Victoria Ratcliffe

Doctoral candidate in Pscyhology, University of Sussex

I am interested in mammalian communication and cognition, particularly communication between species. This type of communication allows us to explore the extent to which social and cognitive abilities are shared by different species and to determine how these abilities are involved in the perception of vocal signals.

I am currently working towards my PhD, under the guidance of my supervisor, Dr. David Reby, by investigating 'how dogs hear us'. Domestic dogs are particularly well suited to explore inter-specific communication, as they often gain extensive natural experience in communicating with humans. Because understanding human voices, and speech in particular, is relevant for them, they are likely to express strategies and abilities for processing this information which we can directly compare with human listeners.

By investigating how dogs perceive human voices, we can not only improve our communication with them, but also increase our understanding of how unique our own perceptual and cognitive abilities are, and how much they are actually shared with other species.

Experience

  • –present
    Doctoral candidate in Pscyhology, University of Sussex