Gene-Culture Coinheritance of a Behavioral Trait

Elliot G. Aguilar, Erol Akçay
2018 American Naturalist  
Human behavioral traits are complex phenotypes that result from both genetic and cultural transmission. But different inheritance systems need not favor the same phenotypic outcome. What happens when there are conflicting selection forces in the two domains? To address this question, we derive a Price equation that incorporates both cultural and genetic inheritance of a phenotype where the effects of genes and culture are additive. We then use this equation to investigate whether a genetically
more » ... ther a genetically maladaptive phenotype can evolve under dual transmission. We examine the special case of altruism using an illustrative model, and show that cultural selection can overcome genetic selection when the variance in culture is sufficiently high with respect to genes. Finally, we show how our basic result can be extended to non-additive effects models. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding the evolution of maladaptive behaviors.
doi:10.1086/698872 pmid:30125232 fatcat:2j5h76bmrbdlnoznodfmbo477q