Bridging the Technological Gap Workshop - 2nd Edition

Spreading technological innovations in the study of cognition and behavior of human and non-human primates

4th August 2024 → 10th August 2024 at the MPI EVA

Pierre-Etienne Martin, PhD, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Laura Lewis, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Hanna Schleihauf, PhD, Utrecht University, Netherlands


Technological breakthroughs create immense opportunities to revolutionize scientific methodologies and enable answers to questions that were previously unanswerable. Disciplines studying behavior and cognition across species are struggling to keep up with the rapid technological developments. In 2022, we organized a workshop to help bridge this technological gap. Through the workshop we (a) trained 31 early career researchers in the use of cutting-edge non-invasive technologies including motion-tracking, eye-tracking, thermal imagining, and machine learning extensions, (b) developed guidelines and common standards in the use of these methods, and (c) created an online platform with a diverse network of researchers, and (d) initiated an interdisciplinary collaboration project with most of the workshop participants involved using thermal imaging with many different species. Building on the success of the 2022 event, we plan to organize this workshop again. Our goal is to continue providing opportunities for early career researchers to gain expertise in innovative technologies, build connections between interdisciplinary and international scholars, and foster the exchange of ideas and future collaborations.


Work in progress - subject to modifications.

Welcoming of the participants

Sunday August 4, 2024

17:00 – 21:00Arriving at the hotel, Welcome Reception, IT Help Desk (is R, Python, Git installed, Github account created)

Part I - Introduction and COMPUTATIONAL BASICS

Monday August 5, 2024 – Into and Building foundations: Let’s R & git

09:00 – 10:30 Keynote – Importance of tech in the study of the human and non-human animal mind
Applications of ML methods to study the human and non-human animal mind
10:30 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Hands-on
“Let’s Git” - Intro to Git and GitHub
12:30 – 13:30Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:00 Hands-on
Session A: Intro to R.
Session B: Advanced R
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:00 Hands-on
Session A: Intro to Python.
Session B: Advanced Python
17:00 – 18:00Poster Session & Snacks

Tuesday August 6, 2024 – Foundations of Machine Learning

09:00 – 10:30 Introduction to the Basics of ML – Part 1
11:30 – 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:30 Introduction to the Basics of ML – Part 2
12:30 – 14:00Lunch at Leipzig Zoo
14:00 – 17:00 
17:00 – 20:00Social Gathering in the City Center

Part II - Training in the use of new technologies to study the human and non-human animal mind

Wednesday August 7, 2024 – Gaze Tracking & Pupillometry

09:00 – 11:00 Basics of Gaze Tracking & Gaze Tracking with Human Infants
11:00 – 11:30Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:30 Gaze Tracking with Non-Human Primates
Gaze Tracking with Dogs
12:30 – 13:30Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:00 Pupillometry and pupil mimicry in social interactions
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:00 Hands-on Session
How to process and analyze eye-tracking data in R and Tobii ProLab
19:00 – 21:00Dinner with Speakers OR City Tour

Thursday August 8, 2024 – Thermal Imaging

09:00 – 11:00 Basics of Thermal Imaging
11:00 – 11:30Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:30 Dyadic coherence in facial temperature in interaction individuals with thermal imaging
12:30 – 13:30Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:00 Hands-on - Python
Acquisition and visualization
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:00 Hands-on - Python
Thermal Image Processing
17:00 – 20:00Social Gathering on the Roof Terrace

Friday August 8, 2024 – Motion Tracking

09:00 – 11:00 Marker-based Motion Tracking of Animal Movements and Posture
11:00 – 11:30Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:30 Machine-learning-based ape social network tracking
12:30 – 13:30Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:00 Markless of motion tracking of dogs
15:00 – 15:30Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:00 Machine-learning-based markerless posture-tracking Introduction to JARVIS

A proper goodbye for the participants

Social Events For Friday:

Coming soon...

Saturday August 9, 2024 – Goodbye

10:00 – 13:00Brunch in the hotel and goodbye


Coming soon...


Participants and speakers shall be hosted at the Jahrhunderthotel. Breakfast will be included. We may not be able to afford the accommodation for everyone. We may ask a participation fee for participating and/or the accommodation.

Please let us know in advance if you have your own accommodation for better budget planning.

Application Instruction

The application procedure is performed through Lime Survey.

You will enter:

  • basic identification information,
  • a motivation text (max 2500 character including spaces),
  • an abstract for your poster presentation (max 2500 character including spaces),
  • funding information - for budget organization purpose,
  • accomodation and diet preferences,
  • additional free text if you wish to share something with us,
  • consents for processing your information for the workshop application (mandatory) and for sharing some of your information on the "Participants" section of this website (facultative).

We strongly advise preparing point 2 and 3 in advance in order to avoid unintentional disconnection with the survey and data loss.

We also strongly advise participation at the poster session for everyone to encourage discussion.

Application form coming soon.


Coming soon...


We would like to thank the Joachim Herz Foundation who made the organization of this workshop possible with their financial support.