Antoci, Angelo and Russu, Paolo and Sacco, Pier Luigi (2018) Cultural ecologies of adaptive vs. maladaptive traits: a simple nonlinear model. Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, Vol. 58 , p. 92-106. ISSN 1007-5704. Article.
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In this paper, we generalize a model by Enquist and Ghirlanda  to analyze the “macro” dynamics of cumulative culture in a context where there is a coexistence of adaptive and maladaptive cultural traits. In particular, we introduce a different, nonlinear specification of the main processes at work in the cumulative culture dynamics: imperfect transmission of traits, generation of new traits, and switches from adaptive to maladaptive and vice-versa. We find that the system exhibits a variety of dynamic behaviors where the crucial force is the switching between the adaptive and maladaptive nature of a certain trait, with the other processes playing a modulating role. We identify in particular a number of dynamic regimes with distinctive characteristics.
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