Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Why direct effects of predation complicate the social brain hypothesis And how incorporation of explicit proximate behavioral mechanisms might help
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: Bioessays, ISSN 0265-9247, E-ISSN 1521-1878, Vol. 38, no 6, 568-577 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A growing number of studies have found that large brains may help animals survive by avoiding predation. These studies provide an alternative explanation for existing correlative evidence for one of the dominant hypotheses regarding the evolution of brain size in animals, the social brain hypothesis (SBH). The SBH proposes that social complexity is a major evolutionary driver of large brains. However, if predation both directly selects for large brains and higher levels of sociality, correlations between sociality and brain size may be spurious. We argue that tests of the SBH should take direct effects of predation into account, either by explicitly including them in comparative analyses or by pin-pointing the brain-behavior-fitness pathway through which the SBH operates. Existing data and theory on social behavior can then be used to identify precise candidate mechanisms and formulate new testable predictions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 38, no 6, 568-577 p.
Keyword [en]
brain evolution, brain size, comparative method, predation, proximate mechanisms, social brain hypothesis, social complexity
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133249DOI: 10.1002/bies.201500166ISI: 000380048800010PubMedID: 27174816OAI: diva2:958327
Available from: 2016-09-06 Created: 2016-09-05 Last updated: 2016-09-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
van der Bijl, WouterKolm, Niclas
By organisation
Department of Zoology
In the same journal
Evolutionary Biology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 19 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link