Professional profile

Wojciech Pisula (born March 8, 1965) - Polish psychologist, professor at the Institute of Psychology (, Polish Academy of Sciences, chairman of the scientific board of this Institute (2011-2015). His field of interests include comparative psychology, animal behavior, sensation seeking, exploratory behavior of animals, response to novelty and adaptation to change. Member of the National Committee For Ethics in Animal Experimentation of The Ministry of Science and Higher Education in 2005-2013, and 2015-2019.


Scientific Career

M.A. in 1988, graduated from the Department of Psychology at Warsaw University. In 1990 he earned a Ph.D. in psychology. The promoter of the doctoral thesis was Jan Matysiak. In 1998 he obtained a post-doctoral degree (habilitation) for his dissertation on curiosity and exploratory behavior. In 2003 he achieved the title of professor of the humanities.

Fulbright award in 1997.

Member of:

The International Society For Comparative Psychology

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

Polish Ethological Society

For more information see:

Contemporary involvements and activities (links below):

Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Science;

Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Animal and Human Behavior;


Google Scholar Profile;

Publication list

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  1. Pisula, W. (2020). Curiosity and Information Seeking in Animal and Human Behavior (2nd ed.). Irvine CA: BrownWalker Press.
  2. Pisula, W. (2009) Curiosity and information seeking in animal and human behavior. Boca Raton, Florida, USA: BrownWalker Press. PDF
  3. Pisula, W. (Red/Ed) (2006). Psychologia Porównawcza [Comparative Psychology]. Warszawa: Academica, PWN.
  4. Pisula, W. (2003). Psychologia zachowań eksploracyjnych zwierząt [Psychology of exploratory behavior in animals]. Gdańsk: GWP. PDF
  5. Pisula, W. (1998). Ciekawość i zachowania eksploracyjne - psychologia nie tylko zwierząt [Curiosity and exploratory behavior - not just animal psychology]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. PDF

