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Social networks in primates: smart and tolerant species have more efficient networks

Pasquaretta, Cristian, Levé, Marine, Claidière, Nicolas, van de Waal, Erica, Whiten, Andrew, MacIntosh, Andrew J. J., Pelé, Marie, Bergstrom, Mackenzie L., Borgeaud, Christèle, Brosnan, Sarah F., and others. (2014) Social networks in primates: smart and tolerant species have more efficient networks. Scientific Reports, 4 . Article Number 7600. E-ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/srep07600) (KAR id:84579)

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Network optimality has been described in genes, proteins and human communicative networks. In the latter, optimality leads to the efficient transmission of information with a minimum number of connections. Whilst studies show that differences in centrality exist in animal networks with central individuals having higher fitness, network efficiency has never been studied in animal groups. Here we studied 78 groups of primates (24 species). We found that group size and neocortex ratio were correlated with network efficiency. Centralisation (whether several individuals are central in the group) and modularity (how a group is clustered) had opposing effects on network efficiency, showing that tolerant species have more efficient networks. Such network properties affecting individual fitness could be shaped by natural selection. Our results are in accordance with the social brain and cultural intelligence hypotheses, which suggest that the importance of network efficiency and information flow through social learning relates to cognitive abilities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/srep07600
Uncontrolled keywords: animal networks; primate networks
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Dr Barbara Tiddi
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2020 21:25 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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