2023 News

November was Milestone Month!  Two theses and a dissertation all finished. 

Liz Haseltine successfully defended her Masters thesis titled “For the sake of curiosity: Do monkeys choose to view counterfactual information when there is no benefit?” 

Joey McKeon successfully defended his Masters thesis titled “Self-directed learning in nonhuman primates.” 

Dr. Brooke Jackson successfully defended her doctoral dissertation. It was titled “Investigating exposure learning of family-resemblance categories.” Brooke will be remaining at the LRC and GSU, starting a postdoctoral position in January.  Congrats to all of them!


A very successful Psychonomics Meeting in 2023 for COMIC Lab.  Brooke Jackson, Andres Sanchez, Joey McKeon and Liz Haseltine all presented posters, and Mike Beran gave a talk about metacognition and offloading in children.  Some photos below:











The COMIC lab was well-represented at this year’s Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference.  We had two posters at PURC, and Dara’s poster was awarded 2nd place overall in the Best Presentation category.  Congrats to all of the co-authors!


Another successful STEAM night at Spark Elementary where Liz Haseltine, Kathleen Friedlein, and Katarina Syed gave demonstrations on visual and cognitive illusions.




Congrats to Dara Jonkoski who completed the Brains & Behavior Summer Scholars Program at GSU where she engaged in STEM training and collected her own data on delay of gratification in capuchin monkeys.  She presented that work at the Research Symposium in August.

Congratulations to Dr. Audrey Parrish, who received the APA Division 6 Early Career Investigator Award. She was invited to give a lecture at the annual convention of the APA in Washington DC in August.


A blog on the Psychology Today website covered the research by Molly Flessert about face pareidolia in children and monkeys.  The article is here

Mike Beran has started his term as Chief Editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology. Click here for a story highlighting this

Congratulations to Dr. Maisy Englund, who graduated in May after completing her doctoral dissertation on the status quo bias in lemurs and monkeys. She has had an outstanding graduate career, and COMIC lab is very excited to see all that comes next for her!








The COMIC lab enjoyed the Comparative Cognition Conference in April.  Joey and Liz presented their research at the meeting.




The COMIC lab was well-represented at the SEPA conference in New Orleans.  Excellent presentations by Joey McKeon and Kathleen Friedlein







It was great to see other LRC and COMIC people at SEPA as well, and to hear what their students are doing.  Dr. Bonnie Perdue, Dr. Audrey Parrish and Dr. David Washburn brought numerous students to SEPA this year.


So, this one time, Liz had the idea that we should all see just how far we could go in the LRC version of the Hots Ones.  Here is the LRC group BEFORE starting.  The After pics are not pretty, a lot of panting, chugging of milk (and sour cream, and yogurt, and who knows what else!).

What better way to bring a lab together than to put them on a doomed island with only an hour to escape?  Which was FAR more than we needed!

2022 News

Congratulations to Kathleen Friedlein who won 3rd place at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference in November! Kathleen presented ongoing work looking at prospective and retrospective confidence wagers by monkeys. Way to go Kathleen!

Mike Beran and Bennett Schwartz edited the volume Primate Cognitive Studies, highlighting recent research in primate cognition conducted in laboratories, zoos, sanctuaries, and the field. Numerous LRC faculty and past students and collaborators are included in the volume, sharing their work at the LRC and in other settings.



  Congratulations to Maisy Englund, Joey McKeon and Liz Haseltine for successful SEPA presentations. First conference back in person for them since this epidemic started.



2021 News

Congratulations to Maisy Englund, who did a wonderful job on her qualifying exam, and is now ABD!

COMIC lab spent some nice time outdoors in late October sharing our research at the Sparks Elementary STEAM nights. We taught children (and their parents!) all about visual illusions and dealing with cognitive conflict (with the Stroop effect!). Despite being right across from the guy who brought lizards and turtles and the booth with live honey bees, we still had big crowds!

Congratulations to Dr. Audrey Parrish, who is now a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at the Citadel!

Congratulations also to Dr. Andrew Kelly who has accepted a position in the Department of Psychology as one of our newest faculty members!

