Smarter through group living: A response to Smulders
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, https://doi.org/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.
KeywordsSocial intelligence hypothesis Cognitive ecology Australian magpie
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