Aug 14, 2014

How cultural transmission facilitates a long juvenile learning period

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ryan Baldini


The evolution of the long, slow human life history is a major challenge to evolutionary biologists. A compelling theory states that our late age at maturity allows us to acquire the many skills needed to survive in the economically intensive human foraging niche. Cultural transmission may be a crucial part of this process, by exposing learners to a wealth of information and skills that they would otherwise not likely discover. I use mathematical models to show that whether cultural transmission allows a later age at maturity depends on the details of selection and population regulation. In particular, cultural transmission appears to readily allow a later age at maturity under density-dependent fertility, but may not under density-dependent mortality or density-independent population growth. I close with a discussion of possibilities for future theoretical and empirical research.

  • References
  • Citations


  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.
  • References
  • Citations


  • This paper may not have been cited yet.

Mentioned in this Paper

Regulation of Biological Process
Infertility Study
Empirical Research
Laboratory Culture
Population Group
Biological Evolution

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.