Pond, N., & Leavens, D. A. (2024). Comparing effects of sad melody versus sad lyrics on mood. Psychology of Music, 52, 217-230.

McCartney, J. M., & Leavens, D. A. (2024). The role of life history and familiarity in the performance of working and non-working dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) in a point-following task. Animals, 14, 573.


Forman, J., Brown, L., Root-Gutteridge, H., Hole, G., Lesch, R., Pisanski, K., & Reby, D. (2023). The Puss in Boots effect: Dog eye size influences pet-directed speech in women. Interaction Studies, 24, 48-65.

Forman, J., Renner, E., & Leavens, D. A. (2023). Fetching felines: A survey of cat owners on the diversity of cat (Felis catus) fetching behaviour. Scientific Reports, 13, 20456.

Leavens, D. A., Elsherif, M., & Clark, H. (2023). What animals can tell us about attentional prerequisites of language acquisition. [Special issue: N. Gonthier, O. Vasileva, & P. Zywiczynsk (Eds.), Eco-evo-devo approaches to language and communication.] Language & Communication, 92, 55-73.


Hiestand, K.M., McComb, K., & Banerjee, R. (2022). “It almost makes her human”: How female animal guardians construct experiences of cat and dog empathy. Animals, 12, 3434.

Leavens, D. A. (2022). The evolution of primate cognition, including humans. In B. L. Schwartz & M. A. Beran (Eds.), Primate cognitive studies (pp. 57-87). Cambridge University Press.

Shannon, G., Cordes, L.S., Slotow, R., Moss, C., & McComb, K. (2022). Social disruption impairs predatory threat assessment in African elephants. Animals, 12, 495.


Bruce, K., Leavens, D. A., & Boysen, S. T. (2021). Editorial: Current perspectives in cognitive processing in domesticated animals. Frontiers in Comparative Psychology, 12, 736717. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.736717

Clark, H., & Leavens, D. A. (2021). The performance of domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) on two versions of the Object Choice Task. Animal Cognition, 24, 1087-1098.

Leavens, D. A. (2021). The referential problem space revisited: An ecological hypothesis of the evolutionary and developmental origins of pointing. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 12, e1554. DOI:10.1002/wcs.1554

Leavens, D. A., & Bard, K. A. (2021). Primate cognition in captivity. In A. Lock, C. Sinha, and N. Gontier (Eds.), Oxford handbook of human symbolic evolution. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198813781.013.3

Root-Gutteridge, H., Brown, L. P., Forman, J., Korzeniowska, A. T., Simner, J., & Reby, D. (2021). Using a new video rating tool to crowd-source analysis of behavioural reaction to stimuli. Animal Cognition, 24, 947-956.


Bates LA (2020) Cognitive abilities in elephants. In: The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour. Eds. L. Workman, W. Reader & J. Barkow. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Pp 14-22.

Clark, H., Flack, Z. M., & Leavens, D. A. (2020) Changes in the referential problem space of infants and toddlers (Homo sapiens): Implications for cross-species comparisons. Journal of Comparative Psychology 134: 330-340.

Humphreys, T., Stringer, F., Proops, L. & McComb, K. (2020) Slow blink eye closure in shelter cats Is related to quicker adoption. Animals 2020, 10, 2256.

Humphrey, T., Proops, L., Forman, J., Spooner, R. & McComb, K. (2020) The role of cat eye narrowing movements in cat-human communication. Scientific Reports 10:16503.

van de Water A, Henley M, Bates LA & Slotow R (2020) Future of Thailand’s captive elephants: Commentary on Baker & Winkler on Elephant Rewilding. Animal Sentience 28 (18) 326.   


Bard, K. A., & Leavens, D. A. (2019, June) A menagerie of human concepts: A review of M. Tomasello, Becoming human: A theory of ontogeny. The Psychologist 32: 65.

