Social learning and the evolution of behaviour

Eytan Avital, Eva Jablonka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In animals capable of learning from a parent or other individual, socially acquired behaviour can be transmitted through several generations. When the inheritance of variations in such behaviour is independent of genotypic variations, natural selection can operate on an additional level. Direct evolution of behaviour becomes possible, and this may alter the estimates of costs and benefits of behaviour patterns for the individual who transmits them. It is suggested that the effects of maternally transmitted behaviour contribute to the evolution of maternal behavioural strategies, and to the evolution of behaviour associated with male-female conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1199
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994


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