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Professor at Leiden University
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Mariska Kret

François Quesque wins IBRO grant to visit the CoPAN lab

François Quesque (Postdoc at the University of Lille) and I met at the ESCOP conference in Cyprus earlier this year and found out we had many shared research interests. Fortunately, François saw a chance to visit our lab in Leiden early March and gave an inspiring talk entitled ‘Show me how you move, I’ll tell you what you think’. After… Read more »

Our research on the cover of PNAS!

(Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie)   Bonobos – just like humans – give more attention to pictures that show other members of their species displaying emotional behaviour than to neutral scenes. Unlike humans, however, bonobos prefer to look at positive behaviours: social grooming, sex and yawning. This was discovered by the Leiden researcher Dr. Mariska Kret while conducting research… Read more »

Ph.D. Workshop. Connecting minds and sharing emotions through wires and neurons in man and animal

Date: July 5th, from 10.00-18.15 Place: Leiden University, room: bestuurskamer (1st floor of the Pieter de La Court Building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden) For registration or more information: m.e.kret@fsw.leidenuniv.nl   Summary Why do we express emotions? How does our brain process these incoming signals from others and connect them with our own feelings? Are the same processes at stake in other… Read more »

Van nature maken primaten elkaar niet af

In de natuur wordt het doden van soortgenoten vaker voorkomen dan niet. Door het gebruik van dominante of juist onderdanige signalen zijn individuen er al snel uit wie de sterkste is, zodat het onnodig is om bloed te vergieten. In niet-menselijke primaten komen moord en doodslag daardoor zeer zelden voor. Áls het al voorkomt, dan gaat het in de meeste… Read more »

Primatologists in Discussion. The Netherlands meets Japan

On March 8th, CBEN, the Cognition, Behavior & Evolution Network, organizes a discussion evening between primatologists Jan van Hooff and Tetsuro Matsuzawa. The evening starts with a lecture by each of them and is followed by a discussion along different theses that are of interest to a broader audience, such as the following statements: •   Insight in the evolution of… Read more »

Mariska joined the board of the Netherlands Society for Behavioural Biology (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Gedragsbiologie-NVG)

Mariska will organize the NVG conference in Soesterberg in November 2016 (23-25 November 2016…save the date!). For more information about the society, click here. This year was the last year she was in the board of de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Psychonomie-NVP (Psychonomics) as treasurer and conference committee member. She will remain an active member and looks forward to all the… Read more »

From face to hand: attentional bias towards expressive hands in social anxiety (ook in het Nederlands)

Have you ever felt uncomfortable looking someone into the eyes? We all do sometimes, but socially anxious individuals do so to such an extent, that they often avoid eye contact completely. And this is interfering in their daily lives, because the eye-region conveys important emotional information that we normally spontaneously attend to and that is very useful during social interactions.… Read more »

Bonobo Project II van start

Het is winter en de Apenheul is gesloten. Goed nieuws, want dat betekent dat we van start kunnen met Bonobo Project II! De resultaten van Bonobo Project I zijn opgeschreven en ingediend bij een wetenschappelijk tijdschrift. Ik zal de bevindingen binnenkort op mijn website zetten. Maar hier eerst een update over waar we nu staan! Jasper Wijnen heeft deze week… Read more »

Winner of the CoPAN photo competition

We hereby would like to announce the winner of the CoPAN photo competition….Hugh Jansman! Winning numbers 2 and 3 are Iris Kronenburg and Joke Kok. We received more than 5000 pictures in total and this made a great contribution to the stimulus material for the bonobo research that will start this winter again in de Apenheul with Master student and… Read more »

Primatologists in discussion. The Netherlands meets Japan.

