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DiseaseRecognition SIGNED

Selection to outsmart the germs: The evolution of disease recognition and social cognition

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 DiseaseRecognition project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the DiseaseRecognition project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "DiseaseRecognition" about.

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Project "DiseaseRecognition" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: DURHAM
postcode: DH1 3LE

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 United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2018-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM UK (DURHAM) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

An astounding example of human social complexity is the global healthcare industry, in which we perform lifesaving surgeries, eradicate childhood diseases, provide global vaccinations, and track the evolution and outbreak of novel zoonotic diseases. Surprisingly, all of this hinges on a cognitive ability whose evolutionary origins are largely unknown: the ability to recognize disease in others. Under the mentorship of Dr Joanna Setchell (Durham University), a world-leading expert in primate disease signalling, Dr Sharon Kessler (fellow) will test her novel hypothesis that disease recognition evolved in associate with social cognition the primate order before the divergence of the human lineage. This multidisciplinary project integrates anthropology, psychology, and parasitology to test 1) whether a nonhuman primate signals infection status using visual, acoustic, and olfactory cues, 2) whether primates use these cues to recognize disease in others, and 3) whether disease recognition correlates with accepted measures of primate social cognition. The objectives will be achieved by taking photos, recording vocalisations, and collecting odour samples from semi-free ranging mandrills, Mandrillus sphinx, at the Centre International de Recherches Médicales mandrill colony in Gabon before and after treatment with anti-parasite medications. The photos, vocalisations, and odour samples will be presented to captive mandrills at the Colchester Zoo in the UK to test whether they spend different amounts of time investigating stimuli from parasitised and nonparasitised individuals. Performances on these disease recognition tests will be compared with performances in social cognition on the state-of-the-art Primate Cognition Test Battery. This innovative, multidisciplinary study increases the international networks of the participants, provides Kessler with cutting edge training, and breaks new ground on the role of disease in the evolution of primate, including human, cognition.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Sharon E. Kessler, Tyler R. Bonnell, Joanna M. Setchell, Colin A. Chapman
Social Structure Facilitated the Evolution of Care-giving as a Strategy for Disease Control in the Human Lineage
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31568-2
Scientific Reports 8/1 2019-05-10
2018 Sharon E. Kessler Ute Radespiel Alida I. F. Hasiniaina Leanne T. Nash Elke Zimmermann
Does the grey mouse lemur use agonistic vocalisations to recognise kin?
published pages: , ISSN: 0067-8546, DOI:
Contributions to Zoology 2019-05-10
2017 Sharon E. Kessler, Tyler R. Bonnell, Richard W. Byrne, Colin A. Chapman
Selection to outsmart the germs: The evolution of disease recognition and social cognition
published pages: 92-109, ISSN: 0047-2484, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.02.009
Journal of Human Evolution 108 2019-05-10
2018 Lance A Durden, Sharon E Kessler, Ute Radespiel, Elke Zimmermann, Alida F Hasiniaina, Sarah Zohdy
A New Species of Sucking Louse (Phthiraptera: Anoplura: Polyplacidae) From the Gray Mouse Lemur, Microcebus murinus (Primates: Cheirogaleidae), in Madagascar
published pages: 910-914, ISSN: 0022-2585, DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjy046
Journal of Medical Entomology 55/4 2019-05-10

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The information about "DISEASERECOGNITION" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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