Cognitive Science 39 (1):171-183 (2015)

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Abstract
Through cultural transmission, repeated learning by new individuals transforms cultural information, which tends to become increasingly compressible . Existing diffusion chain studies include in their design two processes that could be responsible for this tendency: learning and reproducing . This paper manipulates the presence of learning in a simple iterated drawing design experiment. We find that learning seems to be the causal factor behind the increase in compressibility observed in the transmitted information, while reproducing is a source of random heritable innovations. Only a theory invoking these two aspects of cultural learning will be able to explain human culture's fundamental balance between stability and innovation
Keywords Conventionality  Imitation  Iterated learning  Compression  Cultural transmission
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DOI 10.1111/cogs.12144
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Simplicity: A Unifying Principle in Cognitive Science?Nick Chater & Paul Vitányi - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):19-22.

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