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Cooperation is central to what makes us human. It is so deeply entrenched in our nature that it can be seen at the heart of every culture, whether it takes the form of group hunting, shared child-rearing, or large-scale, multi-national institutions such as the UN. And yet in contrast to the constancy of other forms of cooperation in non-human animals, such as termite-mound building or honey bee dancing, the changing face of human cooperation makes it seem more fragile, and its mechanisms more elusive. As with other features of our behaviour, human cooperation is the product of both genetic and cultural evolution. Studying cooperation in children, in different cultural environments, and in contrast to other species, provides a valuable window into the ways in which these two forms of inheritance interact over development, and a chance to distil out its constitutive components.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R470-R473
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019


  • Cooperation
  • Children
  • Cognition


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