1887
Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Social learning is a source of behaviour for many species, but few use it as extensively as they seemingly could. In this article, I attempt to clarify our understanding of why this might be. I discuss the potential computational properties of social learning, then examine the phenomenon in nature through creating a taxonomy of the representations that might underly it. This is achieved by first producing a simplified taxonomy of the established forms of social learning, then describing the primitive capacities necessary to support them, and finally considering which of these capacities we actually have evidence for. I then discuss theoretical limits on cultural evolution, which include having sufficient information transmitted to support robust representations capable of supporting variation for evolution, and the need for limiting the extent of social conformity to avoid ecological fragility. Finally, I show how these arguments can inform several key scientific questions, including the uniqueness of human culture, the long lifespans of cultural species, and the propensity of animals to seemingly have knowledge about a phenomenon well before they will act upon it.
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/is.10.1.06bry
2009-01-01
2019-10-18
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/is.10.1.06bry
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cognition , cultural evolution , imitation , memetics and social learning

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error