper-scissors game:
Reader's digest: https://www.rd.com/culture/chimpanzees-play-rock-paper-scissors/
Discover Magazine: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/inkfish/2017/08/11/chimps-understand-r...
Section of Language and Intelligence,
Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University,
41-2 Kanrin, Inuyama, Aichi, Japan, 484-8506