Our evolutionary past has shaped us and left traces in perception, cognition and behavior. Our ancestors spent most of their history in the savanna of eastern Africa, living in small groups, presumably as hunter-gatherers. Many aspects of human perception, cognition and behavior are suited to this environment of evolutionary adaptedness rather than recent urban surroundings.
In my research I identify such adaptions, investigate how they affect our behavior, health and well-being in modern surroundings, and provide solutions for urban and technical challenges.
Communication and Social Interaction
Communication is a multimodal and dynamic process. Research on this topic requires integration of communicative tokens, on different levels of complexity, via all sensory channels.
From a biological viewpoint, the index level is of particular interest, as it is the most likely candidate for honest signaling.
Evolutionary Gender Studies
Differential selection pressures are assumed to have shaped men and women in a different manner. Biological and cultural influences interact to manifest gender-typical behavior. In cross-cultural studies we attempt to disentangle biological from cultural factors.