BA PhD DSc (Hons)
Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology
- ERC Advanced Investigator
My research is concerned with trying to understand the behavioural, cognitive and neuroendocrinological mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates (in general) and humans (in particular). Understanding these mechanisms, and the functions that relationships serve, will give us insights how humans have managed to create large scale societies using a form of psychological that is evolutionarily adapted to very small scale societies, and why these mechanisms are less than perfect in the modern world. This has implications for the design of social networking sites as well as mobile technology. We use conventional behavioural and cognitive experimental approaches, combined with network analysis, agent based modelling, comparative studies of primate brain evolution, neuroimaging and neuroendocrinology to explore explicit and implicit processes at both the dyadic and the group level. An important feature of our behavioural studies has been the constraints that time places on an individual’s ability to manage their relationships, and the cognitive tricks used to overcome these.
Being mimicked affects inhibitory mechanisms of imitation
Rauchbauer B. et al, (2020), Acta Psychologica, 209
On M-polynomials of Dunbar graphs in social networks
DUNBAR R. et al, (2020), Symmetry
The neurobiology of social distance
DUNBAR R. and Bzdok D., (2020), Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Text analysis shows conceptual overlap as well as domain-specific differences in Christian and secular worldviews.
Watts J. et al, (2020), Cognition, 201
The role of the microbiome in the neurobiology of social behaviour
BURNET P. et al, (2020), Biological Reviews