November 20 2017

UCLA's Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture Seminar Series

Extra-Community Relationships in Humans: From Tolerance to Transactions

Anne Pisor
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Relative to non-human primates, humans are heavily reliant on social connections beyond the boundaries of their local communities. However, individuals vary in the extent to which they exhibit interest in extra-community relationships. How did humans come to have such pronounced tolerance toward extra-community individuals, and what are the relevant payoffs that modulate interest in extra-community relationships? To address these questions, I first identify the incentive structures favoring tolerance in inter-group encounters in the Primate order. Turning to ethnographic and ethnohistoric data, I emphasize how incentives for encounter are even more pronounced in humans, often with high payoffs to forming enduring social relationships via inter-group encounters. I then focus on the instantiations of these relationships among three populations of Bolivian horticulturalists, for whom integration to the national economy is changing the affordances of these connections. I discuss the extent to which an individual’s interest in extra-community relationships varies with her opportunities for access to market goods, experience of resource shortfalls, and perceptions of the qualities of extra-community individuals as social partners. I conclude by identifying candidate ways forward, including how we might better document the existence of extra-community relationships in the field and formulate informed hypotheses about the relevant incentive structures favoring, or disfavoring, these relationships.

Monday, November 20
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Haines Hall 352, UCLA


November 27 2017

UCLA's Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture Seminar Series

Neural Encoding and Cognitive Consequences of Human Social Networks

Carolyn Parkinson
UCLA

The cognitive demands of navigating large groups comprised of many varied and enduring social bonds are thought to have significantly shaped human brain evolution. Yet, much remains to be understood about how the human brain tracks, encodes, and is influenced by the social networks in which it is embedded. The work presented in this talk integrates approaches from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and social network analysis in order to better understand how the structure of the social world is encoded in the human brain and the cognitive consequences of this structure.

Monday, November 27
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Haines Hall 352, UCLA