Date: May 11, 1998
Author: Steve Bunk
Do apes have feelings? Do they recognize and understand emotions? Behavioral and biomedical scientists are beginning to put aside old differences concerning such questions and combine their efforts to shed new light on what nonhuman primates may reveal about human evolution.
A national leader in this emerging interdisciplinary approach is the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta. In September of 1977, the university established a Living Links Center (LLC) at the Yerkes field station in Lawrenceville, Ga. Relying on the expertise of Emory faculty and visiting scientists in such fields as ethology, comparative psychology, molecular biology, anthropology, and neuroscience, the center examines evolutionary connections between humans and their closest living relatives. The origins of sociality, self-awareness, numeracy, language, and even morality in nonhuman primates are being investigated. Work is under way on sequencing the chimpanzee genome, and studies of...