Adam H. Boyette's research while affiliated with Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and other places

Publications (39)

Article
Given the contributions of sleep to a range of health outcomes, there is substantial interest in ecological and environmental factors, including psychosocial contexts, that shape variation in sleep between individuals and populations. However, the links between social dynamics and sleep are not well-characterized beyond Euro-American settings, repr...
Article
Humans are extraordinary in the extent to which we rely on cumulative culture to act upon and make sense of our environment. Teaching is one social learning process thought to be fundamental to the evolution of cumulative culture as a means of adaptation in our species. However, the frequency of teaching and how we teach are known to vary across hu...
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A key issue distinguishing prominent evolutionary models of human life history is whether prolonged childhood evolved to facilitate learning in a skill- and strength-intensive foraging niche requiring high levels of cooperation. Considering the diversity of environments humans inhabit, children’s activities should also reflect local social and ecol...
Article
Investigating past and present human adaptation to the Congo Basin tropical forest can shed light on how climate and ecosystem variability have shaped human evolution. Here, we first review and synthesize genetic, palaeoclimatological, linguistic and historical data on the peopling of the Congo Basin. While forest fragmentation led to the increased...
Preprint
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Understanding how socioecology affects contemporary children’s learning and work opportunities can help researchers better model the selection pressures which have shaped the evolution of human life history and social organization. Here, we compiled a global time allocation dataset for children and adolescents from hunter-gatherer and mixed-subsist...
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Sleep studies in small-scale subsistence societies have broadened our understanding of cross-cultural sleep patterns, revealing the flexibility of human sleep. We examined sleep biology among BaYaka foragers from the Republic of Congo who move between environmentally similar but socio-ecologically distinct locations to access seasonal resources. We...
Article
Children and mothers' cortisol production in response to family psychosocial conditions, including parenting demands, family resource availability and parental conflict, has been extensively studied in the United States and Europe. Less is known about how such family dynamics relate to family members' cortisol in societies with a strong cultural em...
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We examine the opportunities children have for interacting with others and the extent to which they are the focus of others’ visual attention in five societies where extended family communities are the norm. We compiled six video-recorded datasets (two from one society) collected by a team of anthropologists and psychologists conducting long-term r...
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Temporal aspects of child and adolescent time allocation in diverse cultural settings have been difficult to model using conventional statistical techniques. A new statistical approach, Egocentric Relational Event Modelling (EREM), allows for the simultaneous modelling of activity frequency, duration, and sequencing. Here, EREM is applied to a foca...
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Across diverse societies, task assignment is a socialization practice that gradually builds children's instrumental skills and integrates them into the flow of daily activities in their community. However, psychosocial tensions can arise when cooperation is demanded from children. Through their compliance or noncompliance, they learn cultural norms...
Article
Unlike most mammals, human fathers cooperate with mothers to care for young to an extraordinary degree. Human paternal care likely evolved alongside our unique life history strategy of raising slow-developing, energetically costly children, often in rapid succession. Adaptive frameworks generally assume that paternal provisioning played a critical...
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Humans are rare among mammals in exhibiting paternal care and the capacity for broad hyper-cooperation, which were likely critical to the evolutionary emergence of human life history. In humans and other species, testosterone is often a mediator of life history trade-offs between mating/competition and parenting. There is also evidence that lower t...
Article
Objectives The pooling of energetic resources and food sharing have been widely documented among hunter‐gatherer societies. Much less is known about how the energetic costs of daily activities are distributed across individuals in such groups, including between women and men. Moreover, the metabolic physiological correlates of those activities and...
Chapter
This book was funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme (7FP), TropicMicroArch 623293 Project (http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/187754_en.html). The book will be Open Access, thanks to FP7 post-grant Open Access (https://www.openaire.eu/postgrantoapilot).
Chapter
This book was funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme (7FP), TropicMicroArch 623293 Project (http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/187754_en.html). The book will be Open Access, thanks to FP7 post-grant Open Access (https://www.openaire.eu/postgrantoapilot).
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Objectives: The study goals were to (a) characterize the cultural model of fatherhood among the BaYaka, a community of egalitarian foragers in the Republic of the Congo; (b) test if BaYaka fathers' quality in relation to the cultural model predicts their children's energetic status; and (c) compare the variance in BaYaka children's energetic statu...
Article
Developmental environments influence individuals' long‐term health trajectories, and there is increasing emphasis on understanding the biological pathways through which this occurs. Epigenetic aging evaluates DNA methylation at a suite of distinct CpG sites in the genome, and epigenetic age acceleration (EAA) is linked to heightened chronic morbidi...
