Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The pervasive role of social learning in primate lifetime development

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Author(s)

Andrew Whiten, Erica van de Waal

School/Research organisations

Abstract

In recent decades, an accelerating research effort has exploited a substantial diversity of methodologies to garner mounting evidence for social learning and culture in many species of primate. As in humans, the evidence suggests that the juvenile phases of non-human primates’ lives represent a period of particular intensity in adaptive learning from others, yet the relevant research remains scattered in the literature. Accordingly, we here offer what we believe to be the first substantial collation and review of this body of work and its implications for the lifetime behavioral ecology of primates. We divide our analysis into three main phases: a first phase of learning focused on primary attachment figures, typically the mother; a second phase of selective learning from a widening array of group members, including some with expertise that the primary figures may lack; and a third phase following later dispersal, when a migrant individual encounters new ecological and social circumstances about which the existing residents possess expertise that can be learned from. Collating a diversity of discoveries about this lifetime process leads us to conclude that social learning pervades primate ontogenetic development, importantly shaping locally adaptive knowledge and skills that span multiple aspects of the behavioral repertoire.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
Number of pages16
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume72
Early online date3 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

    Research areas

  • Social learning, Traditions, Culture, Ontogeny, Development, Juvenile primates

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Chimpanzees’ behavioural flexibility, social tolerance and use of tool-composites in a progressively challenging foraging problem

    Harrison, R. A., van Leeuwen, E. & Whiten, A., 5 Jan 2021, In: iScience. In press, 102033.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Does culture shape hunting behavior in bonobos?

    Whiten, A., 1 Sep 2020, In: eLife. 9, 3 p., e62104.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

  3. Refining our understanding of the "elephant in the room"

    Whiten, A., 10 Aug 2020, In: The Behavioral and brain sciences. 43, p. e182

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. A unified account of culture should accommodate animal cultures

    Whiten, A., 28 May 2020, In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 43, e118.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

  5. Wild chimpanzees scaffold youngsters’ learning in a high-tech community

    Whiten, A., 14 Jan 2020, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 2, p. 802-804 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Monica Arso Civil (Reviewer)

    15 Dec 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Luke Edward Rendell (Editor)

    2015 → …

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

  3. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)

    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Vincent Janik (Member of editorial board)

    20052014

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

  5. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Editor)

    19972002

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

Related by journal

  1. Effective use of the McNemar test

    Pembury Smith, M. & Ruxton, G. D., 10 Oct 2020, In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 9 p., 133.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Effects of indirect reputation and type of rearing on food choices in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

    Bueno-Guerra, N., Colell, M. & Call, J., 6 Jun 2020, In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 6, 79.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Grouped circular data in biology: advice for effectively implementing statistical procedures

    Landler, L., Ruxton, G. D. & Malkemper, E. P., 20 Jul 2020, In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 8, 8 p., 100.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Mating failure shapes the patterns of sperm precedence in an insect

    Balfour, V. L., Black, D. & Shuker, D. M., 27 Jan 2020, In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74, 14 p., 25.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 252827535

Top