Bates LA & Byrne RW (2019) The Evolution of Intelligence: Reconstructing the Pathway to the Human Mind. In: The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence, 2nd Edition. Ed. R. Sternberg. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Pp 428-450.

Clark, H., & Leavens, D. A. (2019). Testing dogs in ape-like conditions: The effect of a barrier on dogs’ performance on the object choice task. Animal Cognition 22: 1063-1072.

Clark, H., Elsherif, M., & Leavens, D. A. (2019) Ontogeny vs. phylogeny in Primate/Canid comparisons: A meta-analysis of the object choice task. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 105: 178-189.

Leavens, D. A. (2019, October 1) The pointing ape. Aeon.

Leavens, D. A., Bard, K. A., & Hopkins, W. D. (2019) The mismeasure of ape social cognition. Animal Cognition 22: 487-504.


Bates LA (2018) Elephants – Studying Cognition in the African Savannah. In: Field and Laboratory Methods in Animal Cognition. Eds. N. Bueno-Guerra & F. Amici. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Flack, Z., & Leavens, D. A. (2018) Communication and developmental milestones. In T. K. Shackelford & V. E. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. New York: Springer.

Flack, Z., Naylor, M., & Leavens, D. A. (2018) Pointing to visible and invisible targets. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 42: 221-236.

Garai ME, Bates LA, Bertschinger H, Delsink A, Pretorius Y, Selier J, Zitzer HR (2018) Non-lethal elephant population control methods: Summary of the first workshop of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group of South Africa. Bothalia – African Biodiversity and Conservation 48 (2) a2357.   

Krause, M. A., Udell, M. A. R., Leavens, D. A., & Skopos, L. (2018) Animal pointing: Changing trends and findings from 30 years of research. Journal of Comparative Psychology 132: 326-345.

Leavens, D. A. (2018) The cognitive implications of intentional communication: A multi-faceted mirror. In L. Di Paolo, F. Di Vincenzo, & F. De Petrillo (Eds.), Evolution of primate social cognition (pp. 59-77). New York: Springer.

Leavens, D. A. (2018) William Hopkins. In J. Vonk & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. New York: Springer.

Pretorius Y, Garai M & Bates LA (2018) The status of African elephant Loxodonta africana populations in South Africa. Oryx. doi:10.1017/S0030605317001454.

Proops L., Grounds K., Smith A.V. & McComb K. (2018) Animals remember previous facial expressions that specific humans have exhibited. Current Biology 28, 1428–1432.e4

Smith A.V., Proops L., Grounds K., Wathan J., Scott S. & McComb K. (2018) Domestic horses (Equus caballus) differentiate negative from positive emotion in human nonverbal vocalisations. Scientific Reports 8:13052 (2018).


Benson-Amram, S., Gilfillan, G. & McComb, K. (2017)  Numerical assessment in the wild: insights from social carnivores  Philosophical Transactions R. Soc.: Biological Sciences, 373: 20160508.

Garai ME, Bates LAPretorius Y, Hofmeyr M, Henley M, Selier J (2017) Understanding Elephants: Guidelines for safe and enjoyable elephant viewing. Struik Nature: South Africa.

Gilfillian, Geoffrey D., Vitale, Jessica D. T., McNutt, J. Weldon, McComb, Karen (2017) Spontaneous discrimination of urine odours in wild African lions (Panthera leoAnimal Behaviour, 126 pp. 177-185. ISSN 0003-3472.

Leavens, D. A., & Clark, H. (2017). Joint attention. In J. Vonk & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1075-1

Smith A.V., Wilson C., McComb K. & Proops L. (2017) Domestic horses (Equus caballus) prefer to approach humans displaying a submissive rather than a dominant body posture. Animal Cognition 21, 307-312.


Gilfillan, G, Vitale, J., McNutt, J.W. & McComb, K (2016) Cross-modal individual recognition in wild African Lions. Biology Letters 12: 20160323.

Leavens, D. A., & Bard, K. A. (2016) Quick guide: Tickling. Current Biology 26: R91-R93.