And, congratulations to Kristin French who successfully completed her qualifying exam and is now ABD!

And the awards keep coming for Myah Vogt! She received the Provost’s award for Best Poster presentation at the GSU Undergraduate Research Conference. You can see her presentation by clicking here. She also was featured on the GSU site for graduation celebrations. And, she managed to represent the COMIC lab very well with her graduation quote!



COMIC Lab is very pleased to announce that Myah Vogt was awarded a fellowship to work at the Woodruff and Whitehead Foundations after graduation.  She will be part of their grants oversight and awarding group, where she will assist in the process of evaluating grant applications to the foundations and also aid in post-award monitoring of the awardees of the foundations.  She went through numerous interview rounds, over many weeks, for this one highly prestigious fellowship. Myah has been in the COMIC lab since joining us as a University Assistant and member of the Honors College in her freshman year. We will definitely miss her in the lab, but we are so proud of all that she has accomplished!




Despite our inability to meet in person, our program sponsored the first (annual?) GSU Cognitive Psychology Graduate ConferenceCOMIC lab was represented by Liz Haseltine and Emma McKeon who presented some of their research.




2020 News

The craziness of 2020 came to a close with the successful Masters defense by Maisy Bowden. Maisy persevered through a very difficult data-collection environment with things mostly shut down, and she produced a wonderful project looking at the paradox of choice in the behavior of children and monkeys. Congrats Maisy!



The COMIC lab is excited to welcome two new graduate students this year. Emma McKeon and Liz Haseltine begin their graduate careers in the craziest of times with COVID, social distancing, online learning, and many more restrictions around animal research than at any other time in history. We know they will be great, and please check out their pages under People above.


Congratulations to Molly Flessert! Molly completed her Masters thesis with a very strong defense of her work. She looked at face pareidolia in monkeys and children, finding important species differences. Molly has opted to move on to something new after finishing her Masters degree, and we will miss her and wish her the very best!

COMIC lab is very proud of Brielle James who was awarded the Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellowship from Georgia State University. This fellowship was started by Steve Woodruff, a friend of the Language Research Center up to the time of his death. To help ensure that the research programs would thrive and continue to gain a better understanding of the processes of learning and the acquisition of language, he established an endowed fund for the annual awarding of a fellowship, which he named the Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellowship. The understanding of Emergents is the goal of the Rumbaugh Fellows research. Emergents, as a class of behaviors apart from instincts and conditioned behaviors, was defined originally by Duane Rumbaugh. Emergents have no apparent history of conditioning and that are not attributable to the stimulus-stimulus and stimulus-response associative processes of either classical or operant conditioning.  Brielle’s research program will examine species similarities and differences in decision making, metacognition, and in other “Emergent” cognitive processes that underlie decisions.

Congratulations to Melany Love, who successfully defended her Masters thesis entitled “An investigation of the effects of free writing on the scope and control of attention.”

Joel Shimada will graduate “with distinction” as an acknowledgment of his excellent academic performance as a Psych major and his excellence in our lab.  Only a small number of the many Psych majors receive this distinction, and he is most certainly deserving of it.

Despite not being able to hold an in-person undergraduate research conference for GSU this spring, there was still a virtual conference. And, we had two great presenters from the lab! Myah Vogt and Joel Shimada presented some of their work in digital format. Myah shared this photo of her presenting to her family using good social distancing! To see their full presentation, click on their names here: Joel or Myah

Very pleased to announce that two new students will be joining the COMIC lab in the fall. Liz Haseltine has most recently been working at Zoo Atlanta, and Emma McKeon is graduating from Agnes Scott College this spring and worked with members of the COMIC lab while she was an undergraduate. Excited to have them both joining us!

Congrats to Will Whitham, who has accepted an NSF post-doc with Dr. Yorzinski at Texas A&M and Dr. Schapiro at MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Michael E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research. Together they will do eye-tracking and computerized cognitive-behavioral research with chimpanzees, squirrel monkeys, baboons, and rhesus macaques to investigate relationships between eye morphology and gaze perception.

