Program 3: Sociality and Communication

Speaker: Claus Lamm

Why do species living in complex social groups have large brains? How do new behavioral patterns and knowledge structures emerge in/through communicative processes? How do cognition and emotion interact in shaping social interaction and behavior? What role does language play in shaping human sociality?

Program P3 aims to understand social cognition and social behavior in human and non-human animals from a broad comparative perspective, focusing on proximate (mechanistic and developmental) and ultimate (phylogenetic and adaptive) research questions investigated under highly controlled (experimental) conditions, as well as in observational studies of everyday life. Communication and language are major components of social cognition, and also provide one of the richest sources of information about social cognition and behavior. Studies on communication span mechanistic and cognitive levels, from bioacoustics and multi-sensory signalling to meaning and syntax comprehension. The program thus combines approaches from biology, psychology, (social cognitive) neuroscience, behavioral and neuro-economics, and linguistics.


More information about all PIs of this program: