An intraspecific appraisal of the social intelligence hypothesis

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The prevailing hypotheses for the evolution of cognition focus on either the demands associated with group living (the social intelligence hypothesis (SIH)) or ecological challenges such as finding food. Comparative studies testing these hypotheses have generated highly conflicting results; consequently, our understanding of the drivers of cognitive evolution remains limited. To understand how selection shapes cognition, research must incorporate an intraspecific approach, focusing on the causes and consequences of individual variation in cognition. Here, we review the findings of recent intraspecific cognitive research to investigate the predictions of the SIH. Extensive evidence from our own research on Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis), and a number of other taxa, suggests that individuals in larger social groups exhibit elevated cognitive performance and, in some cases, elevated reproductive fitness. Not only do these findings demonstrate how the social environment has the potential to shape cognitive evolution, but crucially, they demonstrate the importance of considering both genetic and developmental factors when attempting to explain the causes of cognitive variation. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Causes and consequences of individual differences in cognitive abilities’.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20170288
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Volume373
    Issue number1756
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2018

    Fingerprint

    Emotional Intelligence
    cognition
    Cognition
    Research
    Genetic Fitness
    Aptitude
    Social Environment
    hypothesis testing
    individual variation
    Individuality
    social environment
    comparative study
    fitness
    Food
    food
    Testing
    prediction
    appraisal
    testing

    Cite this

    @article{f2ed29c302684fd4a920536e66ffea2f,
    title = "An intraspecific appraisal of the social intelligence hypothesis",
    abstract = "The prevailing hypotheses for the evolution of cognition focus on either the demands associated with group living (the social intelligence hypothesis (SIH)) or ecological challenges such as finding food. Comparative studies testing these hypotheses have generated highly conflicting results; consequently, our understanding of the drivers of cognitive evolution remains limited. To understand how selection shapes cognition, research must incorporate an intraspecific approach, focusing on the causes and consequences of individual variation in cognition. Here, we review the findings of recent intraspecific cognitive research to investigate the predictions of the SIH. Extensive evidence from our own research on Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis), and a number of other taxa, suggests that individuals in larger social groups exhibit elevated cognitive performance and, in some cases, elevated reproductive fitness. Not only do these findings demonstrate how the social environment has the potential to shape cognitive evolution, but crucially, they demonstrate the importance of considering both genetic and developmental factors when attempting to explain the causes of cognitive variation. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Causes and consequences of individual differences in cognitive abilities’.",
    keywords = "Australian magpies, Cognition, Individual variation, Intraspecific, Social intelligence hypothesis",
    author = "Ashton, {Benjamin J.} and Alex Thornton and Ridley, {Amanda R.}",
    year = "2018",
    month = "9",
    day = "26",
    doi = "10.1098/rstb.2017.0288",
    language = "English",
    volume = "373",
    journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences",
    issn = "0962-8436",
    publisher = "Royal Society of London",
    number = "1756",

    }

    An intraspecific appraisal of the social intelligence hypothesis. / Ashton, Benjamin J.; Thornton, Alex; Ridley, Amanda R.

    In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 373, No. 1756, 20170288, 26.09.2018.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - An intraspecific appraisal of the social intelligence hypothesis

    AU - Ashton, Benjamin J.

    AU - Thornton, Alex

    AU - Ridley, Amanda R.

    PY - 2018/9/26

    Y1 - 2018/9/26

    N2 - The prevailing hypotheses for the evolution of cognition focus on either the demands associated with group living (the social intelligence hypothesis (SIH)) or ecological challenges such as finding food. Comparative studies testing these hypotheses have generated highly conflicting results; consequently, our understanding of the drivers of cognitive evolution remains limited. To understand how selection shapes cognition, research must incorporate an intraspecific approach, focusing on the causes and consequences of individual variation in cognition. Here, we review the findings of recent intraspecific cognitive research to investigate the predictions of the SIH. Extensive evidence from our own research on Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis), and a number of other taxa, suggests that individuals in larger social groups exhibit elevated cognitive performance and, in some cases, elevated reproductive fitness. Not only do these findings demonstrate how the social environment has the potential to shape cognitive evolution, but crucially, they demonstrate the importance of considering both genetic and developmental factors when attempting to explain the causes of cognitive variation. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Causes and consequences of individual differences in cognitive abilities’.

    AB - The prevailing hypotheses for the evolution of cognition focus on either the demands associated with group living (the social intelligence hypothesis (SIH)) or ecological challenges such as finding food. Comparative studies testing these hypotheses have generated highly conflicting results; consequently, our understanding of the drivers of cognitive evolution remains limited. To understand how selection shapes cognition, research must incorporate an intraspecific approach, focusing on the causes and consequences of individual variation in cognition. Here, we review the findings of recent intraspecific cognitive research to investigate the predictions of the SIH. Extensive evidence from our own research on Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis), and a number of other taxa, suggests that individuals in larger social groups exhibit elevated cognitive performance and, in some cases, elevated reproductive fitness. Not only do these findings demonstrate how the social environment has the potential to shape cognitive evolution, but crucially, they demonstrate the importance of considering both genetic and developmental factors when attempting to explain the causes of cognitive variation. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Causes and consequences of individual differences in cognitive abilities’.

    KW - Australian magpies

    KW - Cognition

    KW - Individual variation

    KW - Intraspecific

    KW - Social intelligence hypothesis

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85052503204&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2017.0288

    DO - 10.1098/rstb.2017.0288

    M3 - Review article

    VL - 373

    JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences

    JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences

    SN - 0962-8436

    IS - 1756

    M1 - 20170288

    ER -