Articles and chapters

  1. Pisula, W. (2020). Exploratory Behavior. In Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior (pp. 1–9). Cham: Springer International Publishing. Link
  2. Modlinska, K., & Pisula, W. (2020). Novelty. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior (pp. 1–3). Cham: Springer International Publishing. Link
  3. Pisula, W., & Modlinska, K. (2020). Protocol for Measuring Free (Low-stress) Exploration in Rats. Bio-Protocol, 10(2), 1–10. PDF
  4. Modlinska, K., & Pisula, W. (2020). The Natural History of Model Organisms: The Norway rat, from an obnoxious pest to a laboratory pet. eLife, 9, 1–13. PDF
  5. Pisula, W. (2020). Curiosity. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior (Vol. 53, pp. 1–4). Cham: Springer International Publishing. Link
  6. Pisula, W., Modlinska, K., & Chrzanowska, A. (2019). Behavioural Response to the Environmental Changes of Various Types in Lister-Hooded Male Rats. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 7111. PDF
  7. Modlinska, K., Chrzanowska, A., & Pisula, W. (2019). The impact of changeability of enriched environment on exploration in rats. Behavioural Processes, 164(February), 78–85. PDF
  8. Welniak–Kaminska, M., Fiedorowicz, M., Orzel, J., Bogorodzki, P., Modlinska, K., Stryjek, R., Pisula, W., Grieb, P. (2019). Volumes of brain structures in captive wild-type and laboratory rats: 7T magnetic resonance in vivo automatic atlas-based study. PLOS ONE, 14(4), e0215348. PDF
  9. Pellis, S., Pellis, V., Himmler, B., Modlinska, K., Stryjek, R., Kolb, B., & Pisula, W. (2019). Domestication and the role of social play on the development of socio-cognitive skills in rats. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 32. PDF
  10. Modlinska, K., & Pisula, W. (2018). Selected Psychological Aspects of Meat Consumption—A Short Review. Nutrients, 10(9), 1301., PDF
  11. Pisula, W., Łukasik, A., Kawa, R., & Pisula, E. (2018). Exploratory Analysis of the Links among Life History, Reproductive Strategy, Autism-Spectrum Quotient, and Quality of Life. Psychology, 09(09), 2312–2336., PDF
  12. Modlinska, K., Stryjek, R., Chrzanowska, A., & Pisula, W. (2018). Social environment as a factor affecting exploration and learning in pre-juvenile rats. Behavioural Processes, 153, 77–83. PDF
  13. Modlinska, K., & Pisula, W. (2018). Social influences on food neophobia in nonhuman animals. In: Steve Reilly (Ed). Food Neofobia, (pp. 3-24). Cambridge, MA: Woodhead Publishing, Elsevier. Link to the published chapter . PDF
  14. Modlinska, K., & Pisula, W. (2016). Exploratory Analysis of the Links among Food Consumption Profiles, Prenatal Androgens, and Selected Measures of Quality of Life. Frontiers in Public Health, 4(October). PDF
  15. Himmler, Stephanie M; Himmler, Brett T; Stryjek, Rafał; Modlińska, Klaudia; Pisula, Wojciech; & Pellis, Sergio M. (2016). Pinning in the play fighting of rats: A comparative perspective with methodological recommendations. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 29. uclapsych_ijcp_29340. Retrieved from: PDF
  16. Muller, P., Chrzanowska, A., & Pisula, W. (2016). A Critical Comment on the Monty Roberts Interpretation of Equine Behavior. Psychology, 07(04), 480–487. PDF
  17. Pisula, W. (2016). Levels of Consciousness. Open Journal of Philosophy, 06(01), 51–58. PDF
  18. Chrzanowska, A., Modlinska, K., Stryjek, R., & Pisula, W. (2016). Response to Perceptual Novelty in Tortoises-A Preliminary Study. Journal of Biology and Life Science, 7(1), 12. PDF
  19. Pisula, W. (2015). Poziomy świadomości. Przegląd Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria, 2(94), 383–397. PDF
  20. Pisula, E., Danielewicz, D., Kawa, R., & Pisula, W. (2015). Autism spectrum quotient, coping with stress and quality of life in a non-clinical sample – an exploratory report. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 13(1), 173. PDF
  21. Himmler, Brett T; Himmler, Stephanie M; Stryjek, Rafal; Modlińska, Klaudia; Pisula, Wojciech; & Pellis, Sergio M. (2015). The Development of Juvenile-Typical Patterns of Play Fighting in Juvenile Rats does not Depend on Peer-Peer Play Experience in the Peri-Weaning Period. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 28. uclapsych_ijcp_24177. Retrieved from: PDF
  22. Pisula, E., Kawa, R., Danielewicz, D., & Pisula, W. (2015). The Relationship between Temperament and Autistic Traits in a Non-Clinical Students Sample. PLOS ONE, 10(4), e0124364. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124364. PDF
