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Edwin van Leeuwen

My research interest lies in the domain of social relationships and behavioral flexibility of non-human primates. More specifically, within my phd project, I aimed to shed light on the motivational and situational factors that govern the trade-off between innovation and individual learning on the one side and selective monitoring and social learning on the other side. Pivotal in these studies are the circumstances under which chimpanzees learn (socially), the conformist bias and the suggested conservative nature of their behavioral choices.

I am conducting most of my research in a chimpanzee sanctuary in Zambia: Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust. The set-up of this sanctuary allows for crucial hypothesis testing regarding potential cultural processes in non-human primates: four stable groups of mixed genetic backgrounds in similar ecological environments. Moreover, the semi-wild conditions in CWOT yield an understanding of chimpanzee behavior with a high degree of ecological validity.

Currently, my post-doctoral work involves the exploration of population-level variation in social dynamics, with a specific focus on potential cultural determinants. Moreover, I'm testing whether the group differences in social tolerance that we have previously evidenced may result in group-specific proclivities and abilities to cooperate.
Function: Affiliated Researcher
Member of: Language and Cognition Department
Other Affiliations: Comparative Cognitive Anthropology, Daniel Haun
Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust, Zambia
Last checked 2018-10-02

Edwin van Leeuwen

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
PO Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands