Dr Raphaela Heesen, PhD
I am interested in comparative research on human and nonhuman great ape communication and social cognition. Specifically, I investigate how communication is used to express emotions and to coordinate joint activities. I am also interested in comparing the structure of communicative repertoires between humans and nonhuman animal species, in particuar nonhuman great apes (applying methods of quantitative linguistics). With such comparative research outputs, I attempt to tackle broader questions related to the evolution of human language, emotion and cooperation.
In my current post-doctoral appointment with Dr Zanna Clay, I combine naturalistic behavioral observations and experimental designs to study differences in expression/perception of emotion in humans and great apes. Our methods involve behavioral coding, paired with diverse psycho-physiological techniques (e.g., thermal imaging, eye-tracking, heart rate measures and galvanic skin conductance).
- Evolution of social intelligence
- Joint action
- Genty, Emilie, Heesen, Raphaela, , Guéry, Jean-Pascal, Rossano, Federico, Zuberbühler, Klaus, & Bangerter, Adrian (Accepted). How apes get into and out of joint actions: Shared intentionality as an interactional achievement. Interaction Studies
- Watson, Stuart K., Heesen, Raphaela (Co-first authors) , Hedwig, Daniela, Robbins, Martha M. & Townsend, Simon W. (2020). An exploration of Menzerath’s law in wild mountain gorilla vocal sequences. Biology Letters 20200380.
- Heesen, Raphaela, Hobaiter, Catherine, Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon & Semple, Stuart (2019). Linguistic laws in chimpanzee gestural communication. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286(1896): 20182900.
- Heesen, Raphaela, Genty, Emilie, Rossano, Federico, Zuberbühler, Klaus & Bangerter, Adrian (2017). Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement. Learning & Behavior 45(4): 390.
Available for media contact about:
- 2016: Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfond Doctoral Scholarship (3,800€)
- 2015: Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfond Masters Scholarship (4.500€)
- 2012: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bachelor Student Scholarship (5,400€)