Cultural inheritance, a genetic-based inheritance system transmitted by the brain, has previously been proposed to underlie normal behaviour and mental disorders. In cultural inheritance epigenetic mechanisms are involved in gene expression. This paper proposes that since there are marked epigenetic mechanisms involved in the expression of genes underlying primary (idiopathic) mental disorders, epimutations, rather than genetic mutations, underlie these disorders.
Are men or women more likely to confess love first in romantic relationships? And how do men and women feel when their partners say "I love you"? An evolutionary-economics perspective contends that women and men incur different potential costs and gain different potential benefits from confessing love.
An internal norm is a pattern of behavior enforced in part by internal sanctions, such as shame, guilt and loss of self-esteem, as opposed to purely external sanctions, such as material rewards and punishment. The ability to internalize norms is widespread among humans, although in some so-called "sociopaths", this capacity is diminished or lacking. Suppose there is one genetic locus that controls the capacity to internalize norms.
Recent behavioral experiments aimed at understanding the evolutionary foundations of human cooperation have suggested that a willingness to engage in costly punishment, even in one-shot situations, may be part of human psychology and a key element in understanding our sociality. However, because most experiments have been confined to students in industrialized societies, generalizations of these insights to the species have necessarily been tentative.
Humans behave altruistically in natural settings and experiments. A possible explanation-that groups with more altruists survive when groups compete-has long been judged untenable on empirical grounds for most species. But there have been no empirical tests of this explanation for humans. My empirical estimates show that genetic differences between early human groups are likely to have been great enough so that lethal intergroup competition could account for the evolution of altruism.
Despite hundreds of published articles about humankind's eusocial behaviours, most scholars still regard the origin of human altruism and cooperation as an enduring puzzle, because it seems incompatible with two central tenets of evolution, namely, the competition between individuals and the consequent selective advantages of selfish traits. This "puzzle", however, rather than being due to insurmountable scientific difficulties, is to be attributed to two powerful ideologies, which are politically opposite, but nevertheless concurred to prevent scholars from solving it.
Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
The application of game theory to evolutionary problems is so commonplace today, that few stop to consider how it all began. John Maynard Smith and George R. Price's 1973 Nature article, "The Logic of Animal Conflict," is often referred to as the first description in the literature of the concept of an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS), but what was the "behind the scenes" of the writing of that seminal paper? This article tracks the little known story of the curious American polymath, George Price.
The evolutionary foundations of helping among nonkin in humans have been the object of intense debates in the past decades. One thesis has had a prominent influence in this debate: the suggestion that genuine altruism, strictly defined as a form of help that comes at a net fitness cost for the benefactor, might have evolved owing to cultural transmission. The gene-culture coevolution literature is wont to claim that cultural evolution changes the selective pressures that normally act to limit the emergence of altruistic behaviours.
Evolutionary Psychology: An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior
Recent theoretical and experimental investigations of altruistic behavior in intergroup conflict in humans frequently make use of the assumption that warfare can be modeled as a symmetrical n-person prisoner's dilemma, abstracting away the strategic differences between attack and defense. In contrast, some empirical studies on intergroup conflict in hunter-gatherer societies and chimpanzees indicate that fitness relevant risks and potential benefits of attacks and defenses might have differed substantially under ancestral conditions.
Transmitted culture can be viewed as an inheritance system somewhat independent of genes that is subject to processes of descent with modification in its own right. Although many authors have conceptualized cultural change as a Darwinian process, there is no generally agreed formal framework for defining key concepts such as natural selection, fitness, relatedness and altruism for the cultural case. Here, we present and explore such a framework using the Price equation.