Jennifer Vonk

Oakland University, USA


Jennifer Vonk is a comparative/cognitive psychologist with primary research interests in two overlapping areas: animal cognition and cognitive development. She completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, conducting an honor thesis in behavioral endocrinology, an M.S. degree in human memory at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada, and a Ph.D. degree on the topic of concept formation in great apes at York University, Toronto, ON, Canada. Following her graduate work, she conducted comparative studies on chimpanzees and human children as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Louisiana. The underlying goal of her work is to examine cognitive continuities and discontinuities between humans and both closely and distantly related species. Thus, her work focuses on examining both phylogenetic and ontogenetic origins of cognitive processes thought to be unique to humans. Current work centers on social cognition, such as theory of mind, prosociality, and reasoning about emotions, as well as physical cognition, such as causal reasoning, analogical reasoning, numerosity, and natural concept formation.

Biography Updated on 11 March 2012

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