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Sci Rep. 2014 Dec 23;4:7600. doi: 10.1038/srep07600.

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

Author information

1
1] Université de Strasbourg, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Strasbourg, France [2] Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie, Strasbourg, France.
2
1] Université de Strasbourg, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Strasbourg, France [2] Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie, Strasbourg, France [3] Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France.
3
University of St Andrews, Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, School of Psychology &Neuroscience, St Andrews, United Kingdom.
4
1] University of St Andrews, Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, School of Psychology &Neuroscience, St Andrews, United Kingdom [2] Inkawu Vervet Project, Mawana Game Reserve, Swart Mfolozi, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
5
1] Kyoto University, Primate Research Institute, Center for International Collaboration and Advanced Studies in Primatology Kanrin 41-2, Inuyama, Aichi, Japan 484-8506 [2] Kyoto University Wildlife Research Center, 2-24 Tanaka-Sekiden-cho, Sakyo, Kyoto, Japan 606-8203.
6
Ethobiosciences, Research and Consultancy Agency in Animal Wellbeing and Behaviour, Strasbourg, France.
7
Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary, Canada.
8
1] Inkawu Vervet Project, Mawana Game Reserve, Swart Mfolozi, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa [2] University of Neuchâtel, Institute of Biology, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
9
Department of Psychology &Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 30302, USA.
10
1] Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A. [2] Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon, Panama City, Panama.
11
1] Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany [2] Courant Research Centre "Evolution of Social Behaviour", University of Göttingen, Germany.
12
1] Department of Psychology &Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 30302, USA [2] Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL, 60614, USA [3] Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX, 78602, USA.
13
Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX, 78602, USA.
14
1] Université de Strasbourg, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Strasbourg, France [2] Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie, Strasbourg, France [3] Unit of Social Ecology, CP231, Université libre de Bruxelles, Campus Plaine, Bd du triomphe, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.
15
Courant Research Centre "Evolution of Social Behaviour", University of Göttingen, Germany.
16
Unit of Cognitive Primatology and Primate Center, ISTC-CNR, Rome, Italy.
17
1] Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, German Primate Center, Goettingen, Germany [2] Courant Research Centre "Evolution of Social Behaviour", University of Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
25534964
PMCID:
PMC4274513
DOI:
10.1038/srep07600
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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