Agents of change: Modeling biocultural evolution in upper pleistocene Western Eurasia

C Michael Barton, Julien Riel-Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The complex interactions between social learning and biological change are key to understanding the human species and its origins. Yet paleoanthropological models often focus only on the evolution of the human genome and physical characters, while behavior is treated as an epiphenomenon of biological evolution. We present the results of a series of experiments that use computational models, parametrized with new archaeological data, to simulate the complex dynamics of human biocultural evolution in the changing environment of OIS (Oxygen Isotope Stage) 3 of western Eurasia (∼5800027000 ka). These experiments allow us to compare alternative trajectories of human evolution, resulting from differing combinations of socioecological behaviors and biological conditions, against the paleoanthropological record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1150003
JournalAdvances in Complex Systems
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Gene-culture coevolution
  • Human ecology
  • Land-use
  • Modeling
  • Modern human origins
  • Neanderthals
  • Pleistocene hominins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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