cultural evolution

Summary

Summary: The continuous developmental process of a culture from simple to complex forms and from homogeneous to heterogeneous qualities.

Top Publications

  1. Dunn M, Terrill A, Reesink G, Foley R, Levinson S. Structural phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancient language history. Science. 2005;309:2072-5 pubmed
    ..The most plausible hypothesis to explain this result is the divergence of the Papuan languages from a common ancestral stock, as part of late Pleistocene dispersals. ..
  2. Berger J, Bradlow E, Braunstein A, Zhang Y. From Karen to Katie: using baby names to understand cultural evolution. Psychol Sci. 2012;23:1067-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together, our results suggest how the similarity between cultural items affects how popular they become and how culture evolves more broadly. ..
  3. Vaesen K. Cumulative cultural evolution and demography. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e40989 pubmed publisher
    ..s explanation of the Upper Paleolithic transition. More generally, my evaluation of the accounts of Henrich and of Powell et al. helpfully clarify which inferences their popular models do and not support. ..
  4. Lewis H, Laland K. Transmission fidelity is the key to the build-up of cumulative culture. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367:2171-80 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings support the idea that high-fidelity transmission is the key driver of human cumulative culture, and that progress in cumulative culture depends more on trait combination than novel invention or trait modification. ..
  5. Maher L, Richter T, Stock J. The pre-Natufian Epipaleolithic: long-term behavioral trends in the Levant. Evol Anthropol. 2012;21:69-81 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper traces the cultural and biological developments of the EP period leading up to the Natufian and considers the long-term trajectory of culture change, social complexity, and village life in the Near East. ..
  6. Berna F, Goldberg P, Horwitz L, Brink J, Holt S, Bamford M, et al. Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:E1215-20 pubmed publisher
    ..0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context...
  7. Maher L, Richter T, Macdonald D, Jones M, Martin L, Stock J. Twenty thousand-year-old huts at a hunter-gatherer settlement in eastern Jordan. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e31447 pubmed publisher
  8. Nunn C, Arnold C, Matthews L, Borgerhoff Mulder M. Simulating trait evolution for cross-cultural comparison. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010;365:3807-19 pubmed publisher
    ..Collectively, these studies demonstrate the importance of using simulations to assess the validity of methods in cross-cultural research. ..
  9. Chiao J, Blizinsky K. Culture-gene coevolution of individualism-collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene. Proc Biol Sci. 2010;277:529-37 pubmed publisher
  10. Acerbi A, Enquist M, Ghirlanda S. Cultural evolution and individual development of openness and conservatism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:18931-5 pubmed publisher
    We present a model of cultural evolution in which an individual's propensity to engage in social learning is affected by social learning itself...

Detail Information

Publications62

  1. Dunn M, Terrill A, Reesink G, Foley R, Levinson S. Structural phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancient language history. Science. 2005;309:2072-5 pubmed
    ..The most plausible hypothesis to explain this result is the divergence of the Papuan languages from a common ancestral stock, as part of late Pleistocene dispersals. ..
  2. Berger J, Bradlow E, Braunstein A, Zhang Y. From Karen to Katie: using baby names to understand cultural evolution. Psychol Sci. 2012;23:1067-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together, our results suggest how the similarity between cultural items affects how popular they become and how culture evolves more broadly. ..
  3. Vaesen K. Cumulative cultural evolution and demography. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e40989 pubmed publisher
    ..s explanation of the Upper Paleolithic transition. More generally, my evaluation of the accounts of Henrich and of Powell et al. helpfully clarify which inferences their popular models do and not support. ..
  4. Lewis H, Laland K. Transmission fidelity is the key to the build-up of cumulative culture. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367:2171-80 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings support the idea that high-fidelity transmission is the key driver of human cumulative culture, and that progress in cumulative culture depends more on trait combination than novel invention or trait modification. ..
