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Behavioral constraints and the evolution of faithful social learning

2018-11-30

Behavioral traditions, i.e. behavioral patterns that are acquired with the aid of social learning and that are relatively stable in a group, have been observed in several species. Recently, however, it has been questioned whether non-human social learning is faithful enough to stabilize those patterns. The observed stability could be interpreted as a result of various constraints that limit the number of possible alternative behaviors, rather than of the fidelity of transmission mechanisms. Those constraints can be roughly described as internal, such as mechanical (bodily) properties or cognitive limitations and predispositions, and external, such as ecological availability or pressures. Here we present an evolutionary individual-based model that explores the relationships between the evolution of faithful social learning and behavioral constraints, represented both by the size of the behavioral repertoire and by the shape of the search space of a given task. We show that the evolution of high-fidelity transmission mechanisms, when associated with costs (e. g. cognitive, biomechanical, energetic, etc.), is only likely if the potential behavioral repertoire of a species is large and if the search space does not provide information that can be exploited by individual learning. Moreover we show how stable behavioral patterns (traditions) can be achieved at the population level as an outcome of both high-fidelity and low-fidelity transmission mechanisms, given that the latter are coupled with a small behavioral repertoire or with a search space that provide substantial feedback. Finally, by introducing the possibility of environmental change, we show that intermediate rates of change favor the evolution of faithful social learning.

An Open Resource for Non-human Primate Imaging

2018-11-21

Non-human primate neuroimaging is a rapidly growing area of research that promises to transform and scale translational and cross-species comparative neuroscience. Unfortunately, the technological and methodological advances of the past two decades have outpaced the accrual of data, which is particularly challenging given the relatively few centers that have the necessary facilities and capabilities. The PRIMatE Data Exchange (PRIME-DE) addresses this challenge by aggregating independently acquired non-human primate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets and openly sharing them via the International Neuroimaging Data-sharing Initiative (INDI). Here, we present the rationale, design, and procedures for the PRIME-DE consortium, as well as the initial release, consisting of 25 independent data collections aggregated across 22 sites (total = 217 non-human primates). We also outline the unique pitfalls and challenges that should be considered in the analysis of non-human primate MRI datasets, including providing automated quality assessment of the contributed datasets.

Pitfalls in Spatial Modelling of Ethnocentrism : A Simulation Analysis of the Model of Hammond and Axelrod

2018-11-09

Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to behave differently towards strangers based only on whether they belong to the ingroup or the outgroup. It is a widespread phenomenon that can be triggered by arbitrary cues, but the origins of which are not clearly understood. In a recent simulation model by Hammond and Axelrod, an ingroup bias evolves in the prisoners' dilemma game. However, it will be argued here that the model does little to advance our understanding of ethnocentrism. The model assumes a spatial structure in which agents interact only with their immediate neighbourhood, populated mostly by clones, and the marker becomes an approximate cue of whether the partner is one. It will be shown that agents with an ingroup bias are successful compared to unconditional co-operators since they only exclude non-clones, but are outcompeted by less error-prone kin identifiers. Thus, the results of the simulations can be explained by a simple form of kin selection. These findings illustrate how spatial assumptions can alter a model to the extent that it no longer describes the phenomenon under study.

Stakeholder theory : Some revisionist suggestions

2018-11-07

The article argues for the use of a narrow stakeholder definition. It also adds one group - managers - that generally is not considered as being a stakeholder group. Here it is suggested that control of this stakeholder group holding the executive power should be a central topic for stakeholder theory. The article supports the common idea that the business discourse and the moral discourse should be integrated in stakeholder theory, not treated as separate tracks. The issue is then how to mold the substance for such integration. This article argues that the priority of stakeholders implies a distancing from general altruistic philosophy that argues against - not for - giving special consideration to the company's stakeholders. Both the moral substance and the business potential lie in the special and close relationship with these partners. Stakeholder theory needs a more compatible ethical theory.

Retirement coordination in opposite-sex and same-sex married couples : Evidence from Swedish registers

2018-11-06

This study examines how married couples’ age differences and gender dynamics influence retirement coordination in Sweden. High-quality longitudinal administrative registers allow us to study the labor market outcomes of all marital couples in Sweden. Using regression analysis, we find that the likelihood of couples retiring close in time decreases as their age difference increases but that age differences have a similar effect on retirement coordination for couples with larger age differences. Additionally, retirement coordination is largely gender-neutral in opposite-sex couples with age differences regardless of whether the male spouse is older. Additionally, male same-sex couples retire closer in time than both opposite-sex couples and female same-sex couples. The definition of retirement coordination as the number of years between retirements contributes to the literature on couples’ retirement behavior and allows us to study the degree of retirement coordination among all couples, including those with larger age differences.

When Does Intimate Partner Violence Continue After Separation?

2018-11-06

Over their lifetime, approximately 10% of all women become victims of postseparation stalking or assault. We use a nationally representative survey of separated Swedish women to examine whether men who strive to control their partners during their relationships are more likely to stalk or assault their ex-partners after separation. The empirical analysis shows that basic measures of control behaviors explain 18% of the variance in stalking victimization and 8% of the assault victimization. Moreover, the predictive values of our measures of control by far surpass those of other common risk markers included in the analysis.

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