CBSU bibliography search
To request a reprint of a CBSU publication, please click here to send us an email (reprints may not be available for all publications)
Understanding Culture Across Species
Byrne, R.W., BARNARD, P.J., Davidson, I., Janik, V.M., Mcgrew, W.C., Miklosi, A. & Weissner, P.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(8), 341-346
Year of publication:
Recent claims of culture in great apes have provoked fervent argument about the ìtrueî definition of culture, most of which have been unhelpful. Instead, a range of definitions should be used to explore different aspects of the cognitive processes that together result in human culture, many of which can be productively studied in non-humans. A richer cognitive account of the contents of culture needs to be developed and used to compare animal and human cultures, instead of sterile searching for a cognitive Rubicon between them. Exploring six views of culture points to the fundamental contrast of whether culture evolves as by-product of cumulative change in cognitive mechanisms, or whether it is actively selected for its advantages.