Michael Chimento

IMPRS doctoral candidate
Max Planck Research Group of Cognitive and Cultural Ecology

Main Focus

I am interested in how socially transmitted behaviors are perceived, stored, and produced by the brain. When these processes are iterated within a population, culture emerges as persistent patterns of observable information. Exactly which selection pressures are operating on culturally replicating information is still an open question.

My previous research was focused on the effect of social structure on language complexity. Social features of populations (e.g. size, turnover, structure) constrain memory, and in turn affect observed culture. These effects might be present in cultural traditions of other species capable of social learning, such as Parus Major, the study system of my current project at Aplin Lab. Through agent based modeling and laboratory experiments, I hope to highlight processes and pressures in cultural evolution that occur independently of species or substrate.

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2016-2018: MSc in Evolution of Language & Cognition, University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK)
  • 2009-2011: BA in Politics, New York University (New York City, USA)

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