SELECTED MEDIA

Video

Short explainer video on cultural evolution: competition, cooperation, and the human tendency to copy others without knowing it. Part 1 of 3 part series created by Sue Borchardt.

Short explainer video on cultural evolution, game theory and the illusion of explanatory depth. Part 2 of 3 part series created by Sue Borchardt.

Short explainer video on what affects our level of intelligence? As individuals and as a society? I discuss brain evolution, the Cultural Brain Hypothesis, collective brain, and a cultural evolutionary account of intelligence. Created for the Templeton World Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute Big Questions series.

Short clip from a recent PBS Documentary on “First Civilizations“. I was the key contributor on the Cities episode. In the full episode, I discuss cultural evolution, cultural-group selection, inequality, and collective brains. Full episode available here. [Read More]

Sky News interview where I discuss the trend of adults moving back home with their parents and how this links to the Cultural Brain Hypothesis, collective brain, and ever extending juvenile periods. [Read More]

Explaining how cultural evolution, evolutionary biology, and the science of cooperation can shed light on corruption. Based on Muthukrishna, M., Francois, P., Pourahmadi, S., & Henrich, J. (2017). Corrupting Cooperation and How Anti-Corruption Strategies May Backfire. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(0138) [Download] & Muthukrishna, M. (2017). Corruption, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Prosocial Institutions. SSRN Working Paper. [Download] [Read More]

Explaining some of the key points about whale and dolphin behaviour and society live on BBC World News with Matthew Amroliwala based on Fox, K. C. R., Muthukrishna, M. & Shultz, S. (2017). The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1.  [Read More] [Download]

Explaining some of the key points about innovation in the collective brain based on Muthukrishna, M. & Henrich, J. (2016). Innovation in the Collective Brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1690).  [Read More] [Download]

Talk describing the Database of Religious History (DRH) at the 2014 SSHRC Impact Awards in Ottawa, Ontario. [Read More]

Animation describing the vision of the Database of Religious History (DRH). Winner of the 2014 SSHRC Storytellers Competition. [Read More]

Print

Radio / Podcast


In this episode of Sideways, Matthew Syed looks at how kids’ TV got smart. I discuss the role of cultural evolution in this phenomenon.

In this edition of Analysis, I assess the impact of modern social justice movements on scientific research and development.

In the first episode of a new series of Sideways, Matthew Syed asks if we are all doomed to be deeply unoriginal. I discuss how this can be explained in light of cultural evolution and the collective brain.

Fun, far-reaching, free-ranging conversation about my research and research motivations with Kensy Cooperrider on Many Minds.

Discussion between Alexis Conran, Matthew Syed, Neil Lawrence and me on Matthew’s new book “Rebel Ideas”.

LSE IQ podcast Episode 31 | Is corruption inevitable?

3 Mar 2020 