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Elisa Felsche

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology 
Deutscher Platz 6 
D-04103 Leipzig 
Germany

phone: +49 (0) 341 3550 428
email: elisa_felsche@~@eva.mpg.de

Thesis title: Exploring the Evolution and Ontogeny of Imitation and Abstraction:
A Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling Approach

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

I am interested in the question of how humans, and especially human children learn so efficiently.
To better understand the structure and interaction of the underlying cognitive processes my research focuses on comparing them across primate species, age, cultural groups as well as computational models.

My PhD examined children’s, capuchin monkeys’ and chimpanzees’ abilities for social learning and
the formation of abstract concepts. The latter is a topic I will also focus on in my postdoctoral research with the aim to gain further insights into the causes of population differences in abstract relational reasoning.

Curriculum Vitae

Career
Since 07/2021 Postdoctoral Researcher          
Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology
Max Planck Insitute of Evolutionary Anthropology 
02/2020 – 07/2020 Postdoctoral Researcher                  
Cognitive Evolution Group, Department of Psychology
University of Michigan
09/2019 – 01/2020 Research Assistant                    
School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews

 

Education
09/2016 – 12/2020  PhD in Psychology

School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews

Thesis: “Exploring the Evolution and Ontogeny of Imitation and Abstraction:
 A Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling Approach”
 Advisors: Amanda Seed, Daphna Buchsbaum

08/2017 – 07/2018  Visiting Graduate Student
Computational Cognitive Development Lab, Department of Psychology
University of Toronto
 
10/2014 – 09/2016 M. Sc. Psychology:Cognitive-Affective Neuroscience

Dresden University of Technology

Thesis : “Social Planning in Chimpanzees”  
Advisors:  Thomas Goschke, Josep Call   

10/2011 – 10/2014 B.Sc. Psychology
Dresden University of Technology
Thesis: “Cognitive Flexibility in two Object Choice Tasks in Great Apes”
Advisors: Shu-Chen Li, Josep Call          

 

Practical Experience
2021 Cross-cultural research with BaYaka foragers and Bandongo farmers in the Likouala region of the Republic of Congo
2019 Research on chimpanzee cognition at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda
2018 Research on chimpanzee cognition at Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Kenya
2018 - 2019   Research on chimpanzee, capuchin monkey and lemur cognition at Zoo Magdeburg
2016 - 2019    Research on child development and capuchin monkey cognition,
Living Links to Human Evolution Research Centre and Edinburgh Zoo
2014 - 2016    

Research on child development and ape cognition
Department of Development and Comparative Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig