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Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language

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Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language. / Morgan, T. J. H.; Uomini, N. T.; Rendell, L. E.; Chouinard-Thuly, L.; Street, S. E.; Lewis, H. M.; Cross, C. P.; Evans, C.; Kearney, R.; de la Torre, I.; Whiten, A.; Laland, K. N.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 6, 6029, 13.01.2015.

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Morgan, TJH, Uomini, NT, Rendell, LE, Chouinard-Thuly, L, Street, SE, Lewis, HM, Cross, CP, Evans, C, Kearney, R, de la Torre, I, Whiten, A & Laland, KN 2015, 'Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language' Nature Communications, vol 6, 6029. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7029

APA

Morgan, T. J. H., Uomini, N. T., Rendell, L. E., Chouinard-Thuly, L., Street, S. E., Lewis, H. M., ... Laland, K. N. (2015). Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language. Nature Communications, 6, [6029]. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7029

Vancouver

Morgan TJH, Uomini NT, Rendell LE, Chouinard-Thuly L, Street SE, Lewis HM et al. Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language. Nature Communications. 2015 Jan 13;6. 6029. Available from, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7029

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Morgan, T. J. H.; Uomini, N. T.; Rendell, L. E.; Chouinard-Thuly, L.; Street, S. E.; Lewis, H. M.; Cross, C. P.; Evans, C.; Kearney, R.; de la Torre, I.; Whiten, A.; Laland, K. N. / Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 6, 6029, 13.01.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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@article{58c967416f93427ea97f0fa77bbdb760,
title = "Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language",
abstract = "Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools—which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted—has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using five different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language, and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.",
keywords = "Tool-use, Human evolution, Social transmission, Language evolution",
author = "Morgan, {T. J. H.} and Uomini, {N. T.} and Rendell, {L. E.} and L. Chouinard-Thuly and Street, {S. E.} and Lewis, {H. M.} and Cross, {C. P.} and C. Evans and R. Kearney and {de la Torre}, I. and A. Whiten and Laland, {K. N.}",
note = "Research supported in part by an ERC Advanced Grant to K.N.L. (EVOCULTURE, ref: 232823) and grants to N.T.U. from the British Academy (Centenary Project ‘Lucy to Language: the Archaeology of the Social Brain’) and the Leverhulme Trust (ECF 0298). Supplementary information available for this article at http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150113/ncomms7029/suppinfo/ncomms7029_S1.html",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1038/ncomms7029",
volume = "6",
journal = "Nature Communications",
issn = "2041-1723",
publisher = "Nature publishing group",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language

AU - Morgan,T. J. H.

AU - Uomini,N. T.

AU - Rendell,L. E.

AU - Chouinard-Thuly,L.

AU - Street,S. E.

AU - Lewis,H. M.

AU - Cross,C. P.

AU - Evans,C.

AU - Kearney,R.

AU - de la Torre,I.

AU - Whiten,A.

AU - Laland,K. N.

N1 - Research supported in part by an ERC Advanced Grant to K.N.L. (EVOCULTURE, ref: 232823) and grants to N.T.U. from the British Academy (Centenary Project ‘Lucy to Language: the Archaeology of the Social Brain’) and the Leverhulme Trust (ECF 0298). Supplementary information available for this article at http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150113/ncomms7029/suppinfo/ncomms7029_S1.html

PY - 2015/1/13

Y1 - 2015/1/13

N2 - Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools—which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted—has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using five different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language, and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.

AB - Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools—which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted—has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using five different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language, and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.

KW - Tool-use

KW - Human evolution

KW - Social transmission

KW - Language evolution

UR - http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150113/ncomms7029/full/ncomms7029.html#supplementary-information

U2 - 10.1038/ncomms7029

DO - 10.1038/ncomms7029

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - Nature Communications

T2 - Nature Communications

JF - Nature Communications

SN - 2041-1723

M1 - 6029

ER -

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