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Post-doctoral researcher

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Teams : HELAN2 

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I am an ethologist interested in the study of communication in primates. My expertise focuses particularly on the bonobo, human’s closest living relative along with the chimpanzee.

My post-doctoral project aims at exploring the effect of early social experience on the development of communicative abilities in bonobos by analyzing playful interactions.

This research stems from the collaboration between the Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage and the Equipe de Neuro-Ethologie Sensorielle of the University of Saint-Etienne.





2015 PhD in Behavioural Biology - University of Parma, Italy
Emotional and intentional communication in bonobos (Pan paniscus)

2011 Master in Evolution of Animal and Human Behaviour - University of Torino, Italy
Audience effect and multimodality in bonobo communication (Pan paniscus)

2007 Bachelor Degree in Natural Sciences - University of Torino, Italy
The impact of fishing on the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in Sardinia




Primate Communication
Evolution of Human Language
Play Behaviour




TD ANIMAL COGNITION - L2 Sciences Cognitives - Université Lyon 2


CM ANIMAL COGNITION - L2 Sciences Cognitives - Université Lyon 2



Chapters in books

Palagi, E. & Demuru, E., 2017, "Pan paniscus or Pan ludens? Bonobos, playful attitude and social tolerance", in BONOBOS: Unique in Mind, Brain and Behavior, Hare, B. & Yamamoto, S. (eds), Oxford University Press


Demuru, E., Ferrari, P. & Palagi, E., 2018, "Is birth attendance a uniquely human feature? New evidence suggests that Bonobo females protect and support the parturient", Evolution and Human Behavior, 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.05.003


Palagi, E., Leone, A., Demuru, E. & Ferrari, P., 2018, "High-ranking geladas protect and comfort others after conflicts", Scientific Reports, 8:15291


Baragli, P., Demuru, E., Scopa, C. & Palagi, E., 2017, "Are horses capable of mirror self-recognition? A pilot study.", PLoS ONE, 12:5, pp. e0176717


Norscia, I., Demuru, E. & Palagi, E., 2016, "Difference in contagious yawning between susceptible men and women: why not?", Royal Society Open Science, 3:9, pp. 1075 – 1102


Cordoni, G., Demuru, E., Ceccarelli, E. & Palagi, E., 2016, "Play, aggression and reconciliation in preschool children: What matters?", Behaviour, 153:9-11, pp. 1075-1102


Norscia, I., Demuru, E. & Palagi, E., 2016, "She more than he: gender bias supports the empathic nature of yawn contagion in Homo sapiens", Royal Society Open Science, 3:2, pp. 150459


Palagi, E., Cordoni, G., Demuru, E. & Bekoff, M., 2016, "Fair play and its connection with social tolerance, reciprocity and the ethology of peace", Behaviour, 153:9-11, pp. 1195 – 1216


Palagi, E., Stanyon, R. & Demuru, E., 2015, "Play to learn, teach by play", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38


Demuru, E., Ferrari, P. & Palagi, E., 2015, "Emotionality and intentionality in bonobo playful communication", Animal Cognition, 18, pp. 333-344


Palagi, E., Norscia, I. & Demuru, E., 2014, "Yawn contagion in humans and bonobos: emotional affinity matters more than species", PeerJ, 2, pp. e519


Palagi, E., Dall'Olio, S., Demuru, E. & Stanyon, R., 2014, "Exploring the evolutionary foundations of empathy: consolation in monkeys", Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, pp. 341-349


Demuru, E. & Palagi, E., 2012, "In Bonobos Yawn Contagion Is Higher among Kin and Friends", PloS ONE, 7, pp. e49613


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