The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history.

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  • Additional Information
    • Author-Supplied Keywords:
      Amniotes
      Animal behavior
      Animal sociality
      Animals
      Behavior
      Biology and life sciences
      Cognitive psychology
      Cognitive science
      Cultural evolution
      Culture
      Ecology
      Ecology and environmental sciences
      Eukaryota
      Evolutionary biology
      Evolutionary processes
      Hominid evolution
      Hominin evolution
      Human evolution
      Learning
      Learning and memory
      Mammals
      Natural selection
      Neuroscience
      Organismal evolution
      Organisms
      Primates
      Psychology
      Research Article
      Social sciences
      Sociology
      Theoretical ecology
      Vertebrates
      Zoology
    • Abstract:
      In the last few million years, the hominin brain more than tripled in size. Comparisons across evolutionary lineages suggest that this expansion may be part of a broader trend toward larger, more complex brains in many taxa. Efforts to understand the evolutionary forces driving brain expansion have focused on climatic, ecological, and social factors. Here, building on existing research on learning, we analytically and computationally model the predictions of two closely related hypotheses: The Cultural Brain Hypothesis and the Cumulative Cultural Brain Hypothesis. The Cultural Brain Hypothesis posits that brains have been selected for their ability to store and manage information, acquired through asocial or social learning. The model of the Cultural Brain Hypothesis reveals relationships between brain size, group size, innovation, social learning, mating structures, and the length of the juvenile period that are supported by the existing empirical literature. From this model, we derive a set of predictions—the Cumulative Cultural Brain Hypothesis—for the conditions that favor an autocatalytic take-off characteristic of human evolution. This narrow evolutionary pathway, created by cumulative cultural evolution, may help explain the rapid expansion of human brains and other aspects of our species’ life history and psychology. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • :
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    • Author Affiliations:
      1Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
      2Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
      3Department of Zoology / Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
      4School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America
      5Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto, Canada
    • Full Text Word Count:
      18261
    • ISSN:
      1553-734X
    • Accession Number:
      10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504
    • Accession Number:
      132926314
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      MUTHUKRISHNA, M. et al. The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history. PLoS Computational Biology, [s. l.], v. 14, n. 11, p. 1–37, 2018. DOI 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asr&AN=132926314. Acesso em: 15 ago. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Muthukrishna M, Doebeli M, Chudek M, Henrich J. The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history. PLoS Computational Biology. 2018;14(11):1-37. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504
    • APA:
      Muthukrishna, M., Doebeli, M., Chudek, M., & Henrich, J. (2018). The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(11), 1–37. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Muthukrishna, Michael, Michael Doebeli, Maciej Chudek, and Joseph Henrich. 2018. “The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How Culture Drives Brain Expansion, Sociality, and Life History.” PLoS Computational Biology 14 (11): 1–37. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504.
    • Harvard:
      Muthukrishna, M. et al. (2018) ‘The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history’, PLoS Computational Biology, 14(11), pp. 1–37. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504.
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Muthukrishna, M, Doebeli, M, Chudek, M & Henrich, J 2018, ‘The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history’, PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 1–37, viewed 15 August 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Muthukrishna, Michael, et al. “The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How Culture Drives Brain Expansion, Sociality, and Life History.” PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 14, no. 11, Nov. 2018, pp. 1–37. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Muthukrishna, Michael, Michael Doebeli, Maciej Chudek, and Joseph Henrich. “The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How Culture Drives Brain Expansion, Sociality, and Life History.” PLoS Computational Biology 14, no. 11 (November 9, 2018): 1–37. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006504.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Muthukrishna M, Doebeli M, Chudek M, Henrich J. The Cultural Brain Hypothesis: How culture drives brain expansion, sociality, and life history. PLoS Computational Biology [Internet]. 2018 Nov 9 [cited 2020 Aug 15];14(11):1–37. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asr&AN=132926314