- Title Pages
- Notes on Contributors
- 1 The Social Brain and the Distributed Mind
- 2 Technologies of Séparation and the Evolution of Social Extension
- 3 Herto Brains and Minds: Behaviour of Early <i>Homo sapiens</i> from the Middle Awash
- 4 Social Networks and Social Complexity in Female-bonded Primates
- 5 Human Social Evolution: A Comparison of Hunter-gatherer and Chimpanzee Social Organization
- 6 Constraints on Social Networks
- 7 Social Networks and Community in the Viking Age
- 8 Deacon's Dilemma: The Problem of Pair-bonding in Human Evolution
- 9 The Evolution of Altruism via Social Addiction
- 10 From Experiential-based to Relational-based Forms of Social Organization: A Major Transition in the Evolution of <i>Homo sapiens</i>
- 11 Networks and the Evolution of Socio-material Differentiation
- 12 When Individuals Do Not Stop at the Skin
- 13 Cliques, Coalitions, Comrades and Colleagues: Sources of Cohesion in Groups
- 14 The Socio-religious Brain: A Developmental Model
- 15 Some Functions of Collective Forgetting
- 16 What is Cognition? Extended Cognition and the Criterion of the Cognitive
- 17 Firing Up the Social Brain
- 18 A Technological Fix for ‘Dunbar's Dilemma’?
- 19 The Archaeology of Group Size
- 20 Fragmenting Hominins and the Presencing of Early Palaeolithic Social Worlds
- 21 Small Worlds, Material Culture and Ancient Near Eastern Social Networks
- 22 Excavating the Prehistoric Mind: The Brain as a Cultural Artefact and Material Culture as Biological Extension
Constraints on Social Networks
Constraints on Social Networks
- (p.114) (p.115) 6 Constraints on Social Networks
- Social Brain, Distributed Mind
Sam G. B. Roberts
- British Academy
In both modern humans and non-human primates, time and cognitive constraints place an upper bound on the number of social relationships an individual can maintain at a given level of intensity. Similar constraints are likely to have operated throughout hominin evolution, shaping the size and structure of social networks. One of the key trends in human evolution, alongside an increase in brain size, is likely to have been an increase in group size, resulting in a larger number of social relationships that would have to be maintained over time. The network approach demonstrates that relationships should not be viewed as dyadic ties between two individuals, but as embedded within a larger network of ties between network members. Together with relationships based on kinship, this may have allowed for larger groups to be maintained among hominins than would be possible if such networks were based purely on dyadic ties between individuals.
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