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Carl J. Erickson, Professor Emeritus of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Carl J. Erickson
Contact Info:
Office Location:  242 Soc Psych, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-5673
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:  


Ph.D.Rutgers University1965
Postdoctoral Fellow (1965-1966)University of Groningen, The Netherlands1966
No degreeHarvard University1961
B.A.Clark University1959
Fitchburg, Massachusetts Public Schools
Research Interests: Animal Behavior

The aye-aye is one of the world's most endangered animals Its unusual foraging behavior presents a provocative challenge to those interested in the evolution, development and sensory-motor coordination of complex behavior as well as to those concerned wi th the captive breeding of endangered species. The aye-aye hunts for woodboring insect larvae by tapping its middle finger on the surface of dead trees. When a cavity is detected, it uses its razor-sharp incisors to gnaw away the wood. Our studies have focused on the aye-aye's capacity to form representations of the subsurface cavities and to exploit them most efficiently. Because of our successful breeding program, Duke has the largest colony of captive-bred aye-ayes in the world. This program has allowed us a unique opportunity to study the early development of the aye-aye's complex behavior patterns. Ultimately, this research is critical to the reintroduction of this species to protected areas of Madagascar.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Erickson, C; Wright, MK; C, P; Simons, ; E, (2003). "Mother-Infant Interation in the Aye-Aye". Daubentonia Madagascariensis.
  2. Erickson, C; Dirga, E; Grassi, C (2003). "Strategic Tap-Scanning Behavior in the Aye-Aye". Daubentonia Madagascariensis.
  3. Erickson, CJ (1998). Cues for prey location by aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis). Folia Primatologica, 69(SUPPL. 1), 35-40. [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  4. Erickson, CJ; Nowicki, S; Dollar, L; Goehring, N (1998). Percussive foraging: Stimuli for prey location by aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis). International Journal of Primatology, 19(1), 111-122. [doi]  [abs]
  5. Erickson, C; Nowicki, S; Dollar, L; Goehring, N (1998). Percussive Foraging: Stimuli for Prey Location by Aye-Ayes. (Daubentonia Madagascariensis) International Journal of Primatology, 19, 111-122.

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