Assistant Professor at Leiden University

The perception of emotional body language across species

The CoPAN labgroup is part of the LIBC and the Institute of Psychology, the Cognitive Psychology Unit, Leiden University and is affiliated with the Cognition Behavior and Evolution Network CBEN. We study emotion processing and social decision making across species.

Aim. Our primary aim is to get insight into the psychological and neurophysiological underpinnings of social decision making in humans as well as in great apes.

Key words. Animal cognition, comparative research, evolutionary psychology, emotion processing, body language, facial expressions, mimicry and synchronization, anxiety and depression, eye-signals, trust and deception.

Methods. The research methods vary from fMRI, psychophysiology, eye-tracking, pupillometry, transvagal nerve stimulation and oxytocin administration to behavioral observations in animals.


We are always looking for students who want to gain research experience. Read here about the projects.


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.


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


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


Beautiful video by 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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