Effects of memory on spatial heterogeneity in neutrally transmitted culture

R. Alexander Bentley*, Camila C S Caiado, Paul Ormerod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We explore how cultural heterogeneity evolves without strong selection pressure or environmental differences between groups. Using a neutral transmission model with an isolation-by-distance spatiality, we test the effect of a simple representation of cultural 'memory' on the dynamics of heterogeneity. We find that memory magnifies the effect of affinity while decreasing the effect of individual learning on cultural heterogeneity. This indicates that, while the cost of individual learning governs the frequency of individual learning, memory is important in governing its effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Culture transmission
  • Frequency dependent copying
  • Memory
  • Neutral model
  • Social learning

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