Congratulations to Brielle James, who successfully completed her General Examination. She did a great job, and now is officially “ABD”!

The new year got off to a great start with news that Dr. Audrey Parrish was recognized by Divison 6 of the American Psychological Association as this year’s Brenda A. Milner award winner. This award recognizes the author of an outstanding paper in comparative psychology or behavioral neuroscience who is within 5 years of receiving her or his Ph.D. This is a wonderful recognition of Dr. Parrish and we are very proud of her!

2019 News

Great end to 2019 in the COMIC lab! Maisy Bowden proposed her Masters thesis project on choice overload in children and monkeys, and Kristin French successfully defended her Masters thesis on cognitive bias in monkeys. Their forgetful advisor forgot to take pictures of them as they presented, but he is VERY proud of both of them!



Lab holiday dinner (and trivia!). Not everyone could make it, but it was nice to celebrate everyone’s hard work in 2019.



Molly Flessert spoke at the Hard Data Cafe at GSU and did a fantastic job presenting her research on a ratings scale for use with monkeys.

Molly also has proposed her Masters thesis project in which she will assess face parieidolia in children and monkeys. Very excited to see what she finds!


Very proud to announce that Isabel Medellin successfully defended her Honors thesis in December and gave a wonderful presentation. Her project was entitled “Assessing the Relation of Metacognition and Executive Function Tasks in Preschool Children.”

Another great Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference! So very proud of Myah Vogt, Joel Shimada, and Isabel Medellin for presenting their research. They did such a good job!













Very exciting news came out in September that Kristin French received the Best Paper Award for the Psychonomic Society journal Learning and BehaviorSee here for the story!

In August, Dr. David Washburn retired as Director of the Language Reserarch Center. Michael Beran accepted the role as interim Director aand then was appointed as co-Director with Sarah Brosnan in October.

APA convention 2019 was a big one for many of us in the lab. Mike served as President of Division 6, and was introduced for his presidential address by David Washburn, and Bonnie Perdue served as program chair, putting together an amazing program of invited talks and sessions. Audrey talked about her new work on tool use in otters, and Brielle James and Will Whtham gave posters on their work. Really good meeting for the COMIC lab, and a chance to see many friends!





















Kristin French is the recipient of the 2019 Best Article Award in Learning & Behavior for her paper entitled “Simians in the Shape School: A comparative study of executive attention.” The Psychomomic Society will present the award at the Psychonomic Society annual meeting in Montreal. The award will also be promoted in the conference program, on the Psychonomic Society website, and on a big sign at the conference. Very proud of her!

Congratulations to Myah Vogt who was featured in an article about her summer work and her efforts in the WomenLead program. She was awarded funds to support her travel to Munich to study at the International Youth Library. She is spending the summer working as a member of the Human Language Technology team in the Multilingual Computing and Analytics Branch at the Army Research Laboratory headquarters in Washington, D.C. COMIC lab is very proud of her! See the story here.

Dr. Audrey Parrish took students from The Citadel on a three-week study abroad to Peru. As part of their trip, they went to the Peruvian rainforest where they had a chance to see capuchin monkeys in the wild. Here is a story about this program.

Congrats to Brielle Jameswho won a travel award to attend the APA Convention this August in Chicago! She will be presenting her work there and also serves as the graduate student representative for the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology.

Congratulations to Dr. Audrey Parrish, who was elected as member-at-large to the Executive Committe of Divsision 3 of the American Psychological Association!



So very proud of Dr. Bonnie Perdue, who is now a tenured Associate Professor at Agnes Scottt College. So well deserved, and COMIC lab is honored to have Bonnie as part of our group!




COMIC lab was well represented at the 2019 meeting of the Comparative Cognition Society meeting. Brielle, Kristin, Molly, Maisy, Will and Audrey all presented posters, and we spent time with friends and colleagues. Especially exciting was the news that Brielle was recognized with the Outstanding Student Poster award at the meeting, for her poster about her thesis work on boundary extension in people and monkeys.


