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How animals collaborate: Underlying proximate mechanisms

Duguid, S; Melis, AP; (2020) How animals collaborate: Underlying proximate mechanisms. WIREs Cognitive Science , Article e1529. 10.1002/wcs.1529. (In press). Green open access

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Collaboration or social interactions in which two or more individuals coordinate their behavior to produce outcomes from which both individuals benefit are common in nature. Individuals from many species hunt together, defend their territory, and form coalitions in intragroup competition. However, we still know very little about the proximate mechanisms underlying these behaviors. Recent theories of human cognitive evolution have emphasized the role collaboration may have played in the selection of socio‐cognitive skills. It has been argued that the capacity to form shared goals and joint intentions with others, is what allows humans to collaborate so flexibly and efficiently. Although there is no evidence that nonhuman animals are capable of shared intentionality, there is conceivably a wide range of proximate mechanisms that support forms of, potentially flexible, collaboration in other species. We review the experimental literature with the aim of evaluating what we know about how other species achieve collaboration; with a particular focus on chimpanzees. We structure the review with a new categorization of collaborative behavior that focuses on whether individuals intentionally coordinate actions with others. We conclude that for a wider comparative perspective we need more data from other species but the findings so far suggest that chimpanzees, and possibly other great apes, are capable of understanding the causal role of a partner in collaboration.

Type: Article
Title: How animals collaborate: Underlying proximate mechanisms
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1529
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1529
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. WIREs Cognitive Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: apes, collaboration, comparative psychology, cooperation, social cognition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097344
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