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Dr Damian Scarf

Damian ScarfEmail damian@psy.otago.ac.nz
Phone 64 3 479 7636

It was a third year psychology paper (PSYC 319) and its teacher (Professor Michael Colombo) that first got Damian interested in psychology. After completing his BSc in Zoology, Damian went onto complete his PhD in Professor Colombo’s lab. His PhD research focused on how pigeons execute and plan sequences. Damian continues to collaborate with Professor Colombo and Damian’s comparative research now employs electrophysiological techniques in order to uncover how sequences are represented at the neural level.

Dr Damian Scarf received his PhD from the University of Otago in 2011. Damian’s PhD focused on the representation and planning of sequences in pigeons. During the course of his PhD Damian received a Fulbright scholarship and worked as a visiting researcher in Professor Herb Terrace’s Primate Cognition Lab at Columbia University. While at Columbia University, Damian investigated the planning abilities of rhesus monkeys and transitive preference in children. Damian received several other scholarships during his PhD as well as a number of travel grants. At the time his PhD was conferred, Damian had 9 first author publications. Damian’s PhD was also placed on the University of Otago Division of Sciences List of Exception PhD Theses.

After completing his PhD Damian went on to be Postdoctoral Fellow, and subsequently a Research Fellow, in Professor Harlene Hayne’s child development lab. In Professor Hayne’s lab Damian focused on memory development in young children and investigated whether children are born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

In 2013 Damian became a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. The current focus of Damian’s developmental work is mental time travel and the delay of gratification in young children. Damian’s animal work currently focuses on the neurobiology of sequence learning in pigeons and cognitive abilities of parrots, including kea and kaka.

Teaching

  • PSYC 472 Special Topic: Current Controversies in Psychology

Research Interests

  • Comparative animal cognition; eg, testing the abilityo pigeons to learn novel sequence and solve problems
  • Developmental psychology; eg, testing the ability of 3- and 4-year-old children for the future and delay gratification

Find out more about Dr Scarf's research interests

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Publications

Scarf, D., Stuart, M., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2016). Visual response properties of neurons in four areas of the avian pallium. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 202(3), 235-245. doi: 10.1007/s00359-016-1071-6

Scarf, D., Moradi, S., McGaw, K., Hewitt, J., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2016). Somewhere I belong: Long-term increases in adolescents’ resilience are predicted by perceived belonging to the in-group. British Journal of Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12151

Scarf, D., Boy, K., Uber Reinert, A., Devine, J., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2016). Orthographic processing in pigeons (Columba livia). PNAS. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1607870113

Hayne, H., Scarf, D., & Imuta, K. (2015). Childhood memories. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 3). (2nd ed.) (pp. 465-470). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.51025-3

Hayne, H., Imuta, K., & Scarf, D. (2015). Memory development during infancy and early childhood across cultures. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 15). (2nd ed.) (pp. 147-154). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.23062-6

Chapter in Book - Research

Hayne, H., Scarf, D., & Imuta, K. (2015). Childhood memories. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 3). (2nd ed.) (pp. 465-470). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.51025-3

Hayne, H., Imuta, K., & Scarf, D. (2015). Memory development during infancy and early childhood across cultures. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 15). (2nd ed.) (pp. 147-154). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.23062-6

Scarf, D., Terrace, H. S., & Colombo, M. (2011). Planning abilities of monkeys. In R. M. Williams (Ed.), Monkeys: Biology, behavior and disorders. (pp. 137-150). New York: Nova.

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Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Stuart, M., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2016). Visual response properties of neurons in four areas of the avian pallium. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 202(3), 235-245. doi: 10.1007/s00359-016-1071-6

Scarf, D., Boy, K., Uber Reinert, A., Devine, J., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2016). Orthographic processing in pigeons (Columba livia). PNAS. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1607870113

Scarf, D., Moradi, S., McGaw, K., Hewitt, J., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2016). Somewhere I belong: Long-term increases in adolescents’ resilience are predicted by perceived belonging to the in-group. British Journal of Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12151

Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., & Conner, T. S. (2015). Is Orientation Week a gateway to persistent alcohol use in university students? A preliminary investigation. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 76(2), 204-211.

Staniland, J., Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2015). The Generation Effect or simply generating an effect? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 129(4), 329-333. doi: 10.1037/a0039450

Payne, G., Taylor, R., Hayne, H., & Scarf, D. (2015). Mental time travel for self and other in three- and four-year-old children. Memory, 23(5), 675-682. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2014.921310

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Hunter, J. A., Scarf, D. K., & Conner, T. S. (2015). Fear of missing out (FoMO): The relationship between FoMO, alcohol use, and alcohol-related consequences in college students. Annals of Neuroscience & Psychology, 2, 7. Retrieved from http://www.vipoa.org/neuropsychol/2/7

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., & Scarf, D. (2015). A brief Orientation Week ecological momentary intervention to reduce university student alcohol consumption. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 76(4), 525-529. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2015.76.525

Scarf, D., Terrace, H., Colombo, M., & Magnuson, J. S. (2014). Eye movements reveal planning in humans: A comparison with Scarf and Colombo's (2009) monkeys. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 40(2), 178-184. doi: 10.1037/xan0000008

Scarf, D., Millar, J., Pow, N., & Colombo, M. (2014). Inhibition, the final frontier: The impact of hippocampal lesions on behavioral inhibition and spatial processing in pigeons. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128(1), 42-47. doi: 10.1037/a0035487

Scarf, D., Smith, C., & Stuart, M. (2014). A spoon full of studies helps the comparison go down: A comparative analysis of Tulving’s spoon test. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 145-155.

Imuta, K., Hayne, H., & Scarf, D. (2014). I want it all and I want it now: Delay of gratification in preschool children. Developmental Psychobiology, 56(7), 1541-1552. doi: 10.1002/dev.21249

Scarf, D., Gross, J., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2013). To have and to hold: Episodic memory in 3- and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychobiology, 55(2), 125-132. doi: 10.1002/dev.21004

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Pharo, H., & Hayne, H. (2013). Drawing a close to the use of human figure drawings as a projective measure of intelligence. PLoS ONE, 8(3), e58991. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058991

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., & Hayne, H. (2013). The effect of verbal reminders on memory reactivation in 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychology, 49(6), 1058-1065. doi: 10.1037/a0029432

Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2012). Neurophysiological studies of learning and memory in pigeons. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 7, 23-43. doi: 10.3819/ccbr.2012.7002

Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2012). Social evaluation or simple association? Simple associations may explain moral reasoning in infants. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e42698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042698

Scarf, D., Hayne, H., & Colombo, M. (2011). Pigeons on par with primates in numerical competence. Science, 334(6063), 1664. doi: 10.1126/science.1213357

Scarf, D., Danly, E., Morgan, G., Colombo, M., & Terrace, H. S. (2011). Sequential planning in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Animal Cognition, 14(3), 317-324. doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0365-2

Scarf, D., Miles, K., Sloan, A., Goulter, N., Hegan, M., Seid-Fatemi, A., … Colombo, M. (2011). Brain cells in the avian 'prefrontal cortex' code for features of slot-machine-like gambling. PLoS ONE, 6(1), e14589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014589

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2011). Knowledge of the ordinal position of list items in pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 37(4), 483-487. doi: 10.1037/a0023695

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). Representation of serial order in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 36(4), 423-429. doi: 10.1037/a0020926

More publications...