Our research activities investigate interactions between communication, cognition and social life styles.
We develop three axes:
1) communication production and use,
2) processing and integration of social information,
and 3) evolution of links between ‘social systems, vocal and visual communication and laterality’. Our approach includes developmental, phylogenetic and functional aspects.
Our biological models include a wide range of mammalian species, mainly non-human primates and humans but currently also other mammalian species such as weasels, cetaceans and equines.
The choice of a particular model species depends on the adequacy between the topic addressed and its characteristics. Indeed, these species present a wide diversity of social systems (solitary, family, harem, multi-male groups), habitats (open environment, forest, river, sea) occupying all vegetation strata (terrestrial, semi-terrestrial, arboreal), locomotion modes (quadruped, brachial, occasional bipedal...) and sensory-motor skills (central or lateral position of the eyes, rotating ears, manual abilities...). These characteristics can induce constraints and needs in terms of both communication and cognition.
Our investigations are based on experiments as well as on observations, in everyday living settings and in captivity.
Our research sites are also diverse: biological station (non-human primates, horses); in the field in Africa, Japan and Mexico (non-human primates); animal parks (non-human primates, cetaceans and weasels); maternities, schools, homes, theatres (humans).