To the beginning of XX century it was believed that thinking is unique to man. Some zoologists, including Charles Darwin, expressed the hypothesis that the brothers our smaller not as simple as it may seem, however, to unravel the mystery of their mental activity for the first time got the Nadezhda Nikolaevna Ladygina-Kots — cofounder of the State Darwin Museum and the first woman in animal psychology. How she did it — in a joint material and the Agency “Moscow”.

Nadezhda Ladygina was born 18 may 1899 in the town of Kuznetsk, Saratov province (now it belongs to the Penza region). In the same year the family moved to Penza. Mother came from a merchant family, his father taught music and singing at the art school. But Hope in the family Ladygina had four children — three girls and a boy.

In 1908, Hope with a gold medal graduated from the First gymnasium in Penza, and in the spring of that year he entered the natural Department of physical and mathematical faculty of the Moscow higher women’s courses. Nadezhda studied with major scholars of the time — professors Nikolai Koltsov, Peter Sushkin, Sergei Chetverikova.

Already in the first year student interested in questions of animal behavior. After reading a book by Professor Vladimir Bekhterev “mind and life” it finally determined the field of scientific research. The Ladygina wanted to understand at what level of development of the psyche in animals appears thinking and how it is similar to a human.

With her future husband Alexander Kots she met at the Moscow higher women’s courses, where a young Professor was led practical classes in Zoology and lectured on the theory of Charles Darwin. The stories he was accompanied by a demonstration of its extensive collections of exhibits, clearly explaining the theory of the origin of species. Shortly before this meeting, in 1907, Coates moved his collection of stuffed rare animals in the building courses in Merzlyakovsky lane. This year is considered the date of Foundation of the state Darwin Museum, although he occupied a few rooms and had no separate exhibition space.

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In 1911, Nadezhda Ladygina and Alexander Kots were married. the Museum has become a common cause of the spouses, in him they invested all their time, energy and funds. Even for the wedding Alexander presented the Hope of a stuffed white hawk, and in response received a stuffed lion. Donated them money, the couple purchased the stuffed black and white wolves. And gifts, and the first purchase of a family become part of the Museum’s collection.

In 1913, the couple went on a honeymoon trip to Europe. It was not just a romantic trip, and science: do they need to inspect the largest foreign Zoological museums. They visited 20 museums in Germany, France, Belgium, England, met with their Directors, laying the groundwork for the future friendship and scientific exchange, acquired many of the exhibits in the famous London studios.

In the same 1913, he began a scientific career hope of Ladygina-Kots. Alexander Fedorovich gave her eight month old chimp named Yoni. The couple put him in their apartment, in a separate room. Nadezhda Nikolaevna daily led him monitoring and recording every detail of his behavior.

To study the process of thinking of Ioni Nadezhda Nikolaevna has developed several methods, one of them was a “select sample”. The essence of the experiment lay in the fact that the animal offered to him from several subjects had to choose identical to what he showed. Andthey also showed a figure consisting of several elements, and the chimps had to build the same from the offered details. As it turned out, the monkey copes with the tasks.

Nadezhda Ladygina-Kots found that the higher primates are distinguished shapes, colors and their shades. Her research formed the basis of the thesis “a New method for studying cognitive abilities in chimpanzees,” for which Nadezhda Nikolaevna has been praised by scholars. In 1923 the results of experiments were collected and published in the first book “a Study of cognitive abilities of chimpanzees”, and was later published in the great two-volume monograph, which brought the Hope of the Ladygina-Kots universal recognition.

Yoni lived in Kotsov two and a half years. In 1916 he fell ill and died of pneumonia. It was a great loss because during this time he became a real member of the family.

Nadezhda Nikolaevna carried out only by humane experiments with animals. First, she sought their favor and trust, and then, adequately assessing their natural setting, crossed by the experiments, never used physical force and was not punished.

Zoopsychology — science laboratory. Just putting animals in situations that they never meet in nature, it is possible to study their mental processes. Therefore, especially for the research activities of the Ladygina-Kots in the Darwin Museum was created zoopsychological laboratory.