  5. Maher L, Richter T, Stock J. The pre-Natufian Epipaleolithic: long-term behavioral trends in the Levant. Evol Anthropol. 2012;21:69-81 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper traces the cultural and biological developments of the EP period leading up to the Natufian and considers the long-term trajectory of culture change, social complexity, and village life in the Near East. ..
  6. Berna F, Goldberg P, Horwitz L, Brink J, Holt S, Bamford M, et al. Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:E1215-20 pubmed publisher
    ..0 Ma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest secure evidence for burning in an archaeological context...
  7. Maher L, Richter T, Macdonald D, Jones M, Martin L, Stock J. Twenty thousand-year-old huts at a hunter-gatherer settlement in eastern Jordan. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e31447 pubmed publisher
  8. Nunn C, Arnold C, Matthews L, Borgerhoff Mulder M. Simulating trait evolution for cross-cultural comparison. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010;365:3807-19 pubmed publisher
    ..Collectively, these studies demonstrate the importance of using simulations to assess the validity of methods in cross-cultural research. ..
  9. Chiao J, Blizinsky K. Culture-gene coevolution of individualism-collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene. Proc Biol Sci. 2010;277:529-37 pubmed publisher
  10. Acerbi A, Enquist M, Ghirlanda S. Cultural evolution and individual development of openness and conservatism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:18931-5 pubmed publisher
    We present a model of cultural evolution in which an individual's propensity to engage in social learning is affected by social learning itself...
  11. Strimling P, Enquist M, Eriksson K. Repeated learning makes cultural evolution unique. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:13870-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, cultural evolution will be determined not only by cultural traits' ability to spread but also by how good they are at sticking ..
  12. De Block A, Dewitte S. Darwinism and the cultural evolution of sports. Perspect Biol Med. 2009;52:1-16 pubmed publisher
    ..for the types of sport that are possible, and pure cultural theories, which describe the mechanism of cultural evolution without referring to sport's biological bases...
  13. Griffiths T, Kalish M, Lewandowsky S. Review. Theoretical and empirical evidence for the impact of inductive biases on cultural evolution. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008;363:3503-14 pubmed publisher
    The question of how much the outcomes of cultural evolution are shaped by the cognitive capacities of human learners has been explored in several disciplines, including psychology, anthropology and linguistics...
  14. Caldwell C, Millen A. Review. Studying cumulative cultural evolution in the laboratory. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008;363:3529-39 pubmed publisher
    Cumulative cultural evolution is the term given to a particular kind of social learning, which allows for the accumulation of modifications over time, involving a ratchet-like effect where successful modifications are maintained until ..
  15. Scapoli C, Goebl H, Sobota S, Mamolini E, Rodriguez Larralde A, Barrai I. Surnames and dialects in France: population structure and cultural evolution. J Theor Biol. 2005;237:75-86 pubmed
    ..Average Fisher's alpha for France was 7877 the highest value observed for the European countries studied to date. The size of alpha in most French towns indicates considerable recent immigration. ..
  16. Haak W, Forster P, Bramanti B, Matsumura S, Brandt G, Tänzer M, et al. Ancient DNA from the first European farmers in 7500-year-old Neolithic sites. Science. 2005;310:1016-8 pubmed
    ..2%) of this mtDNA type, revealing that these first Neolithic farmers did not have a strong genetic influence on modern European female lineages. Our finding lends weight to a proposed Paleolithic ancestry for modern Europeans. ..
  17. Godfrey Smith P. Darwinism and cultural change. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367:2160-70 pubmed publisher
    ..Close attention to grain of analysis motivates distinctions between three possible modes of cultural evolution, each associated with different empirical assumptions and explanatory roles.
  18. Whiten A, Erdal D. The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367:2119-29 pubmed publisher
    ..The principal focus of the present study was to review and integrate this range of recent comparative discoveries. ..
