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Richard William Byrne

School of Psychology & Neuroscience

Westburn Lane

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9JP

United Kingdom

E-mail: rwb@st-andrews.ac.uk

Web address: https://sites.google.com/site/rwbyrnepsychology/publication-downloads

Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462051

Research overview

Professor Byrne studies the evolution of cognitive and social behaviour, particularly the origins of distinctively human characteristics. Current projects focus on the gestural communication of the great apes, our closest living relatives; and on the social cognition of the African elephant, where any similarities to human cognition indicate convergent evolution. Previous work has included tactical deception in primates and its relationship to brain size and intelligence, welfare-related studies of cognition in the domestic pig, and the analysis of social learning and imitation. Postgraduates under his supervision have recently worked on gestural communication in chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans; elephant social cognition; great ape manual feeding techniques, including the effect of disability on chimpanzee behaviour; and cognitive maps and travel coordination in monkeys and apes. Professor Byrne was awarded the British Psychology Society Book Award 1997 for his O.U.P. monograph "The Thinking Ape".

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