The overarching research question is to understand the principles of complex cognition by comparing different species that show cognitive complexity. Such investigations of independently evolved cognitive skills can help us understand the principles of complex cognition.
With this overarching question in mind, I work mainly with corvid birds as well as with parrots and great apes in their ability of self-control and prospective cognition. Self-control is investigated using both motor self-regulation as well as inter-temporal choice tasks. I also investigate the flexibility behind corvid planning skills by testing ravens (Corvus corax) in a non-caching context, using bartering and tool-use tasks. Documenting such flexibility component is important for the independent evolution of prospective skills as such skills have recently been documented on great apes.