Duncan Wilson

Senior Lecturer, Kyoto University

Department of Psychology, Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University


I am interested in animal cognition, emotion and welfare, with a focus on non-human primates. My previous research has explored hemispheric specialisation of emotion in capuchin monkeys through behavioural laterality (eye preferences), and attentional bias towards threatening faces in chimpanzees using touchscreen dot probe and visual search tasks. My current research involves identifying and validating facial expressions of pain in common marmosets using a geometric morphometric approach.


Doctor of Science, Primatology and Wildlife Research, Kyoto University.

Master of Science, Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare, University of Edinburgh.

Bachelor of Science (Hons), Psychology, University of Hull.




Current Projects

2020-2021: JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship

A Novel Method to Assess Pain in Common Marmosets Using Facial Expressions.

2018-2020: JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up

Comparing emotional attention in humans and chimpanzees: Is the touchscreen dot probe task an effective tool?

2015-2018: MEXT Postgraduate Scholarship

Exploring attentional bias towards threatening faces in chimpanzees.

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


Department of Psychology
Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University
Yoshida-Honmachi Sakyo
Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
E-mail: wilson [dot] duncan [dot] 7a [at] kyoto-u [dot] ac [dot] jp