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What is the CECD? 
The CECD is an AHRC funded research group dedicated to examining the evolutionary underpinnings of human cultural behaviour, past and present. more>

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  Cultural Evolution in Spatially Structured Populations


The aim of the conference is to demonstrate the usefulness and explanatory power of spatially explicit models of cultural evolution. By cultural evolution we mean the dynamics of change in frequencies of alternative languages, social systems, settlements, material cultural traditions, and their various constituent elements. Spatial explicitness may be conceived in terms of aggregations and their distribution, of mobility and interaction patterns, or of the effects of spatial environmental heterogeneity.

We are looking for situations where mathematical models can be demonstrated both to be theoretically tractable, and to have substantial explanatory power in a detailed analysis of a case study. The focus of papers should be on demonstrating firstly the applicability of the model and secondly (most importantly) what we can learn from such models that we did not know before.

Spatial dependence may be represented in models as effects of distance and/or environmental heterogeneity on movement or interaction rates, or on interaction modality (e.g. co-operative versus hostile; trade-based versus diplomacy-based; etc.). We are particularly interested in models that explore the spatiotemporal evolution of bounded social units (defined by language or polity), and their size distribution on a multi-unit landscape.

Papers are also invited that apply novel statistical techniques to address inverse problems. We are interested in inverse models that estimate model parameters from empirical data, particularly where these relate to the historical evolution of spatially-structured populations, their cultural repertoires, and their aggregation patterns.