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Cumulative cultural dynamics and the coevolution of cultural innovation and transmission: an ESS model for panmictic and structured populations.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
When individuals in a population can acquire traits through learning, each individual may express a certain number of distinct cultural traits. These traits may have been either invented by the individual himself or acquired from others in the population. Here, we develop a game theoretic model for the accumulation of cultural traits through individual and social learning. We explore how the rates of innovation, decay, and transmission of cultural traits affect the evolutionary stable (ES) levels of individual and social learning and the number of cultural traits expressed by an individual when cultural dynamics are at a steady-state. We explore the evolution of these phenotypes in both panmictic and structured population settings. Our results suggest that in panmictic populations, the ES level of learning and number of traits tend to be independent of the social transmission rate of cultural traits and is mainly affected by the innovation and decay rates. By contrast, in structured populations, where interactions occur between relatives, the ES level of learning and the number of traits per individual can be increased (relative to the panmictic case) and may then markedly depend on the transmission rate of cultural traits. This suggests that kin selection may be one additional solution to Rogers's paradox of nonadaptive culture.
Computer Simulation, Cultural Characteristics, Cultural Evolution, Fertility/physiology, Game Theory, Humans, Learning/physiology, Models, Biological
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