I am currently working on the project "Art Loving Animals":
Are we, humans, the only animals that make and appreciate art as is often assumed, or do we share our love for art with other creatures? A systematic evaluation suggests that existing requirements for art cannot exclude all aspiring animal artists. Moreover the most compelling ecological explanation for the evolution of art across species has unexpected implications for human art.
I am a postdoctoral researcher at BEE, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Leuven and at Research Group Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp.
My work currently focuses on shared fundamental characteristics of cultural evolution and sexual selection processes as captured by signaling theory. Within this framework, I develop the case of art appreciation using methods from experimental social psychology in combination with (artistic) fieldwork.
My interests and expertise are
Evolution of the arts
These interests involve fields such as behavioral ecology, signaling theory, evolutionary biology, cognitive anthropology, psychology, consumer behavior, philosophy of biology, philosophy of art and aesthetics.
I did a double PhD in Philosophy (KU Leuven) and Biology (UAntwerpen) with Siegfried Dewitte, Andreas De Block and Marcel Eens. You can find a pdf of my thesis here.
BEE - Behavioral Engineering group
University of Leuven
Naamsestraat 69 - box 3545
3000 Leuven, Belgium
tel. +32 16 3 26940 or +32 16 3 26700
fax +32 16 3 26732
Research Group Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology
University of Antwerp
2610 Antwerp, Belgium
jan.verpooten (at) kuleuven.be
jan.verpooten (at) ua.ac.be