Welcome to the Comparative Cognition Laboratory!

Welcome to the Comparative Cognition Laboratory!

The Comparative Cognition Laboratory explores the evolutionary origins of the human mind by comparing the cognitive abilities of human and non-human primates. Our studies focus on a number of different primate species and incorporate methodologies from cognitive development and cognitive neuroscience.

Our research examines the following broad questions: what domains of knowledge are unique to the human mind? Given that human infants and non-human primates both lack language, what similarities and differences do we see in the expression of non-linguistic domains of knowledge?

Our current work explores what primates understand about physical objects and their motions, how primates spontaneously reason about different kinds of things (foods, artifacts, and animals), and whether or not non-human primates possess precursors to a theory of mind.


December 11, 2023
A new article in Animal Behaviour revealed differences in the way humans and cleaner wrasses decide on punishments for cheating. While human subjects in the study tracked...
September 21, 2023
A new study, featuring Dr. Santos as a co-author, has revealed the positive impact that pet dogs have on their guardians' recovery from a stress-inducing task. Read more...
July 26, 2018
Our graduate student Angie Johnston was quoted in two articles about a study that investigates canine empathy. Check out what she had to say in CNN and Smithsonian Magazine!