  19. Csaba G. Thoughts on the cultural evolution of man. Developmental imprinting and transgenerational effect. Riv Biol. 2007;100:461-74 pubmed
    ..This paper introduces the concept of "conveyed evolution". Being part of the cultural evolution, the conveyed evolution is a continuation of the biological one...
  20. Lindenfors P, Jansson F, Sandberg M. The cultural evolution of democracy: saltational changes in a political regime landscape. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e28270 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss our results in relation to the application of phylogenetic comparative methods in cultural evolution and point out that the evolving unit in this system is the institutional arrangement, not the individual ..
  21. Currie T, Mace R. Mode and tempo in the evolution of socio-political organization: reconciling 'Darwinian' and 'Spencerian' evolutionary approaches in anthropology. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2011;366:1108-17 pubmed publisher
    ..More recent studies of cultural evolution have been explicitly informed by Darwinian evolutionary theory and focus on the transmission of cultural ..
  22. Rendell L, Fogarty L, Hoppitt W, Morgan T, Webster M, Laland K. Cognitive culture: theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies. Trends Cogn Sci. 2011;15:68-76 pubmed publisher
    ..Understanding when, how and why individuals learn from others is a significant challenge, but one that is critical to numerous fields in multiple academic disciplines, including the study of social cognition. ..
  23. Gray R, Bryant D, Greenhill S. On the shape and fabric of human history. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010;365:3923-33 pubmed publisher
    ..These methods are then used to compare the extent to which lexical evolution is tree-like in different parts of the world and to evaluate the coherence of cultural and linguistic lineages. ..
  24. Chiaroni J, Underhill P, Cavalli Sforza L. Y chromosome diversity, human expansion, drift, and cultural evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:20174-9 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that cultural evolution has been subrogating biologic evolution in providing natural selection advantages and reducing our ..
  25. Shennan S. Canoes and cultural evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:3175-6 pubmed publisher
  26. Mesoudi A. How cultural evolutionary theory can inform social psychology and vice versa. Psychol Rev. 2009;116:929-52 pubmed publisher
    ..Social psychology provides cultural evolution with a set of empirically verified microevolutionary cultural processes, such as conformity, model-based ..
  27. Fay N, Garrod S, Roberts L. The fitness and functionality of culturally evolved communication systems. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008;363:3553-61 pubmed publisher
  28. Smith K, Kirby S. Cultural evolution: implications for understanding the human language faculty and its evolution. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008;363:3591-603 pubmed publisher
    ..can be explained as a consequence of the evolution of the human biological capacity for language or the cultural evolution of language itself...
  29. Efferson C, Lalive R, Fehr E. The coevolution of cultural groups and ingroup favoritism. Science. 2008;321:1844-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results support the prominent evolutionary hypothesis that cultural processes can reshape the selective pressures facing individuals and so favor the evolution of behavioral traits not previously advantaged. ..
  30. Lehmann L, Feldman M. The co-evolution of culturally inherited altruistic helping and cultural transmission under random group formation. Theor Popul Biol. 2008;73:506-16 pubmed publisher
  31. Steels L. Modeling the cultural evolution of language. Phys Life Rev. 2011;8:339-56 pubmed publisher
    The paper surveys recent research on language evolution, focusing in particular on models of cultural evolution and how they are being developed and tested using agent-based computational simulations and robotic experiments...
  32. Perreault C. The pace of cultural evolution. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e45150 pubmed
    ..Because it is assumed that cultural evolution occurs faster than biological evolution, humans can adapt to new ecosystems more rapidly than other animals...
  33. Caldwell C, Smith K. Cultural evolution and perpetuation of arbitrary communicative conventions in experimental microsocieties. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e43807 pubmed publisher
    ..This provides critical support for the view that human communicative symbols could have evolved culturally from iconic representations. ..
  34. Heyes C. Grist and mills: on the cultural origins of cultural learning. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367:2181-91 pubmed publisher
    Cumulative cultural evolution is what 'makes us odd'; our capacity to learn facts and techniques from others, and to refine them over generations, plays a major role in making human minds and lives radically different from those of other ..
