Anlage und Umwelt – Rezente Diskussion in den USA

 National Academies of Science

PNAS invites you to explore the interplay of culture and biology
with free access (also in PDF) to the 
Sackler Colloquium on

The Extension of Biology through Culture

Culture suffuses all aspects of human life, shaping both our minds and bodies. Current research reveals that social learning is, in fact, widespread in the animal kingdom as well. The cumulative inheritance of knowledge introduces a second inheritance system to living systems. Acting parallel to genetic inheritance, the inheritance of learned behavior is still grounded on the evolutionary foundations of biological inheritance. How these two inheritance systems interact, extending each other in new and unexpected ways, is the topic of this provocative Sackler Colloquium. Studies in this collection range from exploring cultural transmission in whales and dolphins to social learning in bumblebees and in songbirds, or to the emergence of behavioral innovation in capuchin monkeys. With regard to human culture, one study examines the relationship between ecological niche expansions and cultural shifts, and another reveals how children actively seek out new information from others. An additional study suggests that large brains and long lifespans promoted increased reliance on culture in some primates, in turn driving further increases in cognitive abilities and lifespan.

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