Professor at Leiden University

The perception of emotional body language across species

Aim. Our primary aim is to get insight into the psychological and neurophysiological underpinnings of emotions in humans and great apes.

Key words. Comparative psychology, evolutionary cognition, emotion, great apes, body language, facial expressions, pupil size, mimicry and synchrony, mood disorders, trust and cooperation.

Methods. touchscreen, non-invasive psychophysiological techniques, eye-tracking, behavioral observations.

Open Science. Since 2019, we preregister our studies on AsPredicted. All datasets and study materials of published work can be found on Several preprints can be found on bioRxiv and PsyArxiv.

Order my book here.

Watch my inaugural lecture (oratie, in Dutch). Or read.

Students Daan Laméris, Berta Roura Torres and Evy van Berlo spent three months in Rwanda to study chimpanzees. Daan made this amazing video.

Watch my talk at the Just Peace festival in the Hague.

With help of crowdfunding, we hope to be able to make Tinder for orangutans actually happen! Will you help us too?

Can we learn from the bonobo? Read more here.

Waarom wij van panda’s houden. Lees hier meer over.

Eliska and Friederike on our research in collaboration with Apenheul.

Watch this video from Chloe and Cleo at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute, performing our experiment.

Watch this video from the LIBC publiekssymposium 2016.

Watch here a pitch about my research for the New Scientist Wetenschapstalent Award.

Watch my talk on the evening of the actual competition for the New Scientist Wetenschapstalent Award.

PhD student Evy van Berlo about her new research project with the bonobo (in Dutch, one video down is the same video in English).

PhD student Eliska Prochazkova about our experiment at Lowlands festival. August 19th-21st 2016.

School TV Rauwkost on our experiment at Lowlands festival. August 19th-21st 2016.

Beautiful video by PhD student Evy van Berlo of two bonobos, mother and child, embracing.

On March 8th, 2016, Prof. Matsuzawa and Jan van Hooff went into discussion at the Leiden Sieboldhuis.

On November 6th, 2016, the LIBC public symposium ‘the Social Brain’ took place in ‘de Leidse Schouwburg’.


Presentation for the broader audience at NWO Bessensap in Utrecht. June 12th, 2015.

Video of my lay talk, just prior to my Ph.D. defence on June 1st, 2011 at Tilburg University.


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