Interacting contagions

Complex contagions — for example when ideas spread across a network — are thought to be different from the simple contagions observed for infections. Simple contagions are now shown to exhibit a key macroscopic characteristic of complex behaviour when they interact.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Latent potential.


  1. 1.

    Centola, D. & Macy, M. Am. J. Sociol. 113, 702–734 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Hébert-Dufresne, L., Scarpino, S. V. & Young, J.-G. Nat. Phys. (2020).

  3. 3.

    Lehmann S. & Ahn, Y. Y. (eds) Complex Spreading Phenomena in Social Systems (Springer, 2018).

  4. 4.

    O’Sullivan, D. J., O’Keeffe, G. J., Fennell, P. G. & Gleeson, J. P. Front. Phys. 3, 71 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Funk, S. & Jansen, V. A. Phys. Rev. E 81, 036118 (2010).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Marceau, V., Nöel, P.-A., Hébert-Dufresne, L., Allard, A. & Dubé, L. J. Phys. Rev. E 84, 026105 (2011).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Bauch, C. T. & Galvani, A. P. Science 342, 47–49 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Fu, F., Christakis, N. A. & Fowler, J. H. Sci. Rep. 7, 43634 (2017).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Holme, P. & Saramäki, J. Phys. Rep. 519, 97–125 (2012).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sune Lehmann.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lehmann, S. Interacting contagions. Nat. Phys. 16, 377–378 (2020).

Download citation


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing