Christopher Krupenye

Christopher Krupenye (He/him/his)

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Research Interests: comparative cognition–especially theory of mind, social and physical knowledge, and mental time travel–in humans, nonhuman apes, and dogs

Education: Ph.D., Duke University

Christopher Krupenye is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He directs the Social & Cognitive Origins group. He is also a faculty affiliate of the SNF Agora Institute at JHU.

Krupenye holds a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and a PhD from Duke University, and received predoctoral training at Kyoto University (Japan) and postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany), the University of St Andrews (UK), and Durham University (UK).

What makes the human mind unique? What makes the minds of other animals unique? How does each species understand its social and physical world? Krupenye’s research employs noninvasive experimental approaches, from eye-tracking to behavioral tasks, to understand the cognitive abilities of humans and other animals. He is especially interested in theory of mind, social and physical knowledge, mental time travel, the representations and processes involved in social decision-making, and the origins of politics and morality.

By comparing humans with our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, his work seeks to identify the foundational shared traits that were present millions of years ago in our common evolutionary ancestors, and that can operate in the absence of human language and socialization. Research with other species, especially domestic dogs, examines how various evolutionary histories and patterns of socialization shape animal minds.

For a complete list of publications, see:

Representative Publications:

Kano, F., Krupenye, C., Hirata, S., Tomonaga, M., & Call, J. (2019). Great apes use self- experience to anticipate an agent’s action in a false belief test. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(42), 20904-20909. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1910095116.

Krupenye, C. & Call, J. (2019). Theory of mind in animals: Current and future directionsWIREs Cognitive Science, e1503.

Krupenye, C., Tan, J., & Hare, B. (2018). Bonobos voluntarily hand food to others but not toys or toolsProceedings of the Royal Society B. 285(1886): 20181563. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1563. 

Krupenye, C., and Hare, B. (2018). Bonobos prefer individuals that hinder others over those that help. Current Biology28(2): 280-286. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.11.061.

Krupenye, C., Kano, F., Hirata, S., Call, J., and Tomasello, M. (2016). Great apes anticipate that other individuals will act according to false beliefs. Science, 354(6308): 110-114. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf8110.

​​​Krupenye, C., Rosati, A.G., and Hare, B. (2015). Bonobos and chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects. Biology Letters, 11(2). doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0527.