Article
Few data exist on gender‐typed and gender‐segregated play in hunter‐gatherer societies, despite their unique demographic and cultural features which may influence children’s gendered play. Using naturalistic observations of Hadza (N = 46, 41% female) and BaYaka (N = 65, 48% female) hunter‐gatherer 3‐ to 18‐year‐olds from Tanzania and the Republic o...
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Introduction: Testosterone and oxytocin are psychobiological mechanisms that interrelate with relationship quality between parents and the quantity and quality of parenting behaviors, thereby affecting child outcomes. Their joint production based on family dynamics has rarely been tested, particularly cross-culturally. Methods: We explored famil...
Article
Teaching is cross-culturally widespread but few studies have considered children as teachers as well as learners. This is surprising, since forager children spend much of their time playing and foraging in child-only groups, and thus, have access to many potential child teachers. Using the Social Relations Model, we examined the prevalence of child...
Article
We examined cross-cultural variation in children’s learning-through-participation in economic work in two forager societies; the Hadza of Tanzania and the BaYaka of the Republic of Congo. We used observational data from 46 Hadza (41% female) and 65 BaYaka (48% female) children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 18; interview data from 73 Had...
Article
It is well established that respect for autonomy and sharing are two core values that, along with egalitarianism have great influence over thought and action in mobile foraging society. However, resolving the tension between these values is also key to forager social life, which requires both a lack of dependence on specific others and consistent a...
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Most of what we know about teaching comes from research among people living in large, politically and economically stratified societies with formal education systems and highly specialized roles with a global market economy. In this paper, we review and synthesize research on teaching among contemporary hunter-gatherer societies. The hunter-gathere...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Educational Psychology - The Cambridge Handbook of Play - edited by Peter K. Smith
Article
Males in vertebrate species with biparental care commonly face a life history trade-off between investing in mating versus parenting effort. Among these males, testosterone is frequently elevated during mating and competition and reduced when males help raise offspring. These physiological patterns may be adaptive, increasing males' fitness through...
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Purpose: Work-themed play may allow children to learn complex skills, and ethno-typical and gender-typical behaviors. Thus, play may make important contributions to the evolution of childhood through the development of embodied capital. Few studies have explored how work and play trade-off throughout childhood among foragers, and how sex, ethnicity...
Article
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The significance of teaching to the evolution of human culture is under debate. We contribute to the discussion by using a quantitative, cross-cultural comparative approach to investigate the role of teaching in the lives of children in two small-scale societies: Aka foragers and Ngandu farmers of the Central African Republic. Focal follows with be...
Article
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Objectives: According to the technical intelligence hypothesis, humans are superior to all other animal species in understanding and using tools. However, the vast majority of comparative studies between humans and chimpanzees, both proficient tool users, have not controlled for the effects of age, prior knowledge, past experience, rearing conditi...
Chapter
In this chapter, I explore the integration of imitative and creative aspects of children’s autonomous play as a means of examining the evolved psychology for learning within a culturally constructed niche. I investigate whether children’s play tracks expected pathways of cultural transmission across a small sample of foraging and agrarian societies...
Article
Few systematic studies of play in foragers exist despite their significance for understanding the breadth of contexts for human development and the ontogeny of cultural learning. Forager societies lack complex social hierarchies, avenues for prestige or wealth accumulation, and formal educational institutions, and thereby represent a contrast to th...
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A large literature proposes that preferences for exaggerated sex typicality in human faces (masculinity/femininity) reflect a long evolutionary history of sexual and social selection. This proposal implies that dimorphism was important to judgments of attractiveness and personality in ancestral environments. It is difficult to evaluate, however, be...
Article
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Humans are an exceptionally cooperative species, but there is substantial variation in the extent of cooperation across societies. Understanding the sources of this variability may provide insights about the forces that sustain cooperation. We examined the ontogeny of prosocial behavior by studying 326 children 3-14 y of age and 120 adults from six...
Chapter
This commentary reviews the three chapters on human play. Each chapter provides insights, new data, and theoretical exploration into human play. The commentary examines the theoretical positions, data, and interpretations in the context of hunter-gatherer research and the authors' field experiences with Aka hunter-gatherers.
Article
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The frequency of anointing bouts and the materials used for self- and social anointing vary across capuchin species in captivity, but there is little published data on capuchin anointing in the wild. Here we present previously unpublished data on anointing behaviors from capuchin monkey populations at ten different field sites and incorporate these...
Article
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This paper explores childhood social learning among Aka and Bofi hunter-gatherers in Central Africa. Existing literature suggests that hunter-gatherer social learning is primarily vertical (parent-to-child) and that teaching is rare. We use behavioural observations, open-ended and semi-structured interviews, and informal and anecdotal observations...