  23. Pisula, W., Modlinska, K., Chrzanowska, A., & Stryjek, R. (2015). Behavioural Differences in Brown-Norway and Wild-Type Rats Maintained in Standard or Enriched Environment in Response to Novelty in a Familiarised Environment. Psychology, 6(February), 251–262. doi:10.4236/psych.2015.63025. PDF
  24. Modlinska, K., Stryjek, R., & Pisula, W. (2015). Food neophobia in wild and laboratory rats (multi-strain comparison). Behavioural Processes, 113, 41–50. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2014.12.005. PDF
  25. Himmler, S. M., Modlinska, K., Stryjek, R., Himmler, B. T., Pisula, W., & Pellis, S. M. (2014). Domestication and diversification: A comparative analysis of the play fighting of the Brown Norway, Sprague-Dawley, and Wistar laboratory strains of (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of Comparative Psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983), 128(3), 318–27. doi:10.1037/a0036104. PDF
  26. Pisula, W., & Pisula, E. (2014). Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested. Medical Hypotheses, 83, 488–493. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.007. PDF
  27. Pisula, W. (2013). Wszyscy kłamią [Everybody lies]. Academia, 36(4), 12–15. PDF
  28. Śniegulska, M. & Pisula, W. (2013). Object exploration in 3- to 7-year-old children. Psychological Reports, 113(2), 528-539. PDF
  29. Himmler, B. T., Stryjek, R., Modlinska, K., Derksen, S. M., Pisula, W., & Pellis, S. M. (2013). How Domestication Modulates Play Behavior: A Comparative Analysis Between Wild Rats and a Laboratory Strain of Rattus norvegicus. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 127(4), 453-464. doi: 10.1037/a0032187. PDF
  30. Pisula, W, Turlejski, K. Charles, E.P. (2013). Comparative Psychology as Unified Psychology: The Case of Curiosity and Other Novelty-Related Behavior. Review of General Psychology, 17(2), 224 –229. PDF
  31. Stryjek R., Modlińska K., Turlejski K., Pisula, W. (2013). Circadian Rhythm of Outside-Nest Activity in Wild (WWCPS), Albino and Pigmented Laboratory Rats. PloS ONE, 8(6), e66055. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066055. PDF
  32. Pisula, W., Turlejski K. , Stryjek, R., Nałecz-Tolak, A., Grabiec, M., Djavadian , R.L. (2012). Response to novelty in the laboratory Wistar rat, wild-captive WWCPS rat, and the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Behavioral Processes, 91, 145–151. PDF
  33. Pisula, W. (2012). Mądry koń Hans. Konie I Rumaki, (07), 54–55. PDF
  34. Stryjek R., Modlinska K., and Pisula W. (2012). Species Specific Behavioural Patterns (Digging and Swimming) and Reaction to Novel Objects in Wild Type, Wistar, Sprague-Dawley and Brown Norway Rats. PLoS ONE 7(7), e40642. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040642. PDF
  35. Stryjek R., Modlinska K., and Pisula W. (2012). Response to spatial and nonspatial change in wild (WWCPS) and Wistar rats . Polish Psychological Bulletin, 43 (2), 124-131. PDF
  36. Kaleta, T., Pisula, W., Fiszdon, K. & Kondrakiewicz, P. (2011). Individual differences in police dog handlers. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 42 (2), 52-55. PDF
  37. Tanaś Ł. & Pisula W. (2011). Response to novel object in Wistar and wild-type (WWCPS) rats . Behavioural Processes, 86, 279–283. PDF
  38. Pisula W. (2010). Individual differences in wild (WWCPS) rat – manifested in the exploration box . Polish Psychological Bulletin , 41 (1), 31-35. PDF
  39. Pisula W. (2009) Phylogenetic development of exploratory activity. In: P. Ostaszewski & M. Trojan (Eds) From rat lab to the future. A tribute to Jan Matysiak (pp 53-71). Warsaw: Vizja Press & IT. PDF
  40. Pisula W. (2008). Play and Exploration in Animals – A Comparative Analysis. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 39 (2), 104-107. PDF
  41. Stryjek R. & Pisula W. (2008). Warsaw Wild Captive Pisula Stryjek rats (WWCPS) - Establishing a breeding colony of Norway Rat in captivity . Polish Psychological Bulletin, 39 (2), 67-70. PDF
  42. Pisula W. Oniszczenko W. (2008). Genetyka zachowania i psychologia ewolucyjna. W: J. Strelau i D. Doliński, (red) Psychologia – podręcznik akademicki (s.304-338). Gdańsk GWP.
  43. Pisula W. (2007) Stimulus and information seeking behavior – a comparative and evolutionary perspective. In: L.V. Brown (Ed). Psychology of motivation, pp 167-179. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. PDF
  44. Pisula W., Stryjek R. and Nałęcz-Tolak A. (2006). Response to novelty of various types in laboratory rats. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 66, 235-243. PDF
