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Podcast | What can vocal marmosets tell us about human development?

Episode 8 of Princeton Insights: The Highlights w/ Thiago Tarraf Varella

Episode 8 image (1).jpg


In this special episode of Princeton Insights: The Highlights, we interview show host Thiago Tarraf Varella, a third year graduate student in the Psychology department. We discuss his research, which was done with his advisor, Dr. Asif Ghazanfar, a professor and researcher in the Princeton Psychology Department focused on developmental and evolutionary bases for communication in humans. Thaigo’s research investigates altriciality, cooperative breeding, and reinforcement learning in marmoset monkeys and their ties to evolution.

This episode of The Highlights was produced under the 146th Managing Board of The Daily Princetonian. Thiago Tarraf Varella is a graduate student in Princeton’s Psychology department in Professor Ghazanfar’s lab. He can be reached at

To view the transcript for this episode, click “More Info” and then “Full Transcript” in the episode player. 


Princeton Insights Coverage:

Original paper: Varella, T. T., & Ghazanfar, A. A. (2021). Cooperative care and the evolution of the prelinguistic vocal learning. Developmental Psychobiology.


Marmoset audio: D. Y. Takahashi et al., Science 349, 734 (2015)


Written and hosted by Senna Aldoubosh and Sophia Villacorta

Edited by Sophia Villacorta and Senna Aldoubosh

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Produced by Senna Aldoubosh

Original Insights coverage by Sarah McFann

“Family of Common Marmosets” by Francesco Veronesi / CC BY-SA 2.0

Image of Thiago Varella Courtesy of Thiago Varella, taken by Rohini Majumdar

For more coverage from the Daily Princetonian, visit Subscribe to Insights on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you got your podcasts!