Leavens, D. A., & Hopkins, W. D. (2016) Primate gestures. In T. K. Shackelford & V. E. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. New York: Springer.

Smith, A., Proops, L., Grounds, K., Wathan, J. & McComb, K. (2016) Functionally relevant responses to human facial expressions of emotion in the domestic horse (Equus caballus). Biology Letters 12: 20150907.

Wathan, J., Proops, L., Ground, K. & McComb, K. (2016) Horses discriminate between facial expressions of conspecifics. Scientific Reports 6:38322.


Leavens, D. A., Reamer, L. A., Mareno, M. C., Russell, J. L., Wilson, D., Schapiro, S. J., & Hopkins, W. D. (2015) Distal communication by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Evidence for common ground? Child Development 86: 1623-1638.

Wathan, J., Burrows, A, Waller, B. & McComb, K. (2015) EquiFACS: The Equine Facial Action Coding System. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0131738.


Bard, K. A., & Leavens, D. A. (2014) The importance of development for comparative primatology. Annual Review of Anthropology 43: 183-200.

Bard, K. A., Bakeman, R., Boysen, S. T., & Leavens, D. A. (2014) Emotional engagements predict and enhance social cognition in young chimpanzees.  Developmental Science 17: 682-696.

Froese, T., & Leavens, D. A. (2014) The direct perception hypothesis: Perceiving the intention of another’s action hinders its precise imitation. Frontiers in Psychology 5(65): 1-15.

Hobaiter, C., Leavens, D. A., & Byrne, R. W. (2014). Deictic gesturing in wild chimpanzees? Some possible cases. Journal of Comparative Psychology 128:, 82-87. [Reprinted in French as Hobaiter, C., Leavens, D. A., & Byrne, R. W. (2016). Gestes déictiques chez les chimpanzés sauvages (Pan troglodytes)? Quelques cas possibles. Enfance 2016(4): 405-417.]

Leavens, D. A. (2014) The plight of the sense-making ape. In M. Cappuccio & T. Froese (Eds.), Enactive cognition at the edge of sense-making (pp. 81-104). Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Leavens, D. A., Sansone, J., Burfield, A. R., Lightfoot, S., O'Hara, S., & Todd, B. K. (2014). Putting the 'joy' in joint attention: Affective-gestural synchrony by parents who point for their babies. Frontiers in Psychology 5(879): 1-7. [Reprinted in E. Di Paolo & H. De Jaegher (eds.). (2015) Towards an embodied science of intersubjectivity: Widening the scope of social understanding research (pp. 171-177). Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88919-529-9.]

Leavens, D. A., Taglialatela, J. P., & Hopkins, W. D. (2014) From grasping to grooming to gossip: Innovative use of chimpanzee signals in novel environments supports both vocal and gestural theories of language origins. In M. Pina & N. Gontier (Eds.), The evolution of social communication in primates: A multidisciplinary approach (pp. 179-194). New York: Springer.

Lyn, H., Russell, J. L., Leavens, D. A., Bard, K. A., Boysen, S. T., Schaeffer, J., & Hopkins, W. D. (2014) Apes communicate about absent and displaced objects: Methodology matters. Animal Cognition 17: 85-94.

McComb, K. Shannon, G., Sayialel, K. & Moss, C. (2014) Elephants can determine ethnicity, gender, and age from acoustic cues in human voices PNAS 111(14), 5433–5438.

Meguerditchian, A., Taglialatela, J. P., Leavens, D. A., & Hopkins, W. D. (2014) Why vocal production of atypical sounds in apes and its cerebral correlates have a lot to say about the origin of language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37: 565-566.

Ratcliffe, V.F., McComb, K. & Reby, D. (2014) Cross-modal discrimination of human gender by domestic dogs. Animal Behaviour 91, 127–135.

Wathan, J. & McComb, K. (2014) The eyes and ears are visual indicators of attention in domestic horses.  Current Biology 24, R1-R2.