Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Cognitive Ecology

Emerging theoretical focus that attempts to understand the cognitive traits and neuronal processes that contribute to information acquisition, optimization of tasking and decisionmaking, and especially the estimation of the degree to which certain mechanisms are the product of adaptive evolutionary change. Comparative approaches attempt to provide information about perceptual constraints that act as delimiters on the natural world, and thus affect an animal’s fitness. CE has theoretical links to sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral ecology.

Cf. social intelligence hypothesis.

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