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Smarter through group living: A response to Smulders

Authors
  • Ashton, Benjamin J.1
  • Ridley, Amanda R.1
  • Thornton, Alex2
  • 1 University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, 6009, Australia , Crawley (Australia)
  • 2 University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, TR10 9FE, UK , Penryn (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & Behavior
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Dec 10, 2018
Volume
47
Issue
4
Pages
277–279
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/s13420-018-0366-6
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

We recently identified a strong, positive relationship between group size and individual cognitive performance, and a strong, positive relationship between female cognitive performance and reproductive success (Ashton, Ridley, Edwards, & Thornton in Nature, 554, 364–367, 2018). An opinion piece by Smulders (Learning & Behavior, 10.3758/s13420-018-0335-0, 2018) raised the interesting notion that these patterns may be underlined by motivational factors. In this commentary, we highlight why none of the available data are consistent with this explanation, but instead support the argument that the demands of group living influence cognitive development, with knock-on consequences for fitness.

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