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Why did Homo sapiens become the last surviving hominin? Roberts and Stewart review evidence for human dispersal 300–12 thousand years ago and propose that humans thrived via a unique 'generalist specialist' ecological niche.
By analysing whether characteristics of Austronesian populations could predict the rate of adoption of Christianity, researchers find that political leadership and small population sizes facilitated Christianity’s spread in the Pacific.
A study finds association between the occurrence of intimate partner violence and marital fertility among Tsimané forager-horticulturalists, independent of proximate explanations, suggesting that intimate partner violence may persist as an evolutionary strategy to enhance male fitness.
The success of humans as the last surviving species of the hominin clade may be explained by our ecological plasticity. Roberts and Stewart review evidence for human dispersal 300,000–12,000 years before present and propose that humans thrived via a unique ‘generalist specialist’ ecological niche.
Cullati and colleagues propose a framework to understand vulnerability in later life as a product of biological, psychological, cognitive, emotional, economical and relational ‘reserves’ built up over a lifetime, which can be called on to buffer against or recover from adversity.
Theories about the spread of Christianity are tested using comparative cross-cultural methods and historical data on 70 Austronesian cultures. Conversion was fastest in small and politically organized societies, but not impacted by social inequality.
A study of intimate partner violence among the Tsimané forager-horticulturalists of Bolivia finds evidence that male aggression is leveraged to increase marital fertility and a man’s individual fitness when spouses differ in preferred family size.
Experiments using economic games and hypothetical infectious disease scenarios show that uncertainty about a decision’s outcome reduces prosocial actions, but when the impact on others is made uncertain, prosociality increases.
Humans can recognize emotions from facial expressions. Brooks and Freeman investigate the link between conceptual representation and visual perception of emotions and show that emotions that are represented as conceptually similar are perceived as similar.