Congrats to Dr. Audrey Parrish, who has a new stats textbook out!

Very proud of her efforts!






The 2019 meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association was a big event for COMIC lab. Mike Beran served as President of the Society, and gave his presidential address after being introduced by his advisor, Dr. David Washburn, and by his first graduate student, Dr. Audrey Parrish. It was a real honor to be introduced (and “roasted” a little) by the two of them. David even managed to bring Mike onto stage to Darth Vader’s entrance theme music. What a thrill!


Afterward, we got some nice photos of the GSU group who came to SEPA, and the COMIC lab.

COMIC grad students did amazing work at the conference. In addition to their own papers and posters, some served and organized panels in which current graduate students helped answer questions and discuss the process of getting into graduate school and then surviving and thriving in graduate school. These sessions were a big hit at the conference.

And, COMIC members took part in paper sessions, including Data Blitz sessions with short talks followed by posters.










































A big thrill of the conference was learning that Brielle James was awarded the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology’s award for best student paper during the data blitz. She received the award from Dr. Bonnie Perdue.


After long days, we had a nice time relaxing and enjoying some parts of Jacksonville. Well, maybe not that one pizza place! But, everywhere else!






Members of COMIC lab took part in the Atlanta Science Festival by presenting various computer games we use with children and with monkeys to study cognition across species. It was a lot of fun, and we continue to recognize and embrace the need to educate the public about science!


We were featured for ongoing research at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo with oragutans, in which we use our Go-When-You-Know tasks to see if orangutans can express confidence in their performances on computerized tasks by moving toward reward dispensers even before the computer task tells they they are right (or wrong) on trials. This work continues what we started with chimpanzees and also have done with preschool children. Click here for the article.

Congratulations to Molly Flessert, who was featured in a story about GSU grad students who are supported by the Second Century Initiative at GSU. The article discussed Molly’s ongoing research looking at face pareidolia, which is seeing faces where they really are not. Congrats Molly! Click here to link to the story.

2018 News

COMIC lab had a very successful Psychonomics conference, with presentations from many of us, and a nice lab dinner with others from GSU. Excellent work everyone!

And, very special congratulations to Dr. Bonnie Perdue and Dr. Audrey Parrish, both of whom were elected as Fellows of the Psychonomic Society. Very well deserved honor for them both!



Dr. Kelly presenting his work on serial memory recall in children at Psychonomics.





Congrats to Brielle James, who was a finalist in the student paper contest, presenting her work on memory interference effects in the chimpanzee Sherman.





Dr. Parrish presenting her work on the density bias in primates at Psychonomics.






Will Whitham presenting his research on working memory in monkeys.






Mike Beran gave a talk as part of a conference on economic behavior in non-human primates in Florence. It was a great meeting and many excellent papers were presented.




Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference 2018, with posters by Courtney Creamer, Myah Vogt, and Yvonne Sims!












COMIC lab members took part in a STEAM outreach program at a local elementary school, highlighting research with primates and other aspects of psychology.




Congratulations to Brielle James, who successfully defended her Master Thesis at the end of the summer. She did a fantastic job, and is now headed into her “second, third year” of graduate school, as she likes to call it.



In August, Mike Beran’s book on self-control was published by Academic Press. Thanks to everyone who helped to make that happen!







Molly Flessert presented her research on face pareidolia at the meeting of the Animal Behavior Society in August.




At the APA meeting in San Franciso in August, COMIC was very well represented in a panel on animal cognition. Presentations by Dr. Perdue and Dr. Parrish along with work from Dr. Debbie Kelly, Dr. Irene Pepperberg, and Dr. Reggie Gazes. Great session!



Myah Vogt was awarded a summer Brains and Behavior Fellowship to support her research at the LRC during the summer break. As part of this, she worked on a project about capuchin monkey memory, and presented this poster.


Congratulations to Brielle James who was awarded a Science ATL Communication Fellowship. She will join a program in which she learns about science communication and trains to engage the media and public about science. For more on the program, see

An excellent new story came out by Georgia State about the Language Research Center, and Duane Rumbaugh. Features comments from David Washburn, Charles Menzel, and Michael Beran. You can read it here.

