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Contact

Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (0)341 3550 - 315
fax: +49 (0)341 3550 - 333

e-mail: cissewski@eva.mpg.de


Sonja Ebel

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture 
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig
Germany

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 251
e-mail: sonja_ebel@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae
Publications

Research Interests

I am interested in the role of experience in great ape and human tool use. Experience can have positive (i.e., facilitating) and negative effects on tool-use performance ("functional fixedness effect"). Related to this issue, it is still under debate whether great apes have enduring functional representations of tools, an intriguing research question. Finally, I am interested in differences in the structure of cognitive domains in different great ape species (bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans).

Curriculum Vitae

2019 to date        Postdoctoral Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), Dep. of Comparative Cultural Psychology & Dep. of Primatology
2014-2019Ph.D. in psychology at University of St Andrews (Scotland), School of Psychology & Neuroscience and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), Dep. of Developmental and Comparative Psychology
2013-2014Student assisstant at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), Research group “Comparative Cognitive Anthropology”
2013Student assisstant at Freie Universität Berlin, Research group “Evolutionary Psychology”
2010-2013M.Sc. Neurobiology and behaviour at Freie Universität Berlin
2011-2012Erasmus exchange program at University of Vienna
(M.Sc. Behavioural, neuro- and cognitive biology)
2007-2010B.A. Philosophy-Neurosciences-Cognition at Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg

Publications

Ebel, S. J., Zeidler, H., Duguid, S., Eckert, J., Völter, C., Call, J., & Herrmann, E. (in preparation). Flexible tool use with food items in human children and chimpanzees: the impact of experience.
Ebel, S. J., Völter, C., Sánchez Amaro, A., Helming, A. K., Herrmann, E., & Call, J. (submitted). Functional fixedness in great apes.
Kopp, K. S., Ebel, S. J., Wittig, R. M., Haun, D. B. M., & Crockford, C. (in press). Small mirrors do the trick: A simple, but effective method to study mirror self-recognition in chimpanzees. Animal Behavior and Cognition.

Downloads

Ebel, S. J., Kopp, K. S., & Liebal, K. (2020). Object preferences in captive Sumatran orang-utans (Pongo abelii). Behavioural Processes,170: 103993.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Ebel, S. J., Völter, C. J., & Call, J. (2020). Prior experience mediates the usage of food items as tools in great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, and Pongo abelii) (advance online). Journal of Comparative Psychology.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Ebel, S. J. (2019). Tool use in great apes and human children: The impact of prior experience and visual feedback. PhD Thesis, University of St Andrews, St Andrews.
BibTeX   Endnote   
Ebel, S. J., Hanus, D., & Call, J. (2019). How prior experience and task presentation modulate innovation in 6-year-old-children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,180, 87-103.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Ebel, S. J., Schmelz, M., Herrmann, E., & Call, J. (2019). Innovative problem solving in great apes: The role of visual feedback in the floating peanut task. Animal Cognition,22(5), 791-805.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Ebel, S. J., & Call, J. (2018). The interplay of prior experience and motivation in great ape problem-solving (Gorilla gorilla, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, and Pongo abelii). Journal of Comparative Psychology,132(3), 294-305.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote