Manuel Bohn

Group Leader / Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Email: manuel_bohn[at]eva[dot]mpg[dot]de


I'm a developmental psychologist interested in the psychological foundations of human communication. My current research focuses on how children’s everyday experience relates to their communicative and cognitive development. For a broader perspective, I study the communicative and cognitive abilities of great apes. My goal is to understand the shared and unique aspects of human cognition that allow children to learn language.



ManyPrimates, et al. (2021). The evolution of primate short-term memory. PsyArXiv

Bohn, M.,, Liebal, K. & Tessler, M. H. (2021). Great ape communication as contextual social inference: a computational modeling perspective. PsyArXiv.

Schuwerk, T., Kampis, D., Baillargeon, R., Biro, S., Bohn, M., , Byers-Heinlein, K., … Rakoczy, H. (2021). Action anticipation based on an agent's epistemic state in toddlers and adults. PsyArXiv.

Bohn, M., Tessler, M. H., Merrick, M., & Frank, M. C. (2019). Predicting pragmatic cue integration in adults' and children's inferences about novel word meanings. PsyArXiv.

Jasbi, M., Bohn, M., Long, B., Fourtassi, A., Barner, D., & Frank, M. C. (2019). Comment on Cesana-Arlotti et al. (2018). PsyArXiv

in press

ManyPrimates, et al. (in press). Collaboration and Open Science Initiatives in Primate Research. In M. J. Beran & B. Schwartz (Eds.), Primate Cognitive Studies : Cambridge University Press.


Eckert, J., Bohn, M., & Spaethe, J. (2021). Does quantity matter to a stingless bee?. Animal Cognition.

Bohn, M., Eckert, J., Hanus, D., & Haun, D. (2021). A Longitudinal Study of Great Ape Cognition: Stability, Reliability and the Influence of Individual Characteristics. Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Bohn, M., Tessler, M. H., Merrick, M., & Frank, M. C. (2021). How young children integrate information sources to infer the meaning of words. Nature Human Behaviour, 5, 1046–1054.

Bohn, M., Le, K., Peloquin, B., Koymen, B., & Frank, M. C. (2021). Children's interpretation of ambiguous pronouns based on prior discourse. Developmental Science, 24, e13049.

Brooks, J., Onishi, E., Clark, I., Bohn, M., & Yamamoto, S. (2021). Uniting against a common enemy: Perceived outgroup threat elicits ingroup cohesion in chimpanzees. PLoS ONE, 16(2), e0246869.

Kachel, G., Hardecker, D., & Bohn, M. (2021). Young children's developing ability to integrate gestural and emotional cues. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 210, 104984.

Hardwicke, T. E., Bohn, M., MacDonald, K. E., Hembacher, E., Nuijten, M. B., Peloquin, B., … Frank, M. C. (2021). Analytic reproducibility in articles receiving open data badges at Psychological Science: An observational study. Royal Society Open Science, 8, 201494.


Bohn, M., Kordt, C., Braun, M., Call, J. & Tomasello, M. (2020). Learning novel skills from iconic gestures: A developmental and evolutionary perspective. Psychological Science, 31(7), 873–880.

Bohn, M., Call, J. & Völter, C. (2020). Evolutionary precursors of negation in non-human reasoning. In V. Deprez & M.T. Espinal (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Negation (pp. 577-588): Oxford University Press.

Tauzin, T., Bohn, M., Gergely, G., & Call, J. (2020). Context-sensitive adjustment of pointing in great apes. Scientific Reports, 10, 1048.


Bohn, M., & Frank, M. C. (2019). The pervasive role of pragmatics in early language. Annual Review of Developmental Psychology, 1, 223-249.

*Bohn, M., *Kachel, G., & Tomasello, M. (2019). Young children spontaneously recreate core properties of language in a new modality. PNAS, 116(51), 26072-26077.

ManyPrimates, et al. (2019). Collaborative open science as a way to reproducibility and new insights in primate cognition research. Japanese Psychological Review, 62(3), 205-220.

ManyPrimates, et al. (2019). Establishing an infrastructure for collaboration in primate cognition research. PLoS ONE, 14(10): e0223675.

Margiotoudi, K., Allritz, M., Bohn, M., & Pulvermüller, F. (2019). Sound symbolic congruency detection in humans but not in great apes. Scientific Reports, 9, 12705.

Bohn, M., Tessler, M. H., & Frank, M. C. (2019). Integrating common ground and informativeness in pragmatic word learning. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Bohn, M., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2019). Natural Reference: A phylo- and ontogenetic perspective on the comprehension of iconic gestures and vocalizations. Developmental Science, 22, e12757.


Bohn, M., Zimmermann, L., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2018). The social-cognitive basis of infants' reference to absent entities. Cognition, 177, 41-48.

Bohn, M., & Köymen, B. (2018). Common Ground and Development. Child Development Perspectives, 12(2), 104-108.


Bohn, M., Allritz, M., Call, J., & Völter, C. J. (2017). Information seeking about tool properties in great apes. Scientific Reports, 7, 10923.

Schmelz, M., Duguid, S., Bohn, M., & Völter, C. (2017). Cooperative problem solving in giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) and Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea). Animal Cognition, 20: 1107.


Bohn, M., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2016). The role of past interactions in great apes' communication about absent entities. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 130(4), 351-357.

Bohn, M., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Comprehension of iconic gestures by chimpanzees and human children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142, 1-17.


Bohn, M., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2015). Communication about absent entities in great apes and human infants. Cognition, 145, 63-72.


Stieger, S., Burger, C., Bohn, M., & Voracek, M. (2013). Who commits virtual identity suicide? Differences in privacy concerns, Internet addiction, and personality between Facebook users and quitters. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(9), 629-34

Talks on the web

BCCCD 2020: The development of pragmatic reasoning from multiple information sources

Wilhelm Wundt Dialogue: Introduction to "The puzzle of language acquisition" (Michael C. Frank & Caroline Rowland)