Social Coordination and Gestural Communication in Captive Gibbons

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2007

Project Description/Abstract

Clear communication is critical to the coordination of social activities and the functioning of social groups. This project will expand on preliminary work conducted on the use of gestures in a group of captive gibbons in coordinating social activities and promoting group cohesion. Little research still exists on gibbon gestures, though, leaving open questions as to how they fit into the spectrum of abilities that have been observed for the great apes. This research will focus on the frequency of specific gestures, the sequence of behaviors, and individual differences. This furthers my long-term research goals of understanding the antecedents of human language, the range of abilities in nonhuman primates, and establishing research into which I can incorporate students.

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