comparative & developmental
I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, interested in the evolutionary and developmental origins of basic cognitive abilities.
How do (human and nonhuman) animals solve problems? How do they identify and represent causal relations in their physical and social environment? In my research, I try to answer these questions using non-invasive, behavioural experiments. Currently, I am particularly interested in visual processing in dogs using eye-tracking technology and the assessment of individual differences in basic, domain-general cognitive abilities such as inhibitory control and working memory in great apes. I am also involved in the coordination of a new, large-scale research collaboration in primate cognition research, the ManyPrimates project. So far, I mainly worked with human children and nonhumans primates (especially great apes and capuchin monkeys) but more recently also with other taxa such as dogs and otters.
Individual differences in executive functions
with Eva Reindl, Josep Call, & Amanda Seed
Traditionally, comparative cognition focused on the comparison of group level performance across species. Individual variation in task performance within a species was largly dismissed as noise. However, elucidating the structure of indvidual differences within a species can lead to more informative species comparisons. In this project, we investigate individual variation in executive functions in children, capuchin monkeys, and chimpanzees.
Metacognition and information seeking in great apes
with Matthias Allritz, Manuel Bohn, & Josep Call
Previous studies showed that apes seek information when they are unsure about the location of food. Some have described information seeking in great apes as a metacognitive strategy to fill in knowledge gaps. Others argued that their information seeking might just be a foraging strategy without any metacognitive control. In this project, we examine the flexibility and complexity of great apes' information seeking in order to resolve this debate.
Social tool use & cooperation in chimpanzees and orangutans
with Federico Rossano & Josep Call
Orangutans are the least gregarious great ape genus. How does their semi-solitary lifestyle affect the way they solve problems requiring cooperation? In this project, we examine instrumental and motivational aspects of cooperative problem-solving in orangutans as compared to chimpanzees, bonobos, and children.
Problem-solving & cooperation in otters
with Shona Duguid, Martin Schmelz, & Manuel Bohn
Otters are a subfamily of 13 extant species that show features associated with complex cognition, including long life-spans, complex social systems, and tool-use. Nevertheless, hardly anything is known about the cognitive abilities of otters. The Otter Project investigates the problem-solving abilities of Asian small-clawed otters and giant otters in both a social, cooperative context and an individual foraging context.
C. Tennie, C.J. Völter, V. Vonau, D. Hanus, J. Call, M. Tomasello (2019) Primates
Link to publisher (open access)
Chimpanzees flexibly update working memory contents and show susceptibility to distraction in the self-ordered search task.
C.J. Völter, R. Mundry, J. Call, A. M. Seed (2019)
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Link to publisher | PDF (accepted manuscript) | Press release
N. Bueno-Guerra, C. J. Völter, Á. de las Heras, M. Colell, & J. Call (2019) Journal of Comparative Psychology
Link to publisher
Comparative psychometrics: establishing what differs is central to understanding what evolves
C. J. Völter, B. Tinklenberg, J. Call, A. M. Seed (2018) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
Intuitive optics: what great apes infer from mirrors and shadows
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2018) Animal Cognition
Cooperative problem solving in giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) and Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea)
M. Schmelz, S. Duguid, M. Bohn, & C. J. Völter (2017) Animal Cognition
Information seeking about tool properties in great apes
M. Bohn, M. Allritz, J. Call, & C. J. Völter (2017) Scientific Reports
Link to publisher (open access) | PDF
Social manipulation in nonhuman primates: Cognitive and motivational determinants
C. J. Völter, F. Rossano, & J. Call (2017) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Link to publisher | PDF
Cognition (encyclopedia entry)
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2017) International Encyclopedia of Primatology
Link to publisher | Manuscript available on request
Causal and inferential reasoning in animals
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2017) APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology
Great apes and children infer causal relations from patterns of variation and covariation
C. J. Völter, I. Sentís, & J. Call (2016) Cognition
Link to publisher | PDF | Supplementary material | Video | Data
From exploitation to cooperation: social tool use in orang-utan mother-offspring dyads
C. J. Völter, F. Rossano, & J. Call (2015) Animal Behaviour
Great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Pongo abelii) follow visual trails to locate hidden food
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2014) Journal of Comparative Psychology
The cognitive underpinnings of flexible tool use in great apes
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2014) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning & Cognition
Link to publisher | PDF | Video
Younger apes and human children plan their moves in a maze task
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2014) Cognition
Repeated innovation in great apes
H. Marín Manrique, C. J. Völter, & J. Call (2012) Animal Behaviour
Problem solving in great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, and Pongo abelii): the effect of visual feedback
C. J. Völter & J. Call (2012) Animal Cognition
Schizotypy and Behavioural Adjustment and the Role of Neuroticism
C. J. Völter, T. Strobach, D. S. Aichert, N. Wöstmann, A. Costa, H.-J. Möller, T. Schubert, & U. Ettinger (2012) PLoS ONE
Sensorimotor gating and D2 receptor signalling: evidence from a molecular genetic approach
C. J. Völter, M. Riedel, N. Wöstmann, D. S. Aichert, S. Lobo, A. Costa, A. Schmechtig, D. A. Collier, A. M. Hartmann, I. Giegling, H.-J. Möller, B. B. Quednow, D. Rujescu, V. Kumari, & U. Ettinger (2012) The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Contact & Impact
... and otter stuff
This website is built with Strikingly.
Create your FREE website today!