My research explores the evolutionary origins of human cognition by comparing how humans and other primates solve problems. I integrate experimental methods from psychology aimed at teasing apart the mechanisms supporting behavior, with theoretical ideas from biology concerning the evolutionary function of different capacities.

I use this approach to understand what cognitive capacities are unique to humans, as well as what evolutionary factors supported the emergence of those skills. Linking cognitive mechanism with biological function can illuminate the roots of human's unique cognitive phenotype.

My current research interests include:
  • Decision-making and executive functioning
  • Spatial memory and other skills used in foraging¬†
  • Species- and individual-variation in cognitive capacities
  • Comparative cognitive development and aging in nonhumans

In July 2015 I will be joining the department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University as an assistant professor. Interested students can contact me at alexandra [dot] rosati [at] yale [dot] edu.