Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa

Tetsuro Matsuzawa , PhD

Distinguished Professor, Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study (KUIAS)

CV(en) Download Curriculum Vitae(Microsoft Word)

Messages from Editor-in-Cheif, Primates
Sep 2018

Professor Matsuzawa got interviewed for a YouTube Premium science documentary program called "Mind Field," which is hosted by educator Mr Michael Stevens. Read More

June 2018

Professor Matsuzawa's work was featured in the June issue (n°856) of the monthly French magazine "Sciences et Avenir."

February 2018

Professor Matsuzawa's long interview became available in the February issue titled "WIR AFFEN" of the German language magazine "TERRA MATER," which has been bimonthly published by the Red Bull Media. This journal is also available in e-paper format via the iTunes and the Google Play Store.

Research Summary
Matsuzawa has been studying chimpanzee both in the laboratory and in the wild. The laboratory work is known as “Ai-project" in the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University since 1977: a female chimpanzee named Ai learned to use Arabic numerals to represent the number (Matsuzawa, 1985, NATURE). The field work has been carried out in Bossou-Nimba, Guinea, since 1986, focusing on the tool use in the wild. Matsuzawa tries to synthesize the field and the lab work to understand the mind of chimpanzees to know the evolutionary origins of human mind. He published the books such as “Primate origins of human cognition and behavior", “Cognitive development in chimpanzees", “The chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba". He got several prizes including Jane Goodall Award in 2001, and The Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004, The Person of Cultural Merit in 2013.

Please see the web site:

Current Position
Distinguished Professor, Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study,
Professor, Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University,
Coordinator, Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science, Kyoto University,
General Director, Japan Monkey Centre,
President, Academic Alpine Club of Kyoto

Editor-in-chief, Primates
Editorial Board, International Journal of Primatology
Editorial Board, Animal Cognition
Associate Editor, Interaction Studies
Board of Trustees, Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies

Educational and Professional History
Major: Primatology, especially in establishing Comparative Cognitive Science

Apr. 2016-
Distinguished Professor, Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study,
with Joint Appointment as Professor, Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University
Dec. 1976- Mar. 2016
Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University
1976: Assistant Professor, 1987: Associate Professor, 1993: Full Professor, 2006-2012: Director
Obtained Ph. D Degree in Science, Kyoto University
Mar. 1976
Obtained Master Degree in psychology, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University
Mar. 1974
Graduated from Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University


Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Tatyana Humle, Yukimaru Sugiyama (Eds.)

The Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba.

Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Springer Japan

Browse Table of Contents

Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Stephen R. Ross, and Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Eds.)

The mind of the chimpanzee:
Ecological and experimental perspectives

Publication Date: August 2010
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press

Browse Table of Contents

Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Masaki Tomonaga, Masayuki Tanaka (Eds.)

Cognitive Development in Chimpanzees.

Publication Date: 2006
Publisher: Springer

Browse Table of Contents

Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Ed.)

Primate Origins of Human Cognition and Behavior

Publication Date: 2001
Publisher: Springer Japan

Browse Table of Contents

  Latest Papers Reviewed Academic Journal Papers

Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study
Yoshida-Ushinomiya-Cho, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8203, Japan
Fax: +81-75-753-9790

The Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science, Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University
2-24 Tanaka-Sekiden-cho, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8203, Japan

Section of Language and Intelligence, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
41-2, Kanrin, Inuyama, Aichi, 484-8506, Japan
Fax: +81-568-62-2428


Photos    #alltimefavorites

Taken on April 8, 2015

View of the large and complex climbing structures in the outdoor enclosure, just one area of the PRI chimps' living space.

It is here that the PRI chimpanzees spend much of their day, 3 generations in one group - divided into fission-fusion parties. Their living-space contains trees, ground covered in natural vegetation, a stream, and a 15m high three-dimensional climbing structure. Chimpanzees in the wild spend more than half of their day in the trees, as high as 30m above the ground. So, it is highly recommended to build three-dimensional climbing structures in captive chimpanzees' living environments with the aim of facilitating behaviors consistent with the life-style of wild chimpanzees.

Aerial View of PRI chimps' living space

There are three zones, each with different functions: the green cage (to the left of the photo), a silver cage (towards the rear of the photo), and an outdoor enclosure (to the right of the photo). Because all these zones are inter-connected, our PRI chimps are free to choose their "habitat" (cage/enclosure) and to be with several group members (or stay alone if they prefer), like chimpanzees in the wild. At over ten meters above the base of the green cage, we have set up four arrays of touch-screen stations so that our PRI chimps can drop by and do the cognitive tests and get tiny food rewards (e.g. an 8mm cube of apple, for each correct answer). Using the automated face recognition system, we can automatically run tasks of different levels/type for particular chimpanzees. We maintain and accumulate record-logs of all chimpanzees' tasks automatically; Thus, we can figure out the calories consumed according to the exact amount that each chimpanzee ate during their cognitive tasks.

Provided by Misato Hayashi on March 24, 2015

Taken on December 13, 2006

Can you keep up with Ayumu?

Chimpanzee Ayumu performing the cognitive task of memorizing numerals and their positions. After he touches the first number in the sequence, all the displayed numbers are replaced by squares. Watch this video that Ayumu touching the numerals in ascending order with astonishing speed.

Play the Video