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Mechanisms by which parasites influence cultures, and why they matter

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2012

Mark Schaller
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. schaller@psych.ubc.ca dmurray@psych.ubc.ca http://neuron4.psych.ubc.ca/~schallerlab/
Damian R. Murray
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. schaller@psych.ubc.ca dmurray@psych.ubc.ca http://neuron4.psych.ubc.ca/~schallerlab/

Abstract

At least four conceptually distinct mechanisms may mediate relations between parasite-stress and cultural outcomes: genetic evolution, developmental plasticity, neurocognitive flexibility, and cultural transmission. These mechanisms may operate independently or in conjunction with one another. Rigorous research on specific mediating mechanisms is required to more completely articulate implications of parasite stress on human psychology and human culture.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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References

Chiao, J. Y. & Blizinsky, K. D. (2010) Culture-gene coevolution of individualism-collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences 277:529–37.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
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Schaller, M. & Murray, D. R. (2011) Infectious disease and the creation of culture. In: Advances in culture and psychology, vol. 1, ed. Gelfand, M., Chiu, C.-Y. & Hong, Y.-Y., pp. 99151. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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