Reading List


In order to properly motivate myself to read all the papers I have bookmarked I have decided include them here on my website! So, please find below the list of things I think I should read (or re-read). I have split my reading list in to 3 topics - Social Learning & Cultural Evolution; Artificial Life & Evolutionary Robotics; Other. I will add a tag/note on each paper to identify which of topic(s) the paper relates to. Papers ordered alphabetically by first author surname.

Reading List Count: 45

Status: Was growing exponentially, so I've decided to limit reading list count to 50.

Social Learning
Cultural Evolution

  1. Birch J and Heyes C. (2021). The cultural evolution of cultural evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200051. #Cumulative Culture #Cultural Evolution

  2. Boon E, van den Berg P, Molleman L and Weissing FJ. (2021). Foundations of cultural evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200041 #Cultural Evolution #Introduction to Special Issue

  3. Brown RL. (2021). Is cultural evolution always fast? Challenging the idea that cognitive gadgets would be capable of rapid and adaptive evolution. Synthese, pp.1-25. #Cultural Evolution #Cognitive Gadgets

  4. Buskell A. (2020). Cumulative culture and complex cultural traditions. Mind & Language. #Cumulative Culture #Cultural Traditions

  5. Buskes C. (2019). The Encultured Primate: Thresholds and Transitions in Hominin Cultural Evolution. Philosophies, 4(1), p.6. #Cumulative Culture #Gene-Culture Co-evolution

  6. Denton KK, Ram Y, Liberman U and Feldman MW. (2020). Cultural evolution of conformity and anticonformity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(24), pp.13603-13614. #Cultural Evolution #Conformist Bias

  7. Haidle MN and Schlaudt O. (2020). Where does cumulative culture begin? A plea for a sociologically informed perspective. Biological Theory, 15, pp.161-174. #Cumulative Culture #Cultural Evolution

  8. Jansson F, Aguilar E, Acerbi A and Enquist M. (2021). Modelling cultural systems and selective filters. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200045. #Cultural Evolution #Cultural Transmission

  9. King SL, Connor RC, Krützen M and Allen SJ. (2021). Cooperation-based concept formation in male bottlenose dolphins. Nature communications, 12(1), pp.1-11. #Cooperation #Animal Societies

  10. Koch B, Silvestro D and Foster JG. (2020). The Evolutionary Dynamics of Cultural Change (As Told Through the Birth and Brutal, Blackened Death of Metal Music). OSF preprint, [online] Available at: <>. #Cultural Change #Evolutionary Dynamics

  11. Mesoudi A. (2011). Variable cultural acquisition costs constrain cumulative cultural evolution. PloS one, 6(3), p.e18239. #Cumulative Culture #Cultural Complexity

  12. Montrey M and Shultz TR. (2020). The evolution of high-fidelity social learning. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287(1928), p.20200090. #Social Learning #Cumulative Culture

  13. Miu E and Morgan TJ. (2020). Cultural adaptation is maximised when intelligent individuals rarely think for themselves. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2. #Social Learning #Asocial Learning

  14. Penndorf J and Aplin L. (2020). Environmental and life history factors, but not age, influence social learning about food: a meta-analysis. Animal Behaviour, 167, pp.161-176. #Social Learning #Life History

  15. Pravosudov V. (2021). Animal culture: Newcomers help adopt more efficient behaviors. Current Biology, 31(11), pp.R736-R738. #Animal Culture #Social Learning

  16. Singh M, Acerbi A, Caldwell CA, Danchin É, Isabel G, Molleman L, Scott-Phillips T, Tamariz M, Van den Berg P, Van Leeuwen EJ and Derex M. (2021). Beyond social learning. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200050. #Cultural Evolution #Social Learning

  17. Smolla M, Jansson F, Lehmann L, Houkes W, Weissing FJ, Hammerstein P, Dall SR, Kuijper B and Enquist M. (2021). Underappreciated features of cultural evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200259. #Cultural Evolution #Cultural Innovation

  18. Vaesen K and Houkes W. (2021). Is human culture cumulative?. Current Anthropology, 62(2), pp.218-238. #Human Culture #Cumulative Culture

