Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Adam Miklosi

  • Ádám MiklósiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_149-1

Early Life and Educational Background

Dr. Miklósi was born September 25, 1962, in Budapest, Hungary. Adam grew up in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, and was determined to become a biologist already by the end of the elementary school. He started undergraduate studies in 1981 following 4 years in a secondary school and 1 year spent at the Hungarian Defense Force in obligatory service. He graduated in 1986 from the Eötvös Loránd University as a biologist

Professional Career

Adam Miklósi received a fellowship from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences for 3 years during which he started his research carrier at the Laboratory of Behaviour Genetics at Eötvös Loránd University. Subsequently, he became an associate professor at the newly formed Department of Ethology at the same university. He received his PhD in 1995 for studying the learning mechanisms of predator avoidance in the paradise fish. Starting in 1997, he spent 2.5 years in England at Sussex University supported by a Royal Society Research Grant and a fellowship from the Welcome Trust (Barth et al. 2005). After returning to Hungary he became reader, and in 2006, he was appointed as a head of department. He defended his thesis and received the degree of “Doctor of Sciences” in 2006 by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 2011 he was promoted to full professor and was elected a corresponding member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

In 2003, he received a Frank A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award (best paper of the year) and, in 2010, the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organisations (IAHAIO). For his outstanding contribution to teaching, the Eötvös Loránd University awarded him the Medal for the Scientific Education of Biology Students, and the Juhász-Nagy Pál Prize for assisting in biology student competitions. In 2015, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences honored him with the Prize of the Hungarian Academy for research achievements. He is a member of the Hungarian Biological Society (from 1988) and the Hungarian Ethological Society (from 1991). He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Dogs for Humans charity. This organization facilitates the education of dog handlers and also trains dogs for the disabled.

He participated in several large-scale international research consortiums supported by the European Union. One of these studied the evolution of referential communication, the other investigated possibilities of human-robot interaction from an ethological point of view. From 2008 to 2012, he was chair of an ESF (European Science Foundation) Research Networking Program titled “The Evolution of Social Cognition: Comparisons and integration across a wide range of human and non-human animal species.” This program coordinated the work of 28 different research organizations working in the field of comparative cognition.

As of 2017 he is the author of 166 papers published in scientific peer-reviewed journals, his Hirsch index is 38.

Research Interests

Miklósi is the co-founder and leader of the Family Dog Project (http://familydogproject.elte.hu), which aims to study human-dog interaction from an ethological perspective. The process of domestication put dogs into a unique relationship with humans because they gained skills that allow specific behavioral adjustments in the human social environment (Gácsi et al. 2009; Lakatos et al. 2009; Miklósi and Topál 2013; Topál et al. 2009a, b). Miklósi and his collaborators showed that dogs develop specific attachment relationships with their owners, dogs are able to communicate with humans using a range of fine-tuned visual and acoustic signals (Lakatos et al. 2009; Téglás et al. 2012), and dogs are also able to learn via observation and utilize such knowledge for their own benefit. In recent years, he became interested also in the automatization of measuring dog behavior and looking at ways to study the neural and genetic aspects of dog behavior using non-invasive methods (Andics et al. 2014, 2016; Héjjas et al. 2009; Kis et al. 2014).

Miklósi and his team worked out the concept of ethorobotics – an area at the cross road of robotic engineering and ethology – the main goal of which is to build functionally relevant robots that fit in the anthropogenic environment and are able to interact socially with humans similarly as other animal species. He is also studying animal-robot interaction in order to find out what kind of challenges should a robot overcome to become a social partner of animals, and also to use the robot as a stimulus to study the mental representation of the “other” in animals, especially dogs.

Over more than 20 years The Family Dog Project published more than 150 scientific papers, and organized several conferences. In 2008 researchers and experts gathered for the first time in Budapest and started the conferences series of Canine Science Forum (http://csf2008.elte.hu) to share their results and insights on dogs and their relationship with humans.

In 2014 he published the second edition of an academic volume entitled Dog Behavior, Evolution and Cognition by Oxford University Press that summarizes the most recent status on dog-oriented research (Miklósi 2007).


  1. Andics, A., Gábor, A., Gácsi, M., Faragó, T., Szabó, D., & Miklósi, Á. (2016). Neural mechanisms for lexical processing in dogs. Science, 353, 1030–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andics, A., Gácsi, M., Faragó, T., Kis, A., & Miklósi, Á. (2014). Voice-sensitive regions in the dog and human brain are revealed by comparative fMRI. Current Biology, 24, 574–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barth, K. A., Miklósi, Á., Watkins, J., Bianco, I. H., & Andrew, R. J. (2005). fsi Zebrafish show concordant reversal of laterality of viscera, neuroanatomy and a subset of behavioural responses. Current Biology, 15, 844–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gácsi, M., Győri, B., Virányi, Z., Kubinyi, E., Range, F., Belényi, B., & Miklósi, Á. (2009). Explaining dog wolf differences in utilizing human pointing gestures: Selection for synergistic shifts in the development of some social skills. PLoS ONE, 4(8), e6584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Héjjas, K., Kubinyi, E., Rónai, Z., Székely, A., Vas, J., Miklósi, Á., Sasvári-Székely, M., & Kereszturi, E. (2009). Molecular and behavioral analysis of the intron 2 repeat polymorphism in canine dopamine D4 receptor gene. Genes, Brain, Behaviour, 8, 330–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kis, A., Bence, M., Lakatos, G., Pergel, E., Turcsán, B., Pluijmakers, J., Vas, J., Elek, Z., Brúder, I., Földi, L., Sasvári-Székely, M., Miklósi, Á., Rónai, Z., & Kubinyi, E. (2014). Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with human directed social behavior in dogs (Canis familiaris). PLoS ONE 9(1): e83993.Google Scholar
  7. Lakatos, G., Soproni, K., Dóka, A., & Miklósi, Á. (2009). A comparative approach to dogs’ (Canis familiaris) and human infants’ comprehension of various forms of pointing gestures. Animal Cognition, 12, 621–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Miklósi, Á. (2007). Dog Behaviour, Evolution and Cognition (extended 2nd edition 2014). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Miklósi, Á., & Topál, J. (2013). What does it take to become ‘best friends’? Evolutionary changes in canine social competence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17, 287–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Téglás, E., Gergely, A., Kupán, K., Miklósi, Á., & Topál, J. (2012). Dogs’ gaze following is tuned to human communicative signals. Current Biology, 22, 209–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Topál, J., Miklósi, Á., Gácsi, M., Dóka, A., Pongrácz, P., Kubinyi, E., Zs, V., & Csányi, V. (2009a). The dog as a model for understanding human social behavior. Advances in the Study of Animal Behaviour, 39, 71–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Topál, J., Gergely, G. Y., Erdőhegyi, Á., Csibra, G., & Miklósi, Á. (2009b). Differential sensitivity to human communication in dogs, wolves, and human infants. Science, 325, 1269–1272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alexis Garland
    • 1
  1. 1.Ruhr UniversityBochumGermany