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  Social network architecture and the tempo of cumulative cultural evolution

Cantor, M., Chimento, M., Smeele, S. Q., He, P., Papageorgiou, D., Aplin, L. M., et al. (2021). Social network architecture and the tempo of cumulative cultural evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 288(1946): 20203107. doi:10.1101/2020.12.04.411934.

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Cantor_Social_ProcB_2021.pdf (Publisher version), 3MB
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2021
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© 2021 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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 Creators:
Cantor, Mauricio, Author
Chimento, Michael, Author
Smeele, Simeon Quirinus1, Author              
He, Peng, Author
Papageorgiou, Danai, Author
Aplin, Lucy M., Author
Farine, Damien R., Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_2173689              

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Free keywords: Cultural evolution; Cultural complexity; Multilevel societies; Small-world networks; Social structure
 Abstract: The ability to build upon previous knowledge—cumulative cultural evolution—is a hallmark of human societies. While cumulative cultural evolution depends on the interaction between social systems, cognition and the environment, there is increasing evidence that cumulative cultural evolution is facilitated by larger and more structured societies. However, such effects may be interlinked with patterns of social wiring, thus the relative importance of social network architecture as an additional factor shaping cumulative cultural evolution remains unclear. By simulating innovation and diffusion of cultural traits in populations with stereotyped social structures, we disentangle the relative contributions of network architecture from those of population size and connectivity. We demonstrate that while more structured networks, such as those found in multilevel societies, can promote the recombination of cultural traits into high-value products, they also hinder spread and make products more likely to go extinct. We find that transmission mechanisms are therefore critical in determining the outcomes of cumulative cultural evolution. Our results highlight the complex interaction between population size, structure and transmission mechanisms, with important implications for future research.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-02-182021-03-21
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 9
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.04.411934
 Degree: -

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Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Royal Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 288 (1946) Sequence Number: 20203107 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -