Paper of the Week: Social learning strategies – a mechanistic critique

This week’s Paper of the Week is Heyes & Pearce (2015) Not-so-social learning strategies. Proc Roy Soc B 282: 20141709.

In this paper, Heyes and Pearce review social learning strategies (SLSs) in terms of their possible mechanistic underpinnings, in particular whether or not domain-general processes (i.e. aspects of associative learning at work in asocial learning) can explain SLSs, without the need for more complex, domain-specific mechanisms. A thought-provoking read. The call for greater mechanistic rigour is timely, especially if we are beginning to make untested assumptions about the complexity of underlying behavioural mechanisms.

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