  35. Mesoudi A, Whiten A. Review. The multiple roles of cultural transmission experiments in understanding human cultural evolution. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008;363:3489-501 pubmed publisher
    ..the 'who, what, when and how' of human cultural transmission, and consequently inform a theory of human cultural evolution. Three methods are discussed...
  36. Acerbi A, Ghirlanda S, Enquist M. The logic of fashion cycles. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e32541 pubmed publisher
    ..We also establish that alternative theories, that fashions result from individuals signaling their social status, or from individuals randomly copying each other, do not satisfactorily reproduce these empirical observations. ..
  37. Dean L, Kendal R, Schapiro S, Thierry B, Laland K. Identification of the social and cognitive processes underlying human cumulative culture. Science. 2012;335:1114-8 pubmed publisher
  38. Lepre C, Roche H, Kent D, Harmand S, Quinn R, Brugal J, et al. An earlier origin for the Acheulian. Nature. 2011;477:82-5 pubmed publisher
    ..This may indicate that multiple groups of hominins distinguished by separate stone-tool-making behaviours and dispersal strategies coexisted in Africa at 1.76?Myr ago. ..
  39. Atkinson Q. Phonemic diversity supports a serial founder effect model of language expansion from Africa. Science. 2011;332:346-9 pubmed publisher
  40. Mesoudi A. Variable cultural acquisition costs constrain cumulative cultural evolution. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e18239 pubmed publisher
    ..science and technology that support the possibility that cultural acquisition costs may constrain cumulative cultural evolution. I then present macroscopic and individual-based models of cumulative cultural evolution that explore the ..
  41. Brown M, Feldman M. Sociocultural epistasis and cultural exaptation in footbinding, marriage form, and religious practices in early 20th-century Taiwan. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:22139-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we provide ethnographic evidence of how cultural evolution, at the level of individuals, can be influenced by social evolution...
  42. Rogers D, Ehrlich P. Natural selection and cultural rates of change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:3416-20 pubmed publisher
    It has been claimed that a meaningful theory of cultural evolution is not possible because human beliefs and behaviors do not follow predictable patterns...
  43. Premo L, Kuhn S. Modeling effects of local extinctions on culture change and diversity in the paleolithic. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e15582 pubmed publisher
    ..The results have implications for understanding spatial and temporal patterning in ancient material culture. ..
  44. Powell A, Shennan S, Thomas M. Late Pleistocene demography and the appearance of modern human behavior. Science. 2009;324:1298-301 pubmed publisher
    ..Demographic factors can thus explain geographic variation in the timing of the first appearance of modern behavior without invoking increased cognitive capacity. ..
  45. Gray R, Atkinson Q, Greenhill S. Language evolution and human history: what a difference a date makes. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2011;366:1090-100 pubmed publisher
  46. Pagel M. Human language as a culturally transmitted replicator. Nat Rev Genet. 2009;10:405-15 pubmed publisher
    ..For many comparative questions of anthropology and human behavioural ecology, historical processes estimated from linguistic phylogenies may be more relevant than those estimated from genes. ..
  47. Matthews L, Tehrani J, Jordan F, Collard M, Nunn C. Testing for divergent transmission histories among cultural characters: a study using Bayesian phylogenetic methods and Iranian tribal textile data. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e14810 pubmed publisher
    ..We used bayes factor comparisons in a phylogenetic framework to test two models of cultural evolution: the hierarchically integrated system hypothesis and the multiple coherent units hypothesis...
  48. Heyes C, Frith C. The cultural evolution of mind reading. Science. 2014;344:1243091 pubmed publisher
  49. Ghirlanda S, Acerbi A, Herzog H, Serpell J. Fashion vs. function in cultural evolution: the case of dog breed popularity. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e74770 pubmed publisher
    ..One exception is the finding that more popular breeds tend to suffer from more inherited disorders. Our results support the hypothesis that dog breed popularity has been primarily determined by fashion rather than function. ..
