Laurie Santos received her Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus on Cognition, Brain & Behavior, from Harvard University in 2003. Laurie's research explores an age-old question: what makes the human mind unique? She and her research team test this question by studying the cognitive capacities of non-human animals. By comparing the cognitive abilities of non-human animals to those of humans, they are attempting to determine which domains of knowledge are unique to the human mind. At the Canine and Primate Laboratory (aka CapLab), Laurie and her team study the origins of human cognition by focusing on two different groups of non-human animals. First, they test the phylogenetic origins of human cognition by studying our closest living evolutionary relatives, the non-human primates. By testing field-living non-human primates using methods from cognitive development, it is possible to directly compare the capacities of non-linguistic primates with those of preverbal human infants. In addition, their lab tests the role of human experience by testing the non-human species that lives most closely with humans: the domesticated dog. By studying dog cognition and comparing it to that of other canids, they explore the role of experience in a species built to pick up on human cues and training. Some of their current projects explore whether non-human animals possess aspects of a human-like a theory of mind, the representations that dogs and non-human primates reason use to navigate cooperative and moral problems, the nature of human-unique constraints on pedagogy and social-learning in non-human animals, and whether other animals share human-like decision-making biases. Laurie's research interests include the evolutionary origins of human cognition, core knowledge of physical and social cognition in human infants and other animals, the origins of decision-making heuristics and biases, social cognition and theory of mind in non-human primates, inequity aversions and moral cognition in non-human primates, and social cognition and theory of mind in domesticated dogs.