My main research interests are in comparative cognition and what it can tell us about the conditions conducive to the evolution and development of these cognitive abilities in both humans and non-humans. My training is in biology, ecology, and neuroscience, however, I work with many psychologists (including my husband and in-laws), so I am especially fond of cross disciplinary methodologies. Current research projects and interests include -
· Measurement of intelligence in primates. This includes the application of cutting edge, human based psychometric techniques to animal data. I am hoping to expand this work to other species, including rodents, marine mammals, and parrots (with Alan S. Kaufman and Matthew Reynolds).
· The development of language in parrots. I am currently recording the vocal repertoire of a home raised African Grey parrot for future analysis (with Erin Colbert-White)
· Creativity and innovation in animals. I am interested in the use of human creativity measures to examine abilities, and how the ability to innovate would be an adaptive advantage (with James C. Kaufman)
· Cognitive traits in marine mammals. I am interested in constructs such as personality, creativity, and intelligence in marine mammals and how these might be measured in an Aquarium based setting (with Deirdre Yeater)
· Citizen science. I have been testing avenues by which interested laypeople might contribute to studies of animal behavior and cognition with their pets.
Please feel free to contact me at:
Allison B. Kaufman, PhD
The University of Connecticut
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Torrey Life Sciences, Room 312
75 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3043
Storrs, CT 06269-3043