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Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments

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Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments. / Whiten, Andrew; Mesoudi, A.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 363, No. 1509, 12.11.2008, p. 3477-3488.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Whiten, A & Mesoudi, A 2008, 'Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, vol 363, no. 1509, pp. 3477-3488. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0134

APA

Whiten, A., & Mesoudi, A. (2008). Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, 363(1509), 3477-3488. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0134

Vancouver

Whiten A, Mesoudi A. Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 2008 Nov 12;363(1509):3477-3488. Available from, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0134

Author

Whiten, Andrew; Mesoudi, A / Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 363, No. 1509, 12.11.2008, p. 3477-3488.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bibtex - Download

@article{d0bc94ecc2094fc0b405a5bd140369a3,
title = "Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments",
abstract = "A growing set of observational studies documenting putative cultural variations in wild animal populations has been complemented by experimental studies that can more rigorously distinguish between social and individual learning. However, these experiments typically examine only what one animal learns from another. Since the spread of culture is inherently a group-level phenomenon, greater validity can be achieved through 'diffusion experiments', in which founder behaviours are experimentally manipulated and their spread across multiple individuals tested. Here we review the existing corpus of 33 such studies in fishes, birds, rodents and primates and offer the first systematic analysis of the diversity of experimental designs that have arisen. We distinguish three main transmission designs and seven different experimental/control approaches, generating an array with 21 possible cells, 15 of which are currently represented by published studies. Most but not all of the adequately controlled diffusion experiments have provided robust evidence for cultural transmission in at least some taxa, with transmission spreading across populations of up to 24 individuals and along chains of up to 14 transmission events. We survey the achievements of this work, its prospects for the future and its relationship to diffusion studies with humans discussed in this theme issue and elsewhere.",
keywords = "culture, cultural transmission, social learning, diffusion experiments, diffusion chains, transmission chains, FORAGING INFORMATION, NORWAY RATS, CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES, COURTSHIP PATTERNS, ENEMY RECOGNITION, MOLOTHRUS-ATER, TOOL USE, TRANSMISSION, TRADITIONS, BEHAVIOR",
author = "Andrew Whiten and A Mesoudi",
year = "2008",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1098/rstb.2008.0134",
volume = "363",
pages = "3477--3488",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8436",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC",
number = "1509",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Establishing an experimental science of culture: animal social diffusion experiments

AU - Whiten,Andrew

AU - Mesoudi,A

PY - 2008/11/12

Y1 - 2008/11/12

N2 - A growing set of observational studies documenting putative cultural variations in wild animal populations has been complemented by experimental studies that can more rigorously distinguish between social and individual learning. However, these experiments typically examine only what one animal learns from another. Since the spread of culture is inherently a group-level phenomenon, greater validity can be achieved through 'diffusion experiments', in which founder behaviours are experimentally manipulated and their spread across multiple individuals tested. Here we review the existing corpus of 33 such studies in fishes, birds, rodents and primates and offer the first systematic analysis of the diversity of experimental designs that have arisen. We distinguish three main transmission designs and seven different experimental/control approaches, generating an array with 21 possible cells, 15 of which are currently represented by published studies. Most but not all of the adequately controlled diffusion experiments have provided robust evidence for cultural transmission in at least some taxa, with transmission spreading across populations of up to 24 individuals and along chains of up to 14 transmission events. We survey the achievements of this work, its prospects for the future and its relationship to diffusion studies with humans discussed in this theme issue and elsewhere.

AB - A growing set of observational studies documenting putative cultural variations in wild animal populations has been complemented by experimental studies that can more rigorously distinguish between social and individual learning. However, these experiments typically examine only what one animal learns from another. Since the spread of culture is inherently a group-level phenomenon, greater validity can be achieved through 'diffusion experiments', in which founder behaviours are experimentally manipulated and their spread across multiple individuals tested. Here we review the existing corpus of 33 such studies in fishes, birds, rodents and primates and offer the first systematic analysis of the diversity of experimental designs that have arisen. We distinguish three main transmission designs and seven different experimental/control approaches, generating an array with 21 possible cells, 15 of which are currently represented by published studies. Most but not all of the adequately controlled diffusion experiments have provided robust evidence for cultural transmission in at least some taxa, with transmission spreading across populations of up to 24 individuals and along chains of up to 14 transmission events. We survey the achievements of this work, its prospects for the future and its relationship to diffusion studies with humans discussed in this theme issue and elsewhere.

KW - culture

KW - cultural transmission

KW - social learning

KW - diffusion experiments

KW - diffusion chains

KW - transmission chains

KW - FORAGING INFORMATION

KW - NORWAY RATS

KW - CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES

KW - COURTSHIP PATTERNS

KW - ENEMY RECOGNITION

KW - MOLOTHRUS-ATER

KW - TOOL USE

KW - TRANSMISSION

KW - TRADITIONS

KW - BEHAVIOR

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=52949119545&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2008.0134

DO - 10.1098/rstb.2008.0134

M3 - Article

VL - 363

SP - 3477

EP - 3488

JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences

T2 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences

JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8436

IS - 1509

ER -

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ID: 411552