Mr Sonny Stollenmaier
|Post:||Research Student (Psychology)|
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I have worked professionally with parrots 10 years and have written many articles for several international, popular publications. My articles on behaviour modification using positive reinforcement strategies were translated into several languages and I was invited to speak and advise on this topic on a number of television programmes in the UK.
In 2004 I conducted an interview with Professor Irene Pepperberg on behalf of Parrots Magazine. I became interested in the subject of symbolic representation and communication as a result of Pepperberg’s work.
DPhil Student and Associate Tutor in the School of Psychology.
M.Sc. in Cognitive Neuropsychology - University of Essex, Colchester, (2008-2009)
B.Sc. in Psychology - The Open University, Milton Keynes, (2004-2008)
Symbols play an important role in all human societies, allowing for effective communication, both in spoken and written forms using words. To what extent non-human primates understand and can effectively use symbols is not yet well understood. There have been several studies that examined how apes use and understand symbols, however, at present there are few studies that examine monkeys’ abilities to acquire abstract symbols and their ability to use these flexibly and communicatively.
My research "Symbolic Representation in Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri sciureus)" focuses on whether squirrel monkeys can understand and use symbols flexibly.
Central to this research is that the primates I work with are free to lead an enriched life and retain the right to choose as to their activities, from hunting insects, to foraging, to playing with conspecifics. These are not institutionalised primates.
I teach 'Cognitive Psychology I' & 'Cognitive Psychology II'