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Yuri Kawaguchi


Yuri Kawaguchi is a Newton International Fellow (British Academy), working with Prof. Bridget Waller. Her current project is ‘Evolutionary Function of Infantile Features in Faces: How does " babyness" differ within and between species'.

Career overview

I got PhD from Kyoto University (Japan). My project was about recognition of infant faces in great apes. From 2021 to 2023, I worked with Overseas Research Fellowships by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Austria), and studied dogs’ recognition.

Research areas

I am interested in the evolutionary function of infant faces. Infant face (or known as baby schema) plays an important role in mother-infant relationship or other social interactions in humans. However, whether this has an evolutionary origin has not been tested before. I am studying the function of infantile facial features across primates to understand the selection pressures that lead to its evolution.

Sponsors and collaborators

British academy


Kawaguchi, Y., Nakamura, K. , Tajima, T., Waller, M. B. (2023) Revisiting the baby schema by a geometric morphometric analysis of infant facial characteristics across great apes. Scientific Reports, 13, 5129 (2023).

Tomonaga, M., Kurosawa, Y., Kawaguchi, Y.、Takiyama, H. (2023) Don't look back on failure: spontaneous uncertainty monitoring in chimpanzees. Learning & Behaviour

Brooks, J., Kano, F., Kawaguchi, Y. & Yamamoto, S. (2022) Oxytocin promotes species-relevant outgroup attention in bonobos and chimpanzees. Hormones and Behavior, 143.

Kano, F., Kawaguchi, Y., & Hanling, Y. (2022). Experimental evidence that uniformly white sclera enhances the visibility of eye-gaze direction in humans and chimpanzees. ELife, 11, e74086.

Kawaguchi, Y., Nakamura, K., Tomonaga, M. & Adachi, I. (2021). Impairment Effect of Infantile Colouration on Face Discrimination in Chimpanzees. Royal Society Open Science. 8, 211421.

Kawaguchi, Y., Tomonaga, M. & Adachi, I. (2021). No evidence of spatial representation of age, but “own-age bias” like face processing found in chimpanzees. Animal Cognition, 25, 415–424.

Kawaguchi, Y., Nakamura, K. & Tomonaga, M. (2020). Colour matters more than shape for chimpanzees’ recognition of developmental face changes. Scientific Reports, 10, 18201.

Kawaguchi, Y., Kano, F., & Tomonaga, M. (2019). Chimpanzees, but not bonobos, attend more to infant than adult conspecifics. Animal Behaviour, 154, 171–181.

Kawaguchi, Y., Kuroshima, H., & Fujita, K. (2019). Age categorization of conspecific and heterospecific faces in capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 133(4), 502–511.