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In most studies of social learning in animals, no attempt has been made to examine the nature of the strategy adopted by animals when they copy others. Researchers have expended considerable effort in exploring the psychological processes that underlie social learning and amassed extensive data banks recording purported social learning in the field, but the(More)
There are consistent individual differences in human intelligence, attributable to a single 'general intelligence' factor, g. The evolutionary basis of g and its links to social learning and culture remain controversial. Conflicting hypotheses regard primate cognition as divided into specialized, independently evolving modules versus a single general(More)
Researchers from diverse backgrounds are converging on the view that human evolution has been shaped by gene-culture interactions. Theoretical biologists have used population genetic models to demonstrate that cultural processes can have a profound effect on human evolution, and anthropologists are investigating cultural practices that modify current(More)
Organisms regularly modify local resource distributions, influencing both their ecosystems and the evolution of traits whose fitness depends on such alterable sources of natural selection in environments. We call these processes niche construction. We explore the evolutionary consequences of niche construction using a two-locus population genetic model,(More)
Niche construction theory (NCT) explicitly recognizes environmental modication by organisms ("niche construction") and their legacy overtime ("ecological inheritance") to be evolutionary processes in their own right. Here we illustrate how niche construction theory provides usedl conceptual tools and theoretical insights for integrating ecosystem ecology(More)
We propose a conceptual model that maps the causal pathways relating biological evolution to cultural change. It builds on conventional evolutionary theory by placing emphasis on the capacity of organisms to modify sources of natural selection in their environment (niche construction) and by broadening the evolutionary dynamic to incorporate ontogenetic and(More)
Social learning (learning through observation or interaction with other individuals) is widespread in nature and is central to the remarkable success of humanity, yet it remains unclear why copying is profitable and how to copy most effectively. To address these questions, we organized a computer tournament in which entrants submitted strategies specifying(More)
Despite considerable current interest in the evolution of intelligence, the intuitively appealing notion that brain volume and "intelligence" are linked remains untested. Here, we use ecologically relevant measures of cognitive ability, the reported incidence of behavioral innovation, social learning, and tool use, to show that brain size and cognitive(More)
Gene-culture coevolutionary theory is a branch of theoretical population genetics that models the transmission of genes and cultural traits from one generation to the next, exploring how they interact. These models have been employed to examine the adaptive advantages of learning and culture, to investigate the forces of cultural change, to partition the(More)
In 1948, Angus J. Bateman reported a stronger relationship between mating and reproductive success in male fruit flies compared with females, and concluded that selection should universally favour 'an undiscriminating eagerness in the males and a discriminating passivity in the females' to obtain mates. The conventional view of promiscuous, undiscriminating(More)