Learning & Adaptive Behavior Laboratory

Department of Psychology

Our research focuses on learning and adaptive behavior. We are interested broadly in similarities and differences in behavior and cognition across species, including the human kind.

What do we humans have in common with other animals? How are we unique? We take a strong comparative and evolutionary approach to such questions. In other words, we believe humans are part of the biological kingdom. As such, we humans share important characteristics with other animals, including psychological ones. Our research concerns both the continuities—the general processes that cut across species—and the discontinuities—the different ways in which those processes work for a given species in a given habitat. To that end, research in our lab has attempted to develop a common set of methods for comparing behavior across species. This puts us in a better position to distinguish genuine species differences in psychological process from more superficial differences in procedure—a starting point for a more systematic cross-species analysis.

Within this general framework, we have a few different lines of research currently underway. Follow the links above to learn more about specific projects.

(pigeon image courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/missbutterfly/ / CC BY-SA 2.0)