Title

Imitation as a Mechanism of Cultural Transmission

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Document Type

Article

Abstract

We study the effects of an imitation mechanism on a population of animats capable of individual ontogenetic learning. An urge to imitate others augments a network-based reinforcement learning strategy used in the control system of the animats. We test populations of animats with imitation against populations without for their ability to find, and maintain over generations, successful foraging behavior in an environment containing three necessary resources: food, water, and shelter. We conclude that even simple imitation mechanisms are effective at increasing the frequency of success when measured over time and over populations of animats.

Publication Title

Artificial Life

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

21

Last Page

37

DOI

10.1162/artl.2009.Marriott.014

Version

publisher's pdf (with 3 month embargo)

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