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Heimbauer, Lisa A.

Associate Professor, Liberal Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise: Cognitive Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Language Acquisition, and Animal Behavior

Program/Courses Taught: PSYC100, PSYC200, PSYC215, PSYC250, BIOL115

About Me:
My research investigates language-related perceptual and cognitive abilities, including speech perception, statistical and rule-like learning, and other critical aspects of language learning. My main interest is the evolution of these capabilities, and therefore I take a comparative research approach by investigating the language-related abilities of nonhuman primates.


Heimbauer & Krause (2022). A requiem for ape language research: The cognitive foundations of language. In M. J. Beran and B. L. Schwartz (Eds.), Primate Cognitive Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Heimbauer, L. A., Beran, M. J., & Owren, M. J. (2021). A chimpanzee recognizes manipulated versions of sine-wave and noise-vocoded speech. Animal Cognition, 24(4), 843-854.

Heimbauer, L. A., Johns, T., & Weiss, D. J. (2019). Inferential reasoning in the visual and auditory modalities by cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of Comparative Psychology. doi:10.1037/com0000184.

Heimbauer, L. A., Beran, M. J., & Owren, M. J. (2018). A Chimpanzee’s (Pan troglodytes) Perception of Variations in Speech: Identification of Familiar Words when Whispered and When Spoken by a Variety of Talkers. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 31, 1-16.

Heimbauer, L. A., Conway, C. M., Christiansen, M. H., Beran, M. J., & Owren, M. J. (2018). Visual artificial grammar learning by rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): exploring the role of grammar complexity and sequence length. Animal Cognition, 21(2), 267-284. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-018-1164-4.

Hiembauer, L. A. (2017). Reflections: Tributes to Duane M. Rumbaugh (1929-2017). Animal Behavior and Cognition, 4(4), 533.

Beran, M. J., & Heimbauer, L. A. (2015). A longitudinal assessment of vocabulary retention in symbol-competent chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). PLoS ONE 10(2): e0118408.doi.1371/journal.pone.0118408.

Heimbauer, L. A., Conway, C. M., Christiansen, M. H., Beran, M. J., & Owren, M. J. (2012).
A serial reaction time (SRT) task with symmetrical joystick responding for nonhuman primates. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 733-741. DOI: 10.3758/s13428-011-0177-6.

Heimbauer, L. A., Antworth, R. L., & Owren, M. J. (2012). Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) use positive, but not negative, auditory cues to infer food location. Animal Cognition, 15, 45-55. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-011-0430-5.

Heimbauer, L. A., Beran, M. J., & Owren, M. J. (2011). A chimpanzee recognizes synthetic speech with significantly reduced acoustic cues to phonetic content. Current Biology, 21, 1210-1214. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.06.007.

Brosnan, S., Parrish, A., Beran, M. J., Flemming, T., Heimbauer, L., Talbot, C. F., Lambeth, S.
P., Schapiro, S. J., & Wilson, B. J. (2011). Responses to the assurance game in monkeys,
apes, and humans using equivalent procedures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 3442-3447.

Doran-Sheehy, D. M., Shah, N. F., & Heimbauer, L. A. (2006). Sympatric western gorilla and mangabey diet: Re-examination of ape and monkey dietary diversity. In G. Hohmann, M. M. Robbins and C. Boesch (Eds.), Feeding Ecology in Apes and Other Primates: Ecological, Physiological and Behavioural Aspects (pp. 49-72). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

In the News:
AIP Newswise “Chimpanzee Studies Suggest Human Speech Perception Ability is Linked to Experience; Not a Uniquely Human Trait” (Oct. 27, 2011); BBC Nature “Chimp Recognizes Synthetic Speech” (July 7, 2011); Discovery News “Smart Chimp Gets Speech Like a Human” (Oct. 31, 2011); ScienceNOW “Chimps are Good Listeners Too,” July 1, 2011