Profile:Tetsuro Matsuzawa

Tetsuro Matsuzawa

Tetsuro Matsuzawa

Distinguished Professor

Research Fields

Primatology, Comparative Cognitive Science

Research Overview

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".


1974 B.A., Kyoto University
1976 Psy.M., Kyoto University
1989 Ph. D degree in Science, Kyoto University
1976-1987 Assistant of Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
1987-1993 Associate Professor of Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
1993-2016 Professor of Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
2006-2012 Director of Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
2016-2019 Deputy Director-General and Distinguished Professor of KUIAS
2019- Distinguished Professor of KUIAS

Selected Papers

  1. T. Matsuzawa, Use of numbers by a chimpanzee. Nature 315, 57–59 (1985)
  2. N. Kawai, T. Matsuzawa, Numerical memory span in a chimpanzee. Nature 403, 39–40 (2000).
  3. T. Matsuzawa, Primate Origins of Human Cognition and Behavior. Springer-Verlag (2001).
  4. T. Matsuzawa, M. Tomonaga, M. Tanaka, Cognitive Development in Chimpanzees. Springer (2006).
  5. T. Matsuzawa, T. Humle, Y. Sugiyama, The Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba. Springer (2011).


Jane Goodall Award (2001), Medal with Purple Ribbon (2004), Person of Cultural Merit (2013), Awards for Distinguished Research/Services from the Japanese Psychological Association (2014), Fellow of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society (2019)