Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The evolutionary roots of creativity: mechanisms and motivations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

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

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 -

Related by author

  1. A response to scientific and societal needs for marine biological observations

    Bax, N., Miloslavich, P., Muller-Karger, F. E., Allain, V., Appeltans, W., Batten, S. D., Benedetti-Cecchi, L., Buttigieg, P. L., Chiba, S., Costa, D. P., Duffy, J. E., Dunn, D. C., Johnson, C. R., Kudela, R. M., Obura, D., Rebelo, L-M., Shin, Y-J., Simmons, S. E. & Tyack, P. L., 17 Jul 2019, In : Frontiers in Marine Science. 6, 22 p., 395.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Evidence for discrimination between feeding sounds of familiar fish and unfamiliar mammal-eating killer whale ecotypes by long-finned pilot whales

    Curé, C., Isojunno, S., I Vester, H., Visser, F., Oudejans, M., Biassoni, N., Massenet, M., Barluet de Beauchesne, L., J Wensveen, P., Sivle, L. D., Tyack, P. L. & Miller, P. J. O., 22 Jun 2019, In : Animal Cognition. First Online, 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Foraging rates of ram-filtering North Atlantic right whales

    van der Hoop, J. M., Nousek-McGregor, A. E., Nowacek, D. P., Parks, S. E., Tyack, P. & Madsen, P. T., 10 Jun 2019, In : Functional Ecology. Early View, 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Northern bottlenose whales in a pristine environment respond strongly to close and distant navy sonar signals

    Wensveen, P. J., Isojunno, S., Hansen, R. R., Von Benda-beckmann, A. M., Kleivane, L., Van Ijsselmuide, S., Lam, F. A., Kvadsheim, P. H., Deruiter, S. L., Curé, C., Narazaki, T., Tyack, P. L. & Miller, P. J. O., 20 Mar 2019, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286, 1899, 10 p., 20182592.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Diving behavior and fine-scale kinematics of free-ranging Risso’s dolphins foraging in shallow and deep-water habitats

    Arranz, P., Benoit-Bird, K., Friedlaender, A. S., Hazen, E. L., Goldbogen, J. A., Stimpert, A. K., De Ruiter, S. L., Calambokidis, J., Southall, B., Fahlman, A. & Tyack, P. L., 12 Mar 2019, In : Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 7, 15 p., 53.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Christian Rutz (Editor)
    20122013

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Member of editorial board)
    20092014

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Tanja van Mourik (Member of editorial board)
    2009

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Andrew Whiten (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Tool Use as Adaptation

    Biro, D. (ed.), Haslam, M. (ed.) & Rutz, C. (ed.), 2013, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences, 368, 1630.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue

Related by journal

  1. Causes and consequences of female centrality in cetacean societies

    Rendell, L. E., Cantor, M., Gero, S., Whitehead, H. & Mann, J., 15 Jul 2019, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 374, 1780, 13 p., 20180066.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Parasitic cuckoo catfish exploit parental responses to lost offspring

    Polačik, M., Reichard, M., Smith, C. & Blažek, R., Apr 2019, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. Forthcoming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Linking personality and cognition: a meta-analysis

    Dougherty, L. R. & Guillette, L. M., 26 Sep 2018, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 373, 1756, 12 p., 20170282.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Stress hormones, social associations and song learning in zebra finches

    Boogert, N. J., Lachlan, R. F., Spencer, K. A., Templeton, C. N. & Farine, D. R., 26 Sep 2018, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences. 373, 1756, 9 p., 20170290.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 165196833