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Raphaela Heesen

Research Associate

Research Associate in the Department of Psychology


I am interested in the evolution of human joint action, including various capacities such as joint commitment and communicative repair, as well as specific communicational and emotional skills. To address the evolutionary origins of these abilities, I employ a comparative approach, in which I assess similarities and differences in the process of social action coordination in humans and great apes (particularly chimpanzees and bonobos). My approach mainly implies observations in natural settings, but I also design experiments to implement specific manipulations to study eye gaze, emotion expressions and perception, as well as cooperative decision making. 

Research interests

  • Communication
  • Evolution of social intelligence
  • Joint action


Chapter in book

Journal Article