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Mammalian Social Learning


  • 49 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 440 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.64 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521031950 | ISBN-10: 0521031958)

Social learning commonly refers to the social transfer of information and skill among individuals. It encompasses a wide range of behaviours that include where and how to obtain food, how to interact with members of one's own social group, and to identify and respond appropriately to predators. The behaviour of experienced individuals provides natural sources of information, by which inexperienced individuals may learn about the opportunities and hazards of their environment, and develop and modify their own behaviour as a result. A wide diversity of species is discussed in this book, some of which have never been discussed in this context before, and particular reference is made to their natural life strategies. Social learning in humans is also considered by comparison with other mammals, especially in their technological and craft traditions. Moreover, a discussion is included of the social learning abilities of prehistoric hominids.

• Provides a source of information and new perspectives on a developing subject • Includes material on social learning in marsupials and Stone Age humans • A vast range of mammalian species covered, with particular emphasis placed on field study work


List of contributors; Preface; Part I. New Perspectives in Studies of Social Learning: Editors' comments Hilary O. Box and Kathleen R. Gibson; 1. The myth of peculiar primates Thelma Rowell; 2. New directions in the study of primate learning Barbara J. King; 3. Temperament and socially mediated learning among primates Hilary O. Box; 4. Evolutionary biology of skill and information transfer Richard M. Sibly; Part II. Social Learning Among Species of Terrestrial Herbivores: Editors' comments Hilary O. Box and Kathleen R. Gibson; 5. Social learning in marsupials Karen Higginbottom and David B. Croft; 6. The social context for learning and behavioural development among wild African elephants Phyllis C. Lee and Cynthia J. Moss; 7. Comparative social learning among arctic herbivores: the caribou, muskox and arctic hare David R. Klein; 8. Transmission of olfactory information from mother to young in the European rabbit Robyn Hudson, Benoist Schaal and Ágnes Bilkó; 9. Social transfer of information in domestic animals Donald M. Broom; Part III. Rats, Bats and Naked Mole-Rats: Animals With Information Centres: Editors' comments Kathleen R. Gibson and Hilary O. Box; 10. Exploring the dynamics of social transmission with rats Kevin N. Laland; 11. Social influences on foraging in bats Gerald S. Wilkinson and Janette Wenrick Boughman; 12. Social transmission of information in a eusocial rodent, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) Chris G. Faulkes; Part IV. Social Learning Among Species of Terrestrial Carnivores: Editors' comments Hilary O. Box and Kathleen R. Gibson; 13. Opportunities for social learning in bears Barrie K. Gilbert; 14. Watch with mother: a review of social learning in the Felidae Andrew C. Kitchener; 15. Social learning in canids: an ecological perspective Jan A. J. Nel; Part V. Dolphins and Whales: Communication and Foraging in Aquatic Environments: Editors' comments Kathleen R. Gibson and Hilary O. Box; 16. Social learning in cetaceans: hunting, hearing and hierarchies James R. Boran and Sara L. Heimlich; 17. Origins and implications of vocal learning in bottlenose dolphins Vincent M. Janik; Part VI. The Great Ape-Human Adaptation: Culture and the Cognitive Niche: Editors' comments Kathleen R. Gibson and Hilary O. Box; 18. Cognition in great ape ecology: skill-learning ability opens up foraging opportunities Richard W. Byrne; 19. Social transmission of facts and skills in the human species: neural mechanisms Kathleen R. Gibson; 20. Cultural learning in hominids: a behavioural ecological approach Stephen J. Shennan and James Steele; 21. Imitation and cultural change: a view from the Stone Age, with specific reference to the manufacture of handaxes Steven Mithen; Part VII. Concluding Remarks: 22. Social learning and behavioural strategies among mammals Hilary O. Box and Kathleen R. Gibson; Index.


'… this book will broaden your horizons on social learning.' Jean McKinley, Primate Eye


Hilary O. Box, Kathleen R. Gibson, Thelma Rowell, Barbara J. King, Richard M. Sibly, Karen Higginbottom, David B. Croft, Phyllis C. Lee, Cynthia J. Moss, David R. Klein, Robyn Hudson, Benoist Schaal, Ágnes Bilkó, Donald M. Broom, Kevin N. Laland, Gerald S. Wilkinson, Janette Wenrick Bauman, Chris G. Faulkes, Barrie K. Gilbert, Andrew C. Kitchener, Jan A. J. Nel, James R. Boran, Sara L. Heimlich, Vincent M. Janik, Richard W. Byrne, Stephan J. Shennan, James Steele, Steven Mithen

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