Home range overlap as a driver of intelligence in primates

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Various socioecological factors have been suggested to influence cognitive capacity in primates, including challenges associated with foraging and dealing with the complexities of social life. Alexander [Alexander, 1989]. Evolution of the human psyche. In: Mellars P, Stringer C, editors. The human revolution: Behavioural and biological perspectives on the origins of modern humans. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p 455-513] proposed an integrative model for the evolution of human cognitive abilities and complex sociality that incorporates competition among coalitions of conspecifics (inter-group conflict) as a major selective pressure. However, one of the premises of this model, i.e., that when confronted with inter-group conflict selection should favor enhanced cognition, has remained empirically untested. Using a comparative approach on species data, I aimed to test the prediction that primate species (n=104) that face greater inter-group conflict have higher cognitive abilities (indexed by endocranial volume). The degree of inter-group conflict/complexity was approximated via the variable home range overlap among groups. I found a significant relationship between home range overlap and endocranial volume, even after controlling for other predictor variables and covariates such as group size and body mass. I conclude that brain size evolution cannot be attributed exclusively to social factors such as group size, but likely reflects a variety of social and ecological determinants including inter-group conflict which poses cognitive demands on monitoring both the wider social milieu as well as spatial attributes of the habitat.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)418-424
    JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
    Volume77
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    home range
    primate
    Primates
    group size
    cognition
    body mass
    foraging
    brain
    prediction
    conflict
    monitoring
    habitats
    habitat
    testing

    Cite this

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    title = "Home range overlap as a driver of intelligence in primates",
    abstract = "{\circledC} 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Various socioecological factors have been suggested to influence cognitive capacity in primates, including challenges associated with foraging and dealing with the complexities of social life. Alexander [Alexander, 1989]. Evolution of the human psyche. In: Mellars P, Stringer C, editors. The human revolution: Behavioural and biological perspectives on the origins of modern humans. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p 455-513] proposed an integrative model for the evolution of human cognitive abilities and complex sociality that incorporates competition among coalitions of conspecifics (inter-group conflict) as a major selective pressure. However, one of the premises of this model, i.e., that when confronted with inter-group conflict selection should favor enhanced cognition, has remained empirically untested. Using a comparative approach on species data, I aimed to test the prediction that primate species (n=104) that face greater inter-group conflict have higher cognitive abilities (indexed by endocranial volume). The degree of inter-group conflict/complexity was approximated via the variable home range overlap among groups. I found a significant relationship between home range overlap and endocranial volume, even after controlling for other predictor variables and covariates such as group size and body mass. I conclude that brain size evolution cannot be attributed exclusively to social factors such as group size, but likely reflects a variety of social and ecological determinants including inter-group conflict which poses cognitive demands on monitoring both the wider social milieu as well as spatial attributes of the habitat.",
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    Home range overlap as a driver of intelligence in primates. / Grueter, Cyril.

    In: American Journal of Primatology, Vol. 77, No. 4, 2015, p. 418-424.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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