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      Why Are There Different Languages? The Role of Adaptation in Linguistic Diversity

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      Trends in Cognitive Sciences
      Elsevier BV

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          Ecological Sources of Selection on Avian Sounds

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            The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation

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              The cultural niche: why social learning is essential for human adaptation.

              In the last 60,000 y humans have expanded across the globe and now occupy a wider range than any other terrestrial species. Our ability to successfully adapt to such a diverse range of habitats is often explained in terms of our cognitive ability. Humans have relatively bigger brains and more computing power than other animals, and this allows us to figure out how to live in a wide range of environments. Here we argue that humans may be smarter than other creatures, but none of us is nearly smart enough to acquire all of the information necessary to survive in any single habitat. In even the simplest foraging societies, people depend on a vast array of tools, detailed bodies of local knowledge, and complex social arrangements and often do not understand why these tools, beliefs, and behaviors are adaptive. We owe our success to our uniquely developed ability to learn from others. This capacity enables humans to gradually accumulate information across generations and develop well-adapted tools, beliefs, and practices that are too complex for any single individual to invent during their lifetime.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Trends in Cognitive Sciences
                Trends in Cognitive Sciences
                Elsevier BV
                13646613
                September 2016
                September 2016
                : 20
                : 9
                : 649-660
                Article
                10.1016/j.tics.2016.07.005
                a3e75565-b8ee-492b-b1e4-41aa019bb8a4
                © 2016

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