  19. Vale GL, McGuigan N, Burdett E, Lambeth SP, Lucas A, Rawlings B, Schapiro SJ, Watson SK and Whiten A. (2021). Why do chimpanzees have diverse behavioral repertoires yet lack more complex cultures? Invention and social information use in a cumulative task. Evolution and Human Behavior, 42(3), pp.247-258. #Chimpanzee Culture #Cultural Complexity

  20. Vélez N and Gweon H. (2021). Learning from other minds: An optimistic critique of reinforcement learning models of social learning. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 38, pp.110-115. #Social Learning #Reinforcement Learning

Artificial Life
Evolutionary Robotics

  1. Bedau MA. (2021). Kuhnian exemplars for the study of open-ended evolution. The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Philosophy of Artificial Life

  2. Birhane A. (2021). The Impossibility of Automating Ambiguity. Artificial Life, 27(1), pp.44-61. #Machine Learning #Social Behaviour

  3. Bullinaria J. (2022). Effect of Environmental Change Distribution on Artificial Life Simulations. Artificial Life

  4. Channon A. (2021). A procedure for testing for Tokyo Type 1 Open-Ended Evolution. The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Artificial Life

  5. Christen P. (2021). Modelling and Implementing Open-Ended Evolutionary Systems. The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Evolutionary Systems

  6. Frans K and Witkowski O. (2021). Population-Based Evolution Optimizes a Meta-Learning Objective. arXiv preprint arXiv:2103.06435, [online] Available at: <> #Meta-Learning #Population-Based Evolution

  7. Frans K, Soros LB and Witkowski O. (2021). Questions for the Open-Ended Evolution Community: Reflections from the 2021 Cross Labs Innovation Science Workshop. The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Artificial Life

  8. Godin-Dubois K, Cussat-Blnac S an Duthen Y. (2021). Spontaneous modular NeuroEvolution arising from a life/dinner paradox. Proceedings of the Artificial Life conference 2021. #Neurevolution #Communication

  9. Hawthorne-Madell J, Aaron E, Livingston K and Long Jr JH. (2021). Embodied Computational Evolution: Feedback Between Development and Evolution in Simulated Biorobots. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 8, p.168. #Embodiment #Evolutionary Robotics

  10. Ikegami T, Masumori A, Smith J and Maruyama N. (2021). Can Mutual Imitation Generate Open-Ended Evolution? The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Human-Robot Interaction

  11. Moreno MA, Papa SA and Ofria C. (2021). Case Study of Novelty, Complexity, and Adaptation in a Multicellular System. OEE4: The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Multicellular Systems

  12. Nolfi S. (2021). Behavioral and Cognitive Robotics: An adaptive perspective. Roma, Italy: Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council (CNR-ISTC). ISBN 9791220082372, [online] Available at: <> #Cognitive Robotics #Embodiment

  13. Soros LB and Stanley KO. (2021). Conditions for Open-Ended Evolution Empirically Validated in Chromaria. OEE4: The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Artificial Life

  14. Stepney S. (2021). Modelling and measuring open-endedness. OEE4: The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Artificial Life

  15. Taylor T. (2021). Evolutionary Innovation Viewed as Novel Physical Phenomena and Hierarchical Systems Building. The Fourth Workshop on Open-Ended Evolution. #Open-ended Evolution #Hierarchical Systems

  16. Winfield AF and Blackmore S. (2021). Experiments in Artificial Culture: from noisy imitation to storytelling robots. arXiv preprint arXiv:2106.11754. [online] Available at: <> #Cultural Evolution #Social Robotics

  17. Witkowski O and Ikegami T. (2019). How to make swarms open-ended? Evolving collective intelligence through a constricted exploration of adjacent possibles. Artificial life, 25(2), pp.178-197. #Open-Ended Evolution #Swarm Intelligence

  18. Yaman A, Bredeche N, Çaylak O, Leibo JZ and Lee SW. (2021). Meta-control of social learning strategies. arXiv preprint arXiv2106.10015, [online] Available at: <> #Social Learning Strategies #Environmental Uncertainty


  1. Galipaud M and Kokko H. (2020). Adaptation and plasticity in life-history theory: How to derive predictions. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41(6), pp.493-501. #Life History #Plasticity