  45. Pisula, W. (2006). Zachowania eksploracyjne, dociekliwość zwierząt [Exploratory behavior – inquisitiveness in animals]. W: W. Pisula, (Red) (2006). Psychologia Porównawcza (s. 213-223). Warszawa: Academica, PWN.
  46. Greenberg, G., Partridge T., Weiss, E., Pisula, W. (2006). Psychologia porównawcza, nowa perspektywa na XXI wiek [Comparative Psychology – A New Perspective for the 21st Century: Up the Spiral Staircase ]. W: W. Pisula, (Red) (2006). Psychologia Porównawcza (s. 54-80). Warszawa: Academica, PWN.
  47. Pisula, W. (2006). Zachowanie się zwierząt – propozycja standardu edukacyjnego [Animal behavior: education-standard proposal]. Medycyna Weterynaryjna, 62, 135-138. PDF
  48. Pisula, W. & Siegel, J. (2005). Exploratory behavior as a function of environmental novelty and complexity in male and female rats. Psychological Reports, 97, 631-638. PDF
  49. Pisula, W. (2004). Neofilia i neofobia nie są biegunami jednego wymiaru. [Neophilia and neophobia are not the extremes of common dimension]. Kolokwia Psychologiczne, 12, 19-25. PDF
  50. Pisula, W. (2004). Exploratory behavior – inquisitiveness in animals. In: M. Bekoff (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (pp 574-581). Westport, Connecticut; London: Greenwood Press. PDF
  51. Pisula, W. (2004). Response to novelty in low-stress conditions in rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 35, 99-103. PDF
  52. Greenberg, G., Partrige, T., Weiss, E. & Pisula, W. (2004). Comparative Psychology – A New Perspective for the 21st Century: Up the Spiral Staircase. Developmental Psychobiology, 44, 1-15. PDF
  53. Komorowska, J. & Pisula, W. (2003). Does changing levels of stress affect the characteristics of grooming behavior in rats? International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 16, 237-246. PDF
  54. Pisula, W. (2003).The Roman high- and low-avoidance rats respond differently to novelty in a familiarized environment. Behavioural Processes, 63, 63-72. PDF
  55. Pisula, W. (2003). Costs and benefits of curiosity: the adaptive value of exploratory behaviour. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 34, 183-186. PDF
  56. Pisula, W., Gonzalez Szwacka, A. & Rojek, E. (2003) Juvenile play fighting and adult investigatory responses in male rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 34(1), 47-49. PDF
  57. Pisula, W. & Osiński, J.T. (2001). Różnice indywidualne w osobowości zwierząt. In: W. Ciarkowska & A. Matczak, (Red.) Różnice indywidualne: wybrane badania inspirowane Regulacyjną Teorią Temperamentu Profesora Jana Strelaua (pp. 247-256).Warszawa: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Interdyscyplinarne Centrum Genetyki Zachowania.
  58. Pisula, W. & Osiński, J.T. (2001). Automatyczne i kontrolowane akty behawioralne - perspektywa porównawcza.[Automatic and controlled behavioral acts: comparative perspective] In: R.K. Ohme, M. Jarymowicz & J. Reykowski (Eds). Automatyzmy w procesach przetwarzania informacji (pp. 9-17). Warszawa: WIP, SWPS. PDF
  59. Pisula, W. (2001). Narodziny i rozwój etologii poznawczej. [Birth and development of cognitive ethology] Kolokwia Psychologiczne, 9, 77-86. PDF
  60. Pisula, W. (2001). Automatic and controlled behavioral acts - A comparative perspective. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 32, 17-20. PDF
  61. Osiński J.T & Pisula W. (2001). Altruizm krewniaczy z perspektywy psychologii ewolucyjnej.[Kin altruism in the perspective of evolutionary psychology] Psychologia-Etologia-Genetyka, 3/4, 33-46.
  62. Pisula, W. & Osiński, J.T. (2000). A comparative study of the behavioral patterns of RLA/Verh and RHA/Verh rats in the exploration box. Behavior Genetics, 30, 375-384. PDF
  63. Pisula, W. (2000). Psychologia ewolucyjna. [Evolutionary Psychology] In: J. Strelau (Red.) Psychologia: podręcznik akademicki(s. 179-204). Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.
  64. Pisula, E. & Pisula, W. (2000). Czy w Autyźmie możliwe jest przywiązanie? [Is attachment possible in autism?] Studia Psychologiczne, 38, 39-53.
  65. Pisula, W. (1999). Pomiędzy zachowaniem się genów a genetyką zachowania.[Between behavior of genes and the behavior genetics] Psychologia-Etologia-Genetyka, 0, 7-9.
  66. Pisula, W. (1999). Dobrostan zwierząt użytkowych - wybrane zagadnienia psychologii zwierząt [Well-being of farm animals - selected issues of animal psychology]. Przegląd Hodowlany, 47, 1‑3. PDF
  67. Pisula, W. & Matysiak, J. (1998). Stimulus-seeking behavior. In: G. Greenberg & M.M. Haraway (Eds). Comparative Psychology: A Handbook (pp. 198-202). New York: Garland. PDF
  68. Pisula, W. (1998). Pomiędzy taksją a ciekawością poznawczą - ewolucjań zachowa eksploracyjnych. [From taxes to cognitive curiosity - the evolution of exploratory behavior.] Studia Psychologiczne, 36, 8-16.
