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ApeAttachment SIGNED

Are social skills determined by early live experiences?

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ApeAttachment" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 80539
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙495˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙495˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2021-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Social bonding success in life impacts on health, survival and fitness. It is proposed that early and later social experience as well as heritable factors determine social bonding abilities in adulthood, although the relative influence of each is unclear. In humans, the resulting uncertainty likely impedes psychological and psychiatric assessment and therapy. One problem hampering progress for human studies is that social bonding success is hard to objectively quantify, particularly in adults. I propose to directly address this problem by determining the key influences on social bonding abilities in chimpanzees, our closest living relative, where social bonding success can be objectively quantified, and is defined as number of affiliative relationships maintained over time with high rates of affiliation. Objectives. This project will quantify the relative impact of early and later social experience as well as heritable factors on social hormone levels, social cognition and social bonding success in 270 wild and captive chimpanzees, using both cohort and longitudinal data. This will reveal the degree of plasticity in social cognition and bonding behaviour throughout life. Finally, it will evaluate the potential for using endogenous hormone levels as non-invasive biomarkers of social bonding success, as well as identifying social contexts that act as strong natural social hormone releasers. Outcomes. This project will expose what makes some better at social bonding than others. Specifically, it will show the extent to which later social experience can compensate for early social experience or heritable factors in terms of adult social bonding success, the latter being a key factor in determining health and happiness in life. This project also offers the potential for using hormonal biomarkers in clincial settings, as objective assessment of changes in relationships over time, and in therapy by engaging in social behaviours that act as strong social hormone releasers.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Ruth Sonnweber, Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy, Verena Behringer, Tobias Deschner, Patrick Tkaczynski, Pawel Fedurek, Anna Preis, Liran Samuni, Zinta Zommers, Cristina Gomes, Klaus Zuberbühler, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
Circadian Rhythms of Urinary Cortisol Levels Vary Between Individuals in Wild Male Chimpanzees: A Reaction Norm Approach
published pages: , ISSN: 2296-701X, DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00085
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6 2019-04-18
2018 Catherine Crockford, Thibaud Gruber, Klaus Zuberbühler
Chimpanzee quiet hoo variants differ according to context
published pages: 172066, ISSN: 2054-5703, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.172066
Royal Society Open Science 5/5 2019-04-18
2018 Anna Preis, L. Samuni, A. Mielke, T. Deschner, C. Crockford, R.M. Wittig
Urinary oxytocin levels in relation to post-conflict affiliations in wild male chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus)
published pages: 28-40, ISSN: 0018-506X, DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.07.009
Hormones and Behavior 105 2019-04-18
2018 L. Samuni, A. Preis, A. Mielke, T. Deschner, R. M. Wittig, C. Crockford
Social bonds facilitate cooperative resource sharing in wild chimpanzees
published pages: 20181643, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1643
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285/1888 2019-04-18
2018 Sven Grawunder, Catherine Crockford, Zanna Clay, Ammie K. Kalan, Jeroen M.G. Stevens, Alexander Stoessel, Gottfried Hohmann
Higher fundamental frequency in bonobos is explained by larynx morphology
published pages: R1188-R1189, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.09.030
Current Biology 28/20 2019-04-18
2017 Martin Surbeck, Cédric Girard-Buttoz, Christophe Boesch, Catherine Crockford, Barbara Fruth, Gottfried Hohmann, Kevin E. Langergraber, Klaus Zuberbühler, Roman M. Wittig, Roger Mundry
Sex-specific association patterns in bonobos and chimpanzees reflect species differences in cooperation
published pages: 161081, ISSN: 2054-5703, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.161081
Royal Society Open Science 4/5 2019-04-18
2018 Liran Samuni, Anna Preis, Tobias Deschner, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig
Reward of labor coordination and hunting success in wild chimpanzees
published pages: , ISSN: 2399-3642, DOI: 10.1038/s42003-018-0142-3
Communications Biology 1/1 2019-04-18
2017 Alexander Mielke, Liran Samuni, Anna Preis, Jan F. Gogarten, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig
Bystanders intervene to impede grooming in Western chimpanzees and sooty mangabeys
published pages: 171296, ISSN: 2054-5703, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171296
Royal Society Open Science 4/11 2019-06-19
2017 Toni E. Ziegler, Catherine Crockford
Neuroendocrine control in social relationships in non-human primates: Field based evidence
published pages: 107-121, ISSN: 0018-506X, DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2017.03.004
Hormones and Behavior 91 2019-06-19
2017 Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig, Klaus Zuberbühler
Vocalizing in chimpanzees is influenced by social-cognitive processes
published pages: e1701742, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701742
Science Advances 3/11 2019-06-19

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