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James Ha, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor of Psychology
Research Affiliate, Center on Human Development and Disability
jcha@uw.edu
206-543-2420
University of Washington
Box 351525
Seattle, WA 98195-1525

Dr. Ha

Dr. Ha’s research focuses on the interface between social behavior and cognition, especially in highly cognitive species such as nonhuman primates, some birds (crows and ravens), and killer whales. Specifically, his interests are in the social interactions that occur when animals have the cognitive complexity for such behaviors as kin, neighbor, and even individual recognition or cooperative behavior.  His primary research interests include primate cognitive development, behavior, genetics, and reproduction.

Ha’s nonhuman primate research program includes extensive involvement in projects ranging from basic descriptive work on the growth and psychological (cognitive and behavioral) development of infant pigtail macaques, longtail macaques, and savannah baboons to developing new statistical methods for analysis of developmental data. He is also involved in primate colony management through research on the influence of social factors on reproductive outcome. Most recently, he has developed a new project that involves the application of statistical techniques to estimate the heritability of a number of physiological and behavioral traits (e.g., reproductive outcome and response to psychosocial stress). Pedigree, or quantitative genetic analysis, is a powerful tool for establishing the degree of genetic contribution for a trait or group of traits and, in conjunction with recently developed species-specific gene linkage maps, allows researchers to identify specific genes responsible for the genetic contribution to a trait. Ha has published the first clear evidence of the role of mitochondrial DNA in the control of birth weight in nonhuman primates and is currently establishing a high-throughput computing capability that will allow the quanitification of genetic contribution to a wide-range of cognitive and behavioral traits.


James Ha's web page


University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •chdd@uw.edu