Congratulations to Courney Creamer and Rebecca Moss, who were selected as Pipeline Scholars by the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology (Division 6 of APA). This program recognizes undergraduate and post bac students for their research accomplishments and their potential as future scholars. Great job!

Succesful GSURC 2018 (GSU Undergraduate Research Conference)!


Myah Vogt presenting our work with children and cognitive control.



Becca Moss presenting work on agency in preschool children.






Dr. Bonnie Perdue and other researchers who work with animals traveled to Capital Hill to speak with congressional aides about the value and need for animal research. The Committeee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) is organized by the APA. Good work, Dr. Perdue!

COMIC research on display! We are pleased to be featured as part of the Think Tank at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC. Dr. Parrish stands by the exhibit.






While there, Audrey also had the chance to talk to the public about some of the science we are doing with the apes at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Right now, we are studying metacognition in the orangutans, to see how well they understand what they do and do not know.



How do COMIC members celebrate their anniversary? Well, with conference presentations in the same session, of course! Dr. Bonnie Perdue and Dr. Andrew Kelly, celebrating their science (and marriage) at the SSPP meeting in San Antonio!




COMIC members presented a number of papers and posters at the SEPA meeting in Charleston, SC. Dr. Parrish also organized a symposium on prospective memory at the meeting, and LRC Director David Washburn gave a paper about Duane Rumbaugh. Some photos below.




































































Bill Hopkins and Mike Beran published a paper on the relationship between chimpanzees’ self-control and intelligence that received press coverage. For example, in articles on and

Brielle James represented COMIC lab at the North Georgia Regional Annual Memory Meeting (NGRAMM) with her paper entitled “Post-event memory interference in chimpanzee food memory.”

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Kelly, who was promoted to Associate Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College. Andrew also was elected as member-at-large of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Psychological Association and will serve a three-year term in that capacity. Way to go Andrew!

Victoria Kelly has accepted a research assistant position at Temple University. Victoria was a research assistant in the COMIC lab for two years, and will continue to conduct psychological research in her new job. Congratulations Victoria!


2017 News

Congratulations to Travis Smith, who has accepted an offer for a postdoctoral associate position at Kansas State University. Travis will stay at the LRC and GSU until the end of the spring, and then move to his new position!

Travis Smith, Brielle James, and Michael Beran presented papers and posters at the Comparative Cognition Society meeting and the Psychonomic Society meeting in Vancouver in November.

Travis presenting a paper on stimulus relations.






Brielle with a poster on metacognitive judgments by humans during team trivia.






Mike presenting a paper on metacognition in preschool children.






The Georgia State Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC) was in late October, and COMIC students presented their work.

Courtney Creamer presenting research about the reverse-reward task with children






Rebecca Moss presenting work about trivia game playing and metacognition in undergraduate students.





On October 20, the LRC hosted the LANA (Learning about Apes and other Nonhuman Animals) conference in Atlanta. This was a chance to reflect largely on the career of Duane Rumbaugh, and the research accompishments of Lana chimpanzee. LRC researchers and many others gave presentations, and it was a wonderful event. The panel of speakers is shown below.

COMIC Lab at the LANA conference:

Congratulations to Will Whitham for defending his master’s thesis entitled “Randomness and structure to humans and rhesus macaques”!

COMIC lab welcomes Molly Flessert as a new graduate student in the Cognitive Sciences program at GSU! Molly comes to GSU from the NIH, where she was a post-baccalaureate research fellow.

Dr. Duane Rumbaugh was the founder of the Language Research Center, and he was a mentor and friend to many of us at the LRC and in the COMIC lab. Duane passed away in early July, and he will be greatly missed. Dr. Rumbaugh’s passion for studying primates and his curiosity about what they could learn to do (and how they learned to do it!) was infectious.