One of the experiments byl need to find out whether the birds distinguish color, simultaneously conducted observations of their emotional States. The experiments were conducted over twelve parrots ten different types with the colorful plumage. It turned out that experimental there are seven main colors of the spectrum, learn intermediate color tones that are close to the nuances of the same colour, distinguish double and triple combinations of colors and color patterns.

Nadezhda Ladygina-Kots also actively supported the establishment of the zoopsychological laboratory for research under the animal Theatre named after Vladimir Leonidovich Durov, who was not only an artist but also a scientist. In this laboratory carried out its research Maria Gerd, one of the students of Hope Nikolaevna, author of numerous works on the training of animals, which famously was preparing for a space flight of dogs Belka and Strelka.

At the beginning of 1920-ies Alexander F. Coates was Director of the Moscow zoo, and Nadezhda had the opportunity to conduct scientific work. She studied the instincts of carnivorous mammals, corvids and domestic birds. The results were summarized in the monograph “Instinct”, which remained unreleased.

And yet this work was perpetuated in the printed word is true, and poetic. One day, walking through the zoo, Nadezhda Nikolayevna at work saw Vladimir Mayakovsky. Enthusiastically watching the inhabitants of the Park, she didn’t notice the poet. He remained impressed with the meeting and devoted the Ladygina-Kots the following lines:




track the Zoological alleys

and she —

she loved animals —

will also step into the garden,



as the card table.

However, Nadezhda Nikolaevna reacted to the attention of the poet indifferently.

In 1925, Katsav was born the only son Rudolf, who also became the object of research of Nadezhda Nikolaevna — two hours after his birth she began to dictate to the nurse description of the behavior of the newborn. Next seven years, the mother led the daily monitoring of mental development of his son and made notes. Rudolf she offered the same job that was once performed a chimpanzee Ions.

Studies have shown that the baby chimpanzee and the baby some time to develop the same, but around the age of three, the first one stops, and the second continues to accumulate new skills and knowledge. In contrast to primates, in humans in two to three years of age manifest the capacity for symbolic thinking, abstraction, which is closely linked with the development of speech.

Despite the fact that the behavior of humans and chimpanzees were able to identify a lot of similarities, and in the quality of emotions and the nature of the games Nadezhda Nikolaevna showed significant differences for the first time proved that the basic mental processes in humans and chimpanzees are qualitatively different.

the Results of a comparative study have been summarized in a two-volume monograph “the Baby chimpanzee and the baby human in their instincts, emotions, games, habits and expressive movements” (1935). The publication includes many photographs taken by Alexander Kots. The book was translated into several languages and received wide acclaim, Nadezhda became the animal psychology from around the world.

Nadezhda Nikolaevna were experimenting on different animals, but preference was given to the primates. At the turn of 1940-1950-ies, it has undertaken a series of experiments with adult chimpanzees of Paris.

each time the Animal was offered a new subject for obtaining an edible bait, which in his eyes was placed in the middle of the small tube. Was that chimpanzees solve these tasks and uses appropriate tools — spoon or perhaps the flat plate. With the abundance of choice of Paris gave preference to the longest of the proposed items or the most massive — for example, heavy sticks. Paris showed ability to constructive activities — he was unbent and bent billet, bit off unnecessary branches, untied the knots, and spinning coils of wire, took out the unnecessary details. But to create instruments of smaller items chimpanzees could not. The animal psychology is associated with the specifics and limitations of thinking primates.

the Experiences of the Ladygina-Kots with Paris has proved that animals are capable of insight (from the English word insight — “insight, insight, understanding”). In psychology, the so-called instant and clear understanding of inspiration, which come after much trial and error. Insights Nadezhda Nikolaevna became the Foundation for further study of this basic mental functions.

the Work of Hope Nikolaevna still cited by many modern scholars, and excerpts from her books can be found in Russian and foreign textbooks in Zoology and evolutionary theory. The works of the Ladygina-Kots was ahead of its time: its discovery formed the basis of disciplines, which appeared as an independent science much later cognitive science, comparative p��Ecologia, ethology of man. For example, her method of “selection in pattern” is now widely used in working with children with autism spectrum disorders, and her research in the field of insight in Gestalt psychology.