Citations

... Data for the present study were collected along the Motaba River in the Likouala Department of the Republic of the Congo. At the study site, BaYaka foragers spend approximately six months of the year in forest camps, and the remaining year in a multi-ethnic village [38]. In both settings, BaYaka participate in day-long and overnight foraging excursions where they fish, hunt with spears and shotguns, set traps and snares, collect honey, wild yams, nuts, mushrooms and greens, and maintain small horticultural gardens [39,40]. ...
... Some evidence indicates that women sleep longer than men (Burgard & Ailshire, 2013) and have better sleep quality (Faria et al., 2019). In BaYaka foragers (Kilius et al., 2021), males displayed a higher variance in sleep patterns and spent more time socializing during nighttime. ...
... In small-scale societies that depend on hunting, men with hunting skills are highly valued by both women and men as social partners (von Rueden et al. 2008;Marlowe 2010), and hunting reputation is one of the most significant factors in preferences for mates (Hawkes 1991;Smith 2004) and campmates (Smith and Apicella 2019). Moreover, among BaYaka foragers children experience higher physiological stress levels if their fathers were regarded as less efficient providers and sharers of resources in the community (Gettler et al. 2021). Moreover, it has been recently shown that in some small-scale societies, such as Martu and Tsimane, men with better reputations are more central in cooperative networks (Bird and Power 2015) Mean values of the simulated posterior distributions (N = 10 000), the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and standard deviations in the out-ofcamp model. ...
... Cultural transmission does not only rely on children's capacities to acquire cultural repertoires (i.e., cultural knowledge, skills, practices), but also depends on experienced individuals who facilitate the learning process (Kline, 2015;Legare, 2017;Legare & Nielsen, 2015). In particular, early childhood marks a period of intense cultural learning, with parents and close others playing an important role in structuring children's experiences (Broesch et al., 2021;Kagitcibasi, 2005;Kärtner, Schuhmacher, & Giner Torréns, 2020;Keller, 2007;Rogoff, 2003;, and in shaping their development. This includes the development of visual attention (Kärtner, Keller, & Yovsi, 2010;Rogoff, 2003;Senzaki, Masuda, Takada, & Okada, 2016), motor skills (Keller, 2007), prosocial behavior (Callaghan et al., 2011;Kärtner, 2010;Köster et al., 2016), and social learning capacities (Clegg & Legare, 2017;Shneidman, Gaskins, & Woodward, 2016). ...
... Infants are often turned outward by those holding them to direct the child's attention to the surrounding people and activities [80]. As children grow, adults may ask them to perform increasingly complex tasks (e.g. from fetching items across camp to carrying messages kilometres away) as a means of engaging them in daily routines ( [81], also see [82]). A valued role for fathers in BaYaka culture is having children accompany them to the forest to learn during hunting and gathering trips [83,84]. ...
... Instead, males' behavioral priorities shift toward mate attraction and extra pair mating effort (11,40). In humans, there is evidence that fathers with lower T provide more nurturant, direct care of children, engage in less marital conflict, and have higher relationship quality with their partners, compared to fathers who have higher T (28,(41)(42)(43)(44)(45)(46). These patterns point to the importance of these hormonal shifts as social roles change across life-history transitions, as well as to potential fitness benefits through more cohesive partnerships and improved child health and development outcomes (13,39,47). ...
... Thus, practitioners should elicit mothers' attitudes regarding father engagement to intervene with any maternal gatekeeping obstructing father participation [19]. There is also need for content designed to reflect the father's role in child development, entailing underpinnings of the neurobiology of paternal behaviour (e.g., [57,58]) and social influence (e.g., [59]), rather than content which assumes maternal and paternal roles are identical. ...
... In contrast, in other populations, such as Amazonian Shuar, males have greater foraging energetic costs than females but both sexes have very high physical activity levels (Christopher et al., 2019;Madimenos et al., 2011). Likewise, Congo Basin BaYaka foragers differ in physical activity levels and average energetic costs by sex, but females spend more time in more intensive activities than males (Sarma et al., 2020). Our results suggest that sex-specific differences during childhood and adolescence in some foraging activities, such as digging, are not explained by differences in efficiency or energetic costs. ...
... (Extra time spent in passive physical contact would not be sufficient for this, as it does not activate the CT neuron system. In any case, adult humans do not spend significant quantities of time in physical contact with anyone other than a few intimate partners [43,44,68].) I suggest that laughter as a form of chorusing was the solution that made it possible to break through the grooming constraint. ...
... In the Puno Department of southern Peru, speakers of Quechua and Aymara languages live together in the same villages, and the language divide does not correspond to economic, political, and religious differences (Moya & Boyd, 2015). In the Central African Republic, BaYaka foragers and Ngandu farmers live in the same villages and routinely exchange foods, despite differences in cultural beliefs (Boyette & Lew-Levy, 2019). ...