  69. Pisula, W. (1998). Integrative levels in comparative psychology - the example of exploratory behavior. European Psychologist, 3, 62-69. PDF
  70. Pisula, W. (1997). Rat behavior in the exploration box - cluster analysis. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 10, 74-89. PDF
  71. Pisula, W. & Osiński J.T. (1996). Wielowymiarowa analiza zachowania się szczurów w teście eksploracji.[A multivariate analysis of rat behaviour in exploration test] Kosmos, 45, 391-401.
  72. Pisula, W., Ostaszewski, P.M., Osiński, J.T. Trojan, M. & Matysiak, J. (1995). Exploratory behavior in comparative psychology of individual differences. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 26, 239-250. PDF
  73. Pisula, W. (1995). Ciemniejsza strona życia Konrada Lorenza[Darker side of Konrad Lorenz's live]. Nowiny Psychologiczne, 1, 57-60. PDF
  74. Matysiak, J., Ostaszewski, P.M. & Pisula, W. (1995). Effects of light deprivation and hyper-stimulation on exploratory behavior in rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 26, 251-256. PDF
  75. Pisula, W. & Pisula, E. (1994). Podejście etologiczne w badaniach psychologicznych - na przykładzie badań nad autyzmem [Ethological approach to the psychological studies - example of the studies on autism]. Studia Psychologiczne, 32, 23-35. PDF
  76. Pisula, W. (1994). Sequential analysis of rat behavior in the open field. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 7, 194-201. PDF
  77. Ostaszewski, P. & Pisula, W. (1994). Sex and strain differences in anxiety, emotional reactivity, exploration, and need for sensory stimulation in rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 25, 137-146. PDF
  78. Pisula, W., Ostaszewski, P. & Matysiak, J. (1992). Effects of physical environment and social experiences on stimulus seeking behavior and emotionality in rats (Rattus Norvegicus). International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 5, 124-137. PDF
  79. Pisula, W. & Ostaszewski, P. (1992). Individual differences in aggressive behavior in rats with different temperamental characteristics. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 23, 4, 335-342. PDF
  80. Pisula, E. & Pisula, W. (1992). Telekomunikacja i komputery w edukacji ustawicznej.[Telecommunication and computers in permanent education] Edukacja i dialog, 42, 37-41.
  81. Ostaszewski, P.M., Pisula, W. & Watras, S. (1992). The effect of differentiated environmental stimulation during various stages in the development of the need for sensory stimulation in rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 23, 325-334. PDF
  82. Ostaszewski, P.M., Pisula, W. & Matysiak, J. (1992). Genetic determination of variation in the level of the need for sensory stimulation and emotional reactivity in rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 23, 309-324. PDF
  83. Matysiak, J., Ostaszewski, P. M., Pisula, W., & Watras, S. (1992). Genetic and Environmental Effects on The Need for Sensory Stimulation and Emotional Reactivity in Rats. In D. G. Forgays, T. Sosnowski, and K. Wrzesniewski, (Eds.) Anxiety: Recent Developments in Cognitive, Psychophysiological, and Health Research (pp. 167-177). Washington, Philadelphia, London: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation. PDF
  84. Watras, S., Ostaszewski, P., Pisula, W. and Matysiak, J. (1991). Wpływ stresu socjalnego we wczesnym okresie rozwoju na zachowania emocjonalne szczurów. [Influence of social stress during early stage of development on emotional behaviors in rats] In: J. Matysiak & N.N. Danilova (Ed.) Stres i Różnice Indywidualne, (pp 91-101). Wydział Psychologii UW, Warszawa.
  85. Korczynski, R., Pisula, W., Ostaszewski, P. & Matysiak, J.(1990). Effects of cortico-medial and baso-lateral lesions of the anterior amygdaloid area on the need for sensory stimulation and motor activity of rats. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 21, 255-263. PDF

Other papers and resources:

  • Elżanowski A., Pietrzykowski T., Pisula W., & Woleński J. (2013). Stanowisko wobec niektórych kwestii poruszanych w trakcie publicznej debaty na temat uboju religijnego zwierząt z pominięciem wstępnego pozbawienia zdolności odczuwania bólu i cierpienia, tzw. ogłuszania zwierząt. [The position about some of the issues raised during the public debate on religious slaughter of animals without stunning], PDF
  • Pisula, W., Bębas, P. Elżanowski, A. (2015). Kolejny głos w sprawie uboju rytualnego. Panorama PAN, 6, marzec 2015, 7-8. PDF