  50. Yamamoto S, Humle T, Tanaka M. Basis for cumulative cultural evolution in chimpanzees: social learning of a more efficient tool-use technique. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e55768 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the ability for cumulative cultural evolution, with successive generations building on earlier achievements, in non-human animals remains debated...
  51. Buckley C. Investigating cultural evolution using phylogenetic analysis: the origins and descent of the southeast Asian tradition of warp ikat weaving. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e52064 pubmed publisher
    ..The widely held theory that weaving motifs originated in the late Bronze Age Dong-Son culture is shown to be inconsistent with the data. ..
  52. Caldwell C, Millen A. Social learning mechanisms and cumulative cultural evolution. Is imitation necessary?. Psychol Sci. 2009;20:1478-83 pubmed publisher
    Cumulative cultural evolution has been suggested to account for key cognitive and behavioral attributes that distinguish modern humans from their anatomically similar ancestors, but researchers have yet to establish which cognitive ..
  53. Boyd R, Richerson P. Culture and the evolution of human cooperation. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009;364:3281-8 pubmed publisher
    ..years or so, people evolved the ability to learn from each other, creating the possibility of cumulative, cultural evolution. Rapid cultural adaptation also leads to persistent differences between local social groups, and then ..
  54. Dunn M, Greenhill S, Levinson S, Gray R. Evolved structure of language shows lineage-specific trends in word-order universals. Nature. 2011;473:79-82 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings support the view that-at least with respect to word order-cultural evolution is the primary factor that determines linguistic structure, with the current state of a linguistic system ..
  55. Walker R, Hamilton M. Social complexity and linguistic diversity in the Austronesian and Bantu population expansions. Proc Biol Sci. 2011;278:1399-404 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Cultural evolution in both the Bantu and Austronesian cases was not a simple linear process, but more of a wave-like process ..
  56. Gürerk O, Irlenbusch B, Rockenbach B. The competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions. Science. 2006;312:108-11 pubmed
    ..The findings demonstrate the competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions and exemplify the emergence and manifestation of social order driven by institutional selection. ..
  57. Fitch W. Glossogeny and phylogeny: cultural evolution meets genetic evolution. Trends Genet. 2008;24:373-4 pubmed publisher
    ..theorists since Darwin have been interested in the parallels and interactions between biological and cultural evolution. Recent applications of empirical techniques originally developed to analyze molecular genetic data to ..
  58. Mesoudi A, Whiten A, Laland K. Towards a unified science of cultural evolution. Behav Brain Sci. 2006;29:329-47; discussion 347-83 pubmed
    ..human culture exhibits key Darwinian evolutionary properties, and argue that the structure of a science of cultural evolution should share fundamental features with the structure of the science of biological evolution...
  59. Jablonka E, Lamb M. Précis of Evolution in Four Dimensions. Behav Brain Sci. 2007;30:353-65; discusssion 365-89 pubmed
    ..This is particularly true for understanding the evolution of human behavior, where all four dimensions of heredity have been important. ..
  60. Lipatov M, Brown M, Feldman M. The influence of social niche on cultural niche construction: modelling changes in belief about marriage form in Taiwan. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2011;366:901-17 pubmed publisher
    ..They also indicate the need for future research on the relationship between wealth and cultural variability, the motivational force of cultural versus social factors, and the process of cultural niche construction. ..
  61. Kirby S, Cornish H, Smith K. Cumulative cultural evolution in the laboratory: an experimental approach to the origins of structure in human language. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:10681-6 pubmed publisher
    We introduce an experimental paradigm for studying the cumulative cultural evolution of language...
  62. Berger J, Le Mens G. How adoption speed affects the abandonment of cultural tastes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:8146-50 pubmed publisher
    ..They also shed light on one factor that may lead cultural tastes to die out. ..