Dr. Rumbaugh always encouraged his students to ask questions they found interesting, and he supported them when they pursued those questions. His guidance and mentoring were crucial in what COMIC lab now represents. Three of us (Beran, Perdue, and Parrish) are honored to have served as the Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellow at various points in our careers, and we hope to carry forward Dr. Rumbaugh’s passion for comparative psychology.

Congratulations to Audrey Parrish! She is the recipient of the 2016 Early Career Award from the Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science (Division 3 of the APA). This award recognizes the best paper published by an early career investigator. Her paper that was recognized was:

Parrish, A. E., Brosnan, S. F., & Beran, M. J. (2015). Do you see what I see? A comparative investigation of the Delboeuf illusion in humans (Homo sapiens), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 41, 395-405.

Congratulations to Brielle James who is the inaugural recipient of the Stan Kuczaj Memorial Travel Grant to the Comparative Cognition Conference this year.  This award will help support her attendance and presentation at the conference. You can read more about this award at French also presented a poster, and Travis Smith and Audrey Parrish presented papers as part of the meeting.

Many of us in COMIC presented our work at SEPA this year. Below are some photos from poster sessions, and from presentations that we gave. Among those, Dr. Beran presented the senior keynote address at the Southeastern Workers in Memory session, and his talk was entitled “Prospecting for prospective memory in children and nonhuman primates.” In addition, Dr. Beran was elected as President of SEPA for 2018-2019.






























2016 News

Audrey Parrish and Travis Smith presented at the Psychonomics Society meeting in Boston.











Michael Beran presented an invited address for the McCahan Colloquium Series at Furman University in November. He talked about prospective cognitive processes in nonhuman primates. In addition to meeting and talking with many outstanding students and faculty, he had the chance to see the boyhood home of John B. Watson, who graduated from Furman University.

Anamaria Otalora-Garcia presenting at the Georgia State Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC).

Victoria Kelly also presented at PURC.

Click here for an NPR story on chimpanzee research featuring LRC chimpanzees and Dr. Beran

Audrey Parrish’s dissertation research on illusions in monkeys was featured in APA’s PeePs (Particularly Exciting Experiments in Psychology)Click here to read it.

Congratulations to Brielle James who was awarded a travel grant to the International Congress of Psychology in Yokohama, Japan. The award was from the National Science Foundation in support of the APA-USNC International Travel-Mentoring Program. Brielle gave a paper about her research and engaged in a mentoring program to promote the development of international collaborations and networking skills in early career psychologists.   

Michael Beran presented a Keynote Address at a meeting entitled Traveling in Time: The Construction of Past and Future Events Across Domains which was held at the Center on Autobiographical Memory Research, Aarhus University. Click here for details about the meeting.

Michael Beran and Charles Menzel published a short online article about the value of nonhuman primate research and the comparison of human performance and nonhuman animal performance. You can read the article by clicking this link.

Congratulations to Audrey Parrish, who has accepted a tenure-track, assistant professor position in the Department of Psychology at The Citadel starting in August!

Some of our research was featured in an APS Observer article on Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science, written by Gil Einstein and Cindi May. You can read the article here.

In April, Brielle James and Michael Beran were invited to participate in Emory University’s Mechanisms of Learning Forum 2016: Making and Manipulating Memories. Dr. Beran gave a presentation on chimpanzee prospective memory and metamemory, and Brielle James worked with other invited graduate students in group-based hypothesis generation workshops.

Research from COMIC lab and in collaboration with David Smith and Barbara Church was featured in APA’s PeePs (Particularly Exciting Experiments in Psychology) press release. Click here to read it.

Our research on planning in children and nonhuman primates also was featured in APA’s PeePs. Click here to read it.

2015 News

Click here for a recent article by Dr. Beran and other researchers who work with chimpanzees, defending the need and the excellence of laboratory research to study chimpanzee cognition.


Congratulations to Dr. Audrey Parrish! Audrey successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on Friday the 13th of November (she showed true grit in doing it on such a date as that!). She did an excellent job, and has now completed all requirements for the program. The COMIC lab is incredibly proud of Dr. Parrish.













The COMIC lab was represented by three students, Sarah Futch (top), Bradlyn Walker (middle), and Melany Love (middle) at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC) at Georgia State on October 30th. They each presented some of their past or ongoing work in the lab.