  2. Goldenfeld N, Biancalani T. and Jafarpour F. (2017). Universal biology and the statistical mechanics of early life. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 375(2109), p.20160341. #Origins of Life #Universal Biology

  3. Hämäläinen L and Thorogood R. (2020). The signal detection problem of aposematic prey revisited: integrating prior social and personal experience. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 375(1802), p.20190473. #Evolutionary Biology #Social Information Use

  4. Han TA, Perret C and Powers ST. (2021). When to (or not to) trust intelligent machines: Insights from an evolutionary game theory analysis of trust in repeated games. Cognitive Systems Research, 68, pp.111-124. #Evolutionary Game Theory #Artificial Intelligence

  5. Herron MD. (2021). What are the major transitions?. Biology & Philosophy, 36(1), pp.1-19. #Major Transitions #Evolution

  6. Jolly E and Chang LJ. (2019). The flatland fallacy: Moving beyond low–dimensional thinking. Topics in cognitive science, 11(2), pp.433-454. #Psychology #Cognitive Science

  7. Kaboth-Bahr S, Gosling WD, Vogelsang R, Bahr A, Scerri EM, Asrat A, Cohen AS, Düsing W, Foerster V, Lamb HF and Maslin MA. (2021). Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(23). #Environmental Variability #Human Evolution

  8. Lenton TM, Kohler TA, Marquet PA, Boyle RA, Crucifix M, Wilkinson DM and Scheffer M. (2021). Survival of the Systems. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 36(4), pp.333-344. #Feedback Cycles #Evolutionary Dynamics

  9. Smaldino PE. (2019). Five models of science, illustrating how selection shapes methods. OSF preprint, [online] Available at: <>. #Formal Modelling #Scientific Method

  10. Smaldino PE. (2020). How to translate a verbal theory into a formal model. Social Psychology, 51(4), p.207. #Formal Modelling #Social Psychology

  11. Stearns SC and Rodrigues AM. (2020). On the use of “life history theory” in evolutionary psychology. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41(6), pp.474-485. #Life History #Evolutionary Psychology

  12. Young ES, Frankenhuis WE and Ellis BJ. (2020). Theory and measurement of environmental unpredictability. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41(6), pp.550-556. #Environmental Unpredictability #Life History

The last 5 papers I read in each of the 3 broad topic areas (ordered by recency of reading)

Social Learning
Cultural Evolution

  1. Motes‐Rodrigo A and Tennie C. (2021). The Method of Local Restriction: in search of potential great ape culture‐dependent forms. Biological Reviews. #Zone of Latent Solutions #Great Ape Culture

  2. Winters J. (2019). Escaping optimization traps: the role of cultural adaptation and cultural exaptation in facilitating open-ended cumulative dynamics. Palgrave Communications, 5(1), pp.1-13. #Cumulative Culture #Open-Ended Evolution

  3. Morin O, Jacquet PO, Vaesen K and Acerbi A. (2021). Social information use and social information waste. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200052. #Social Information Use #Social Information Waste

  4. Whiten A. (2021). The burgeoning reach of animal culture. Science, 372(6537). #Animal Cultures #Cultural Diversity

Artificial Life
Evolutionary Robotics

  1. Taylor T. (2019). Evolutionary innovations and where to find them: Routes to open-ended evolution in natural and artificial systems. Artificial life, 25(2), pp.207-224. #Open-Ended Evolution #Evolutionary Innovations

  2. Pattee HH and Sayama H. (2019). Evolved open-endedness, not open-ended evolution. Artificial life, 25(1), pp.4-8. #Open-Ended Evolution #Evolved Open-Endedness

  3. Bedau MA, Gigliotti N, Janssen T, Kosik A, Nambiar A and Packard N. (2019). Open-ended technological innovation. Artificial Life, 25(1), pp.33-49. #Technological Innovation #Open-Ended Evolution


  1. Szathmáry E. (2015) Toward major evolutionary transitions theory 2.0. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(33), pp.10104-10111. #Major Transitions #Evolution

  2. Leerssen J. (2021). Culture, humanities, evolution: the complexity of meaning-making over time. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 376(1828), p.20200043. #Humanities #Evolution