• Insight in the evolution of human cognition can be obtained through research with apes. • Only humans have emotions. • In Japan, robots have a soul. These and more theses will be discussed by the Japanese and Dutch primatologists Tetsuro Matsuzawa and Jan van Hooff in the special ambience of the Leiden SieboldHuis. The discussion evening welcomes a broad… Read more »

Toepassing van wetenschappelijk onderzoek

Afgelopen week heb ik voor het eerst in mijn carriere voor een groot, breed publiek gesproken over mijn onderzoek. Het eerste evenement was georganiseerd door PINC, een Nederlandse versie van TED (maar dan nog leuker!), ter ere van het jubileum van Van Harte & Lingsma en Hotel De Bilderberg. Midden op de Veluwe sprak ik voor een zaal toppers uit… Read more »

Interview op radio 1

Interview met Felice van Nunspeet en Mariska Kret over het LIBC symposium “De wereld van het Sociale Brein”, over emoties, apen, bankiers en nog veel meer, hier terug te luisteren (en te zien).     Lees hier meer over het LIBC publiekssymposium!… Read more »

EASP and KNAW fund my research on clinical applications regarding pupil mimicry

During close interactions, humans look into one another’s eyes, follow gaze, and quickly grasp emotion signals. The eye-catching morphology of human eyes, with unique eye whites, draws attention to the middle part, to the pupils, and their autonomic changes, which signal arousal, cognitive load, and social interest. Recently, an intriguing phenomenon has been discovered: humans tend to synchronize their pupil-size… Read more »

CoPAN Photo Competition

Theme: the social and emotional bonobo Prize: 200 euro   For a new non-invasive experiment I am looking for pictures of bonobos from Apenheul (the Netherlands), Kölner Zoo (Germany) and Planckendael Zoo (Belgium) taken in 2014 or 2015 showing: Stress, display, yawns, sexual intercourse, grooming or emotional expressions Close-ups of the eye-region showing a neutral expression   The pictures can… Read more »

CoPAN welcomes new PhD student Friederike Behrens!

Friederike will work on the research project “Emotional expressions beyond facial muscle actions.” Project description: Humans are well adapted to quickly recognize and adequately respond to another’s emotions. Different theories propose that mimicry of emotional expressions (facial or otherwise) mechanistically underlies, or at least facilitates, these swift adaptive reactions. When people unconsciously mimic their interaction partner’s expressions of emotion, they… Read more »

Cognition Behavior Evolution Network Conference 9-10 December 2015

CBEN announces her 2nd conference! The conference will be on December 9-10, 2015 at Ghent University (Belgium), and is this time organized by Eveline Seghers and Stefaan Blancke. Key note speaker will be Geoffrey Miller, the evolutionary psychologist who became famous with his book The Mating Mind. More information will be posted soon here.   In addition to the CBEN… Read more »

Evolution explains the shape of pupils

The pupil reveals more than dull changes in ambient light; the pupil dilates when we are aroused, when we are lying, when we are interested in something or someone, or simply when we are making a difficult decision. Most animals are sensitive to the presence of eyes and pupils. Therefore, some species of butterflies, reptiles, felids, birds and fish have… Read more »

Vacancy for PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience

Research Project “Emotional expressions beyond facial muscle actions.” Humans are well adapted to quickly recognize and adequately respond to another’s emotions. Different theories propose that mimicry of emotional expressions (facial or otherwise) mechanistically underlies, or at least facilitates, these swift adaptive reactions. When people unconsciously mimic their interaction partner’s expressions of emotion, they come to feel reflections of those companions’… Read more »

Pupil-synchronisatie is gelinkt aan vertrouwen

Als twee mensen elkaar aankijken, worden hun pupillen even groot. Het spiegelen van pupilgrootte lijkt een mechanisme te zijn dat belangrijk is voor het ontstaan van vertrouwen. Tenminste, als we te maken hebben met een persoon van de zogenaamde ‘in-groep’ (in dit geval een andere Nederlander) en niet met iemand van een ‘out-groep’ (een Japanner). Dat blijkt uit mijn nieuwe… Read more »

NWO talent grant

Project “The Role of Pupil Synchronization in Real Life Interactions: Implications for Trust and Deception”. With Prof. C. de Dreu and RM student Eliska Prochazkova. Awarded four years full-time for a PhD student and €10.000 material costs.… Read more »

Hebben dieren emoties?

Om antwoord te kunnen geven op deze vraag moeten we eerst weten wat precies verstaan wordt onder emoties. Emoties bestaan uit verschillende lagen. In de bovenste laag vinden we complexe emoties die context-afhankelijk zijn en waar veel individuele verschillen zichtbaar zijn. De onderste laag bestaat uit basale reacties, bv fight- en flight reacties die ons in staat stellen om snel… Read more »

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