Click here for a short article about chimpanzees that pass the Marshmallow Test.

Click here to see a video about Dr. Perdue’s research with sun bears at Zoo Atlanta.

The Language Research Center lexigram symbol system was featured at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta all summer. It highlighted how our apes, and others, have learned to use symbols in ways that illustrate the nature of language, and what animals can do to communicate with each other and with us.




Congratulations to Sara Futch, an intern in the COMIC lab in the summer of 2014 and 2015 and an undergraduate student at Wofford College. 

Her research at the LRC, at Zoo Atlanta, and at Wofford College was featured in the Wofford College Newsroom.  Click here to read the article.  Congrats Sara!

In August, Michael Beran accepted a new position at Georgia State University, becoming Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology.  He also will continue to serve as the Associate Director of the Language Research Center.

Bonnie Perdue was elected as a Member-at-Large to the Executive Council of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology at its 107th annual meeting in April of this year.  She will serve a three-year term on the Council.

Audrey Parrish now serves on the inaugural editorial board for Translational Issues in Psychological Science, a new journal from the American Psychological Association that publishes basic scientific research where each issue has a different guest editor working with a team of associate editors who are advanced predoctoral or early postdoctoral scholars. Each article will focus on extending findings in psychological science to a broader audience including, but not limited to, public interest, practitioners, and scientific scholars.  Audrey served as part of the working group that established this new journal.  For more information about the journal, click here

At the Southeastern Psychological Association meeting in Hilton Head, SC, in March, we organized a symposium about why language-trained chimpanzees were still important and were still teaching us new things about primate cognition.  In the photo – back row, left to right – Ken Sayers, Karen Brakke, David Washburn, and Michael Beran; front row, left to right – Bonnie Perdue, Lisa Heimbauer, and Audrey Parrish

2014 News

Congratulations to Ted Evans, who has taken a new position at Georgia Tech as a Compliance Specialist.  Ted has been at the Language Research Center for almost 10 years, and has been a central and critical part of the research team and critical in keeping the LRC up and running.  He will be missed, and we wish him the best as he heads off to his new administrative position.  We jokingly hope he does not really end up looking like this while working in administration!



Audrey Parrish received a travel award to the APA meeting in Washington DC as part of the APA mentoring program for graduate students supported by the Science Directorate.  She presented her ongoing work on perception and perceptual illusions in nonhuman primates.

Michael Beran was elected as Member-at-Large for the Executive Council of Division 3 of the APA for 2014-2017.

Michael Beran visited Reed College in April as an invited speaker in the Behavior Economics Lecture Series.  He presented a paper entitled “Behavioral Economics from the Chimpanzee’s Perspective.”  While there, he also gave a lecture in the psychology department entitled “Worth Waiting For: Studies of Primate Self-Control and “Willpower.” 

Congratulations to Audrey Parrish!  She was awarded the Richard Morrell Outstanding Graduate Student in Psychology Award from the Department of Psychology at Georgia State.  This honor is based on a doctoral student’s record in the areas of research/professional development, instruction, and service. With more than 100 graduate students in the department of psychology, this was an excellent recognition of Audrey’s exceptional scholarly output, her effectiveness in her first course as instructor of record, and her extensive service to the university and to the discipline.

Michael Beran served as President and delivered the Presidential Address at the annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy of Psychology.  His paper was entitled “To err is (not only) human: Fallibility (and success) in comparative approaches to cognition.” 

At the same meeting, Audrey Parrish presented an invited paper entitled “Context counts! Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) misperceive food amounts based on presentation style” for which she received a graduate student travel award, and Ted Evans presented an invited paper entitled “Language-trained chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) remember to remember in an analog of a human prospective memory task.”

Bonnie Perdue served as the Program Chair in Psychology for this conference and organized the general program and invited many of the speakers.  It was an outstanding program! 

