Nakata, S. & Takezawa, M. (2023).

Nakata, S.(中田星矢) & Takezawa, M.(竹澤正哲) (2023). 
Conditions under which faithful cultural transmission through teaching promotes cumulative cultural evolution.
Scientific Reports, 13, 20986.

It has been argued that teaching promotes the accurate transmission of cultural traits and eventually leads to cumulative cultural evolution (CCE). However, previous studies have questioned this argument. In this study, we modified the action sequences model into a network exploring model with reinforcement learning to examine the conditions under which teaching promotes CCE. Our model incorporates a time trade-off between innovation and teaching. Simulations revealed that the positive influence of teaching on CCE depends on task difficulty. When the task was too difficult and advanced, such that it could not be accomplished through individual learning within a limited time, spending more time on teaching—even at the expense of time for innovation—contributed to CCE. On the contrary, the easier the task, the more time was spent on innovation than on teaching, which contributed to the improvement of performance. These findings suggest that teaching becomes more valuable as cultures become more complex. Therefore, humanity must have co-evolved a complex cumulative culture and teaching that supports cultural fidelity.