Department of Philosophy

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


I am a comparative psychologist, studying cognition and communication in humans, other primates, dogs, wolves, lions, tigers, pumas and elephants.

Previously, I have worked on dolphin meta-cognition (theory of mind) and human kinship and altruism. I completed my doctorate at University of St Andrews in 2011 on nonverbal referential communication in bonobos, chimps and orangutans.

In Lund I am involved in studies of low-level imitative abilities (such as contagious yawning) in children, chimpanzees, canids, elephants and big cats. I also work on a project about social bonding and imitation and its influence on social cognition in humans & chimpanzees, as well as a project on the evolution of musicality, which examines synchronisation behaviours and rhythm perception in chimpanzees.

I collaborate with a number of sites, e.g. Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Wolf Park, Exotic Feline Rescue Center, and Adventures with Elephants, Knysna Elephant Park
For more, incl papers:



Books (1)
Articles (6)
Conference contributions (5)

Research portal (Lund University)

Other tasks and qualifications

Elainie Madsen

Cognitive Science
Department of Philosophy

Contact information

E-mail elainie.madsenlucs.luse

Mobile +46 72 732 10 77

Room LUX:B476

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30