Professor Erica van de Waal, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
In this first 'major study group' lecture, I will present examples of the very extensive research done on social learning in primates and other terrestrial mammals. My lecture is in three sections:
The aims of this lecture are to introduce key approaches to study cultural transmission in mammals highlight how commonly social learning occurs in social groups, and present perspectives for future research horizons.
Erica van de Waal
Lecture 4a: Observations of culture in the wild
Lecture 4b: Experiments done in captivity
Lecture 4c: Field experiments
Lecture slides (pdf)
Core (testable) readings
Watson, S. K., Botting, J., Whiten, A., & van de Waal, E. (2018). Culture and Selective Social Learning in Wild and Captive Primates. In Evolution of Primate Social Cognition (pp. 211-230). Springer, Cham.
A concise review on culture and social learning in primates, in both captive and wild settings
Whiten, A., & van de Waal, E. (2018). The pervasive role of social learning in primate lifetime development. Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 72(5), 80.
A recent review of the importance of social learning in primates throughout the different life stages.
Schuppli, C., & van Schaik, C. P. (2019). Animal cultures: how we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 1
A controversial new empirical approach to estimating the scope of ape cultural repertoires.
Galef, Bennett G., and Elain E. Whiskin. “‘Conformity’ in Norway rats?.” Animal Behaviour 75.6 (2008): 2035-2039.
Experiments on rats, challenging primatologists’ approach to conformity.
Bono, A. E., Whiten, A., van Schaik, C., Krützen, M., Eichenberger, F., Schnider, A., & van de Waal, E. (2018). Payoff-and sex-biased social learning interact in a wild primate population. Current Biology, 28(17), 2800-2805.
Field experiments showing the scope of social learning in natural social groups.
This project was supported by Grant #61105 from the John Templeton Foundation to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (PIs: S. Gavrilets and P. J. Richerson) with assistance from the Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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