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The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations

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The evolutionary roots of creativity : mechanisms and motivations. / Wiggins, Geraint A.; Tyack, Peter Lloyd; Scharff, Constance; Rohrmeier, Martin.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, Vol. 370, No. 1664, 03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Wiggins, GA, Tyack, PL, Scharff, C & Rohrmeier, M 2015, 'The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, vol. 370, no. 1664. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0099

APA

Wiggins, G. A., Tyack, P. L., Scharff, C., & Rohrmeier, M. (2015). The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, 370(1664). https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0099

Vancouver

Wiggins GA, Tyack PL, Scharff C, Rohrmeier M. The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 2015 Mar;370(1664). https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0099

Author

Wiggins, Geraint A. ; Tyack, Peter Lloyd ; Scharff, Constance ; Rohrmeier, Martin. / The evolutionary roots of creativity : mechanisms and motivations. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 370, No. 1664.

Bibtex - Download

@article{d3edb22248474d1eaae22a3e96e25520,
title = "The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations",
abstract = "We consider the evolution of cognition and the emergence of creative behaviour,in relation to vocal communication. We address two key questions:(i) what cognitive and/or social mechanisms have evolved that afford aspectsof creativity?; (ii) has natural and/or sexual selection favoured human behavioursconsidered ‘creative’? This entails analysis of ‘creativity’, an impreciseconstruct: comparable properties in non-humans differ in magnitude andteleology from generally agreed human creativity. We then address twoapparent problems: (i) the difference between merely novel productionsand ‘creative’ ones; (ii) the emergence of creative behaviour in spite of highcost: does it fit the idea that females choose a male who succeeds in spite ofa handicap (costly ornament); or that creative males capable of producing alarge and complex song repertoire grew up under favourable conditions; ora demonstration of generally beneficial heightened reasoning capacity;or an opportunity to continually reinforce social bonding through changingcommunication tropes; or something else? We illustrate and support ourargument by reference to whale and bird song; these independently evolvedbiological signal mechanisms objectively share surface properties withhuman behaviours generally called ‘creative’. Studying them may elucidatemechanisms underlying human creativity; we outline a research programmeto do so.",
keywords = "Creativity, Vocal communication, Music, Computational modelling, Information theory",
author = "Wiggins, {Geraint A.} and Tyack, {Peter Lloyd} and Constance Scharff and Martin Rohrmeier",
note = "Funding: MASTS pooling initiative (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland). MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions.",
year = "2015",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1098/rstb.2014.0099",
language = "English",
volume = "370",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8436",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC",
number = "1664",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - The evolutionary roots of creativity

T2 - mechanisms and motivations

AU - Wiggins, Geraint A.

AU - Tyack, Peter Lloyd

AU - Scharff, Constance

AU - Rohrmeier, Martin

N1 - Funding: MASTS pooling initiative (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland). MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions.

PY - 2015/3

Y1 - 2015/3

N2 - We consider the evolution of cognition and the emergence of creative behaviour,in relation to vocal communication. We address two key questions:(i) what cognitive and/or social mechanisms have evolved that afford aspectsof creativity?; (ii) has natural and/or sexual selection favoured human behavioursconsidered ‘creative’? This entails analysis of ‘creativity’, an impreciseconstruct: comparable properties in non-humans differ in magnitude andteleology from generally agreed human creativity. We then address twoapparent problems: (i) the difference between merely novel productionsand ‘creative’ ones; (ii) the emergence of creative behaviour in spite of highcost: does it fit the idea that females choose a male who succeeds in spite ofa handicap (costly ornament); or that creative males capable of producing alarge and complex song repertoire grew up under favourable conditions; ora demonstration of generally beneficial heightened reasoning capacity;or an opportunity to continually reinforce social bonding through changingcommunication tropes; or something else? We illustrate and support ourargument by reference to whale and bird song; these independently evolvedbiological signal mechanisms objectively share surface properties withhuman behaviours generally called ‘creative’. Studying them may elucidatemechanisms underlying human creativity; we outline a research programmeto do so.

AB - We consider the evolution of cognition and the emergence of creative behaviour,in relation to vocal communication. We address two key questions:(i) what cognitive and/or social mechanisms have evolved that afford aspectsof creativity?; (ii) has natural and/or sexual selection favoured human behavioursconsidered ‘creative’? This entails analysis of ‘creativity’, an impreciseconstruct: comparable properties in non-humans differ in magnitude andteleology from generally agreed human creativity. We then address twoapparent problems: (i) the difference between merely novel productionsand ‘creative’ ones; (ii) the emergence of creative behaviour in spite of highcost: does it fit the idea that females choose a male who succeeds in spite ofa handicap (costly ornament); or that creative males capable of producing alarge and complex song repertoire grew up under favourable conditions; ora demonstration of generally beneficial heightened reasoning capacity;or an opportunity to continually reinforce social bonding through changingcommunication tropes; or something else? We illustrate and support ourargument by reference to whale and bird song; these independently evolvedbiological signal mechanisms objectively share surface properties withhuman behaviours generally called ‘creative’. Studying them may elucidatemechanisms underlying human creativity; we outline a research programmeto do so.

KW - Creativity

KW - Vocal communication

KW - Music

KW - Computational modelling

KW - Information theory

U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2014.0099

DO - 10.1098/rstb.2014.0099

M3 - Article

VL - 370

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

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

SN - 0962-8436

IS - 1664

ER -

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