Research Questions

How similar is the kea warble call to human laughter?

We look at six signatures, or markers, of human laughter in the kea:

Photo of kea parrot. © Amalia Bastos Photography, www.amaliabastos.com. All right reserved.

1. Do kea feel happy when they laugh?

2. Does kea laughter improve social bonds between individuals?

3. Does kea laughter reduce conflict between individuals?

4. Is kea laughter modulated by environmental conditions?

5. Does laughter reduce stress in kea?

6. Are there health benefits to increased laughter in kea?

To find out, we present kea with playback-based tests and measure how laughter affects them in terms of their social dynamics, performance on cognitive tasks, and health.