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Pages 633-640
First published 2 September 2013

SimianWorld - A Study of Social Organisation Using an Artificial Life Model

Sue Attwood, Lola Cañamero, Rene te Boekhorst


In studies of social behaviour it is commonly assumed that individual complexity is the origin of intricate social interactions. In primates for example, social complexity is attributed to their intelligence and it is argued by many that the cognitive capacity of primates are especially manifest in the way they regulate their social relationships. Whereas the complex societies of non-human primates are considered to be as a direct result of their cognitive abilities this assumption is not made about social insects. In the absence of certain cognitive abilities their complex societies and structurally sophisticated nests are thought to arise from self-organisation. Since it is unlikely that cognitive capacities are all-or-nothing, usually integrating a range of mechanisms, it is possible that different species use similar cognitive mechanisms resulting in different behavioural outcomes.