We invite you to our next ScienceCampus Colloquium on Thursday, April 19th, at 4.15 p.m. in the lecture hall of the German Primate Center, Kellnerweg 4:
Studying cognition-emotion interaction in non-human primates using cognitive bias tasks: emerging trends and future directions
Emily Bethell (Liverpool John Moores University)
Reliable methods to measure cognitive components of wellbeing are receiving increased attention. ‘Cognitive bias’ tasks, for example, are used to assess different emotion states based on how animals respond to ambiguity– negative emotions, it is argued, lead to negative judgements about ambiguous information. These methods have now been developed for use with a wide range of species including mammals, birds and insects. While these methods show much promise, there are still limitations in their application across different research contexts, and published findings are variable. I have been developing complementary tasks that require less initial training and which should have more utility for assessing animal emotions in real world settings. I will review studies we have conducted with nonhuman primates in both free-ranging and laboratory settings and discuss our early data showing potential mediating effects of early life stress and genetic factors. As a still-emerging field, I discuss future directions for this area of research including their potential use for assessing positive affect.