Long-term research projects at the WSC

.. daily work, often for years ..

Here you can learn more about all of the research projects running longer than a year. In these longer projects we also can observe e.g. development and progress of the animals.

  • Wolf looks at the same food container of two as a human is looking at

    Human communication is unique because we have language and we have an exceptional motivation to share information with others. The precursors of this skill, however, can be found in other animals as well.

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  • Social canines are renown for their cooperation in regard to breeding, hunting, territorial defense (e.g. wolves) as well as interactions with humans (domestic dogs). In humans, cooperation is linked to cognitive processes that are closely embedded in the emotional system. Accordingly, emotions are thought to be involved in triggering, maintaining and regulating primate cooperation. Whether this is the same or not in animals we will investigate in our wolves and dogs in the next 5 years.

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  • Although it is clear that human collaborative skills are exceptional, comparisons with animal species may reveal the evolutionary origins and the functional relevance of cooperation. Moreover, they provide us with the opportunity to understand the proximate mechanisms and the development of cooperation in ontogeny. Thus, to gain a full insight into the ultimate and proximate processes as well as into the development of cooperation, the main objective of our project is to investigate these aspects of cooperation in an integrative model using wolves and dogs.

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