Social components of fitness in primate groups

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

311 Scopus citations


There is much interest in the evolutionary forces that favored the evolution of large brains in the primate order. The social brain hypothesis posits that selection has favored larger brains and more complex cognitive capacities as a means to cope with the challenges of social life. The hypothesis is supported by evidence that shows that group size is linked to various measures of brain size. But it has not been clear how cognitive complexity confers fitness advantages on individuals. Research in the field and laboratory shows that sophisticated social cognition underlies social behavior in primate groups. Moreover, a growing body of evidence suggests that the quality of social relationships has measurable fitness consequences for individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1351
Number of pages5
Issue number5843
StatePublished - Sep 7 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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