Unit of Cognitive Primatology & Primate Center

Our aim is to understand the processes by which primates acquire and process information coming from physical and social stimuli.

We study capuchin monkeys' behaviour and cognition both in our Primate Center in Rome and in our field site in Brasil (EthoCebus Project)

  • cognition;
  • curiosity-driven learning;
  • intertemporal choice;
  • reciprocation;
  • social dynamics;
  • time discounting;
  • tool use;
  • visual perception
Gabriele Schino.


The comparative study of behavior and cognition in human and nonhuman primates enables to better understand developmental, cognitive and adaptive processes in the different species. The comparative study of cognition and behavior also allows further insight into major switching points in the phylogeny of primates. We put special emphasis on examining the processes by which primates acquire and process information coming from physical and social stimuli. In particular, we examine what kind of information is picked up, what factors facilitate acquisition of new behaviors, and the cognitive and social processes underlying the transmission of new behaviors in nonhuman primates. Finally, we compare our findings with related ones in the child literature.



Gabriele Schino






Associate Researchers

Associate Researcher
Associate Researcher
Associate Researcher



Technical Staff


Journal articles

Truppa V., Carducci P., De Simone D., Bisazza A., De Lillo C. Global/local processing of hierarchical visual stimuli in a conflict- choice task by capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.). In: Animal Cognition, vol. 20 pp. 347 - 357. Springer, 2017.  image   image

Contribution to Book/Monograph

Taffoni F., Polizzi Di Sorrentino E., Sabbatini G., Formica D., Truppa V. Primates' propensity to explore objects: How manual actions affect learning in children and capuchin monkeys. In: The Hand: Perception, Cognition, Action. pp. 55 - 73. M. Bertolaso, N. Di Stefano (eds.). (Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics, vol. 38). Berlin: Springer, 2017.  image   image
Truppa V., Sabbatini G., Polizzi Di Sorrentino E. Platyrrhine Cognition. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. pp. 1 - 12. J. Vonk, T.K. Shackelford (eds.). Berlin: Springer, 2017.  image   image
Visalberghi E., Sabbatini G., Taylor A. H., Hunt G. R. Cognitive insights from tool use in nonhuman animals. In: APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology. vol. 2 pp. 673 - 701. J. Call (ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2017.  image   image


Sun, 01/07/2007 - Thu, 01/07/2010
Sun, 01/10/2006 - Wed, 31/03/2010
Tue, 01/01/2008 - Wed, 31/12/2008
Sat, 01/12/2007 - Sun, 30/11/2008
Fri, 01/07/2005 - Fri, 30/06/2006
Tue, 01/01/2002 - Fri, 31/12/2004
Thu, 01/01/2004 - Fri, 31/12/2004