publication . Article . Other literature type . 2009

Ratcheting up the ratchet: on the evolution of cumulative culture

Claudio Tennie; Josep Call; Michael Tomasello;
Open Access
  • Published: 27 Aug 2009 Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, volume 364, pages 2,405-2,415 (issn: 0962-8436, eissn: 1471-2970, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: The Royal Society
Some researchers have claimed that chimpanzee and human culture rest on homologous cognitive and learning mechanisms. While clearly there are some homologous mechanisms, we argue here that there are some different mechanisms at work as well. Chimpanzee cultural traditions represent behavioural biases of different populations, all within the species’ existing cognitive repertoire (what we call the ‘zone of latent solutions’) that are generated by founder effects, individual learning and mostly product-oriented (rather than process-oriented) copying. Human culture, in contrast, has the distinctive characteristic that it accumulates modifications over time (what we...
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free text keywords: General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Articles, Sociocultural evolution, Copying, Normative, Ratchet effect, Psychology, Conformity, media_common.quotation_subject, media_common, Repertoire, Social learning, Imitation, Cognitive psychology
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