Program-Specific Assistant Professor,
Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
I'm studying the evolition of social intelligence in humans and
non-human animals, developing a two-by-two research paradigm:
experiments and fieldwork with chimpanzees and bonobos.
My main research topic is the evolution of cooperation, altruism, reciprocity, and understanding others.
Based on my previous work, I proposed a hypothesis that chimpanzees help others upon request, but not voluntarily, even when they understand others' goals.
I'm trying to incorporate various methodologies and philosophies of various research fields, such as psychology, biology, ecology, sociology, and behavioral economics.
Recently, I'm working with 50 chimpanzees in Kumamoto Sanctuary of Kyoto University, and also conducting fieldwork in Bossou in Guinea, in Wamba in DR Congo, and in Bhutan.
chimpanzee, bonobo, social intelligence, altruism, reciprocity, cooperation, empathy, imitative learning, comparative cognitive science, fieldwork
Education and career track
May 1981: Born in Nara, Japan
Mar 2004: B.A. Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University
Mar 2006: M.A. Biology (Comparative Psychology), Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University
Mar 2009: Ph.D. Science (Comparative Psychology), Gradiate School of Science, Kyoto University
An experimental study of altruism, reciprocity, and understanding of
others in chimpanzees
(supervised by Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa)
Original articles (peer-reviewed)
- Yamamoto, S., Humle, T., & Tanaka, M. (2013) Basis for cumulative cultural evolution in chimpanzees: social learning of a more efficient tool-use technique. PLoS ONE, 8(1): e55768.
- Yamamoto, S., & Takimoto, A. (2012) Empathy and fairness: psychological mechanisms for eliciting and maintaining prosociality and cooperation in primates. Social Justice Research, 25(3), 233-255.
- Yamamoto, S., Humle, T., & Tanaka, M. (2012) Chimpanzees’ flexible targeted helping based on an understanding of conspecifics’ goals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (9), 3588-3592. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1108517109)
- Hirata, S., Yamamoto, S., Takemoto, H., & Matsuzawa, T. (2010) A case report of meat and fruit sharing in a pair of wild bonobos. Pan Africa News, 17 (2), 21-23.
- Yamamoto, S., & Tanaka, M. （2010） The influence of kin relationship and reciprocal context on chimpanzees' other-regarding preferences. Animal Behaviour, 79 (3), 595-602.
- Yamamoto, S., Humle, T., & Tanaka, M.（2009） Chimpanzees help each other upon request. PLoS ONE, 4 (10): e7416. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007416
- Tanaka, M., & Yamamoto, S.（2009） Token transfer between mother and offspring chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): mother–offspring interaction in a competitive situation. Animal Cognition, 12 (supplement 1), 19-26.
- Yamamoto, S., & Tanaka, M.（2009） Selfish strategies develop in social problem situations in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) mother–infant pairs. Animal Cognition, 12 (supplement 1), 27-36.
- Yamamoto, S., & Tanaka, M.（2009） Do chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) spontaneously take turns in a reciprocal cooperation task? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 123 (3), 242-249.
- Yamamoto, S., & Tanaka, M.（2009） How did altruistic cooperation evolve in humans? Perspectives from experiments on chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Interaction Studies, 10 (2), 150-182.
- Yamamoto, S., Yamakoshi, G., Humle, T., & Matsuzawa, T. (2008) Invention and modification of a new tool use behavior: ant-fishing in trees by a wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou, Guinea. American Journal of Primatology, 70, 699-702.
Original article (in Japanese with English summary)
- Yamamoto, S. (2011) Evolution of altruism and cooperation: perspectives on its mechanisms and adaptation to social systems. Reichouruikenkyu, 27 (2), 95-109.
- Yamamoto, S. (2011) Similarities and differences between humans and chimpanzees. Jinbungakuho, 100, 145-160.
- Yamamoto, S. (2010) Helping upon request in chimpanzees: evolutionary basis for human altruism and reciprocity. Shinrigaku-Hyoron (Psychological Review), 53, 422-433.
- Yamamoto, S. (2005) Social factors influencing within-group vigilance in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), 21 (1), 19-26.
- Yamamoto, S. (in press) Invention and modification of new tool-use behavior. In E. G. Carayannis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, New York / Heidelberg: Springer. in press.
- Yamamoto, S., Yamakoshi, G., Humle, T., & Matsuzawa, T.（2011） Ant-fishing in trees: invention and modification of a new tool use behavior. In T. Matsuzawa, T. Humle, & Y. Sugiyama (Eds.), The chimpanzees in Bossou and Nimba. Tokyo: Springer-Verlag, pp. 123-130.
Place of work
Wildlife Research Center
990 Otao, Misumi, Uto, Kumamoto 869-3201 Japan