2013 News

Congratulations to Audrey Parrish who received the APA Division 3’s Best Early Career Presentation Award for her presentation at the Fall Meeting of the Comparative Cognition Society, in Toronto.  This was the first time this award has been given at this meeting, and Audrey received it for her paper entitled “Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) Transfer Tokens with Social Partners to Accumulate Rewards in a Self-Control Task” – coauthored with Bonnie Perdue, Ted Evans, and Michael Beran. 

 Congratulations to Audrey Parrish who was named the Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellow at Georgia State University.  This fellowship is awarded to an outstanding young scientist pursuing new insights into Emergent behaviors and the Rational Behaviorism that Dr. Rumbaugh has promoted throughout his career.  Her research program for this fellowship is designed to examine contextual influences on perception and judgment. The Selection Committee noted that they were “particularly impressed with her description of how her research not only addresses an emergent cognitive competency, but also promises to illuminate the basic perceptual-learning mechanisms that underlie emergents themselves.”  Audrey presented some of this research in a poster session at the 2013 meeting of the Association of Consumer Research, in Chicago.  Click here for an article about Audrey’s research on the GSU web page about chimpanzees and how they perceive food items. 

Congratulations to Bonnie Perdue, who has taken a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Agnes Scott College! 

Ted Evans received a Staff Development Award from Georgia State University in August to support his ongoing research efforts at the Language Research Center, and his conference travel to present that research to the scientific community.

In May 2013, LRC Founder and Director Duane Rumbaugh was back at the LRC visiting and discussing new research projects with all of us.  And, of course, he spent some time with the chimpanzees!



Congratulations to Bonnie Perdue for being awarded the 2013 Richard M. Griffith Memorial Award from the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology.  This award is given for the most outstanding paper by an advanced graduate student or early career investigator.

Michael Beran gave at invited lecture as a B. F. Skinner Lecturer for the annual meeting of the Association of Behavior Analysts International.

2012 News

Congratulations to Audrey Parrish, who completed her qualifying examination for the doctoral program in December, 2012. 

Congratulations to Bonnie Perdue who represented the Language Research Center and Georgia State University through the CARE program of the American Psychological Association when she traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for comparative psychological science in October, 2012. 

Click here to see a feature on the APA website. 

Audrey Parrish is serving on the APAGS Journal Working Group to establish a new APA journal for students that will likely be titled Translational Issues in Psychological Science.  This is an important effort that will show how psychological research relates to real world problems.  Click here for more information.

Congratulations to Bonnie Perdue who was named the Duane M. Rumbaugh Fellow at Georgia State University.  This fellowship is awarded to a young scientist pursuing new insights into Emergent behaviors and the Rational Behaviorism that Dr. Rumbaugh has promoted throughout his career.  Dr. Perdue is specifically interested in studying whether monkeys actually prefer having choices.  She will use computer tests in which monkeys choose their task order to also ask them if they like having this “choice for choice” versus just being given tasks. 


Congratulations also to Bonnie Perdue who received a travel grant from NSF and APA for the International Congress of Psychology meeting in South Africa and another travel grant from APA for attendance at the 2012 annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Michael Beran also received an APA-USNC Mentoring Award (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) for attending the International Congress of Psychology and mentoring early-career psychologists.

Audrey Parrish represented APAGS at the spring 2012 Consolidated Meetings of the American Psychological Association. The Consolidated Meetings are important opportunities for professional development and for participation in the leadership of the APA, and Audrey was one of only a small number of graduate students who were in attendance at this meeting.

Older News

In October, 2009, Michael Beran published an article about ongoing research in Eye on Psi Chi magazine, the official magazine of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.  If you are interested in reading  it, click this link.

In October 2008, Michael Beran was invited to visit the University of Memphis to give two presentations.  One was on numerosity skills of animals, and the other was about metacognition and self-control.  He had a great time meeting people working in cognitive science as part of the Institute for Intelligent Systems.

In April 2008, Michael Beran was invited to give the Keynote Address at the 16th Annual Student Research Conference at Southeast Missouri State University.  It was quite a thrill, and he really enjoyed meeting everyone at Southeast.  The mural below advertised the conference.