S3E5: Robert Seyfarth on What Monkeys Know and an AMA
Play • 1 hr 9 min

In this episode, Matthew speaks with Robert Seyfarth, professor emeritus in the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania. In the first half of the show, they discuss in detail some of the foundational playback experiments that Robert performed in partnership with his late wife Dorothy Cheney. These legendary experiments revealed fundamental discoveries about the kind of social knowledge monkeys have about the groups in which they live.

In the second half of the show, they follow an "Ask Me Anything" style interview that covers a wide range, from building a family and field site with your closest collaborator and friend to questions of animal emotion and pre-linguistic, symbolic thought and communication.

This week's two-minute takeaway comes from Arielle Fogel (Twitter @afogel29), a postdoc in Andy Clark's lab at Cornell University. See the paper that Arielle describes in Animal Behaviour here.


Most relevant books discussed in today's show:
How Monkeys See the World (Amazon link) by Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth
Baboon Metaphysics (Amazon link) by Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth
Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs (Amazon link) by Keena Roberts

Credits: The Animal Behavior Podcast is created by a team of animal behavior researchers and audio professionals. Come meet us here! We receive production support from the Cornell Broadcast studio directed by Bert Odom-Reed, and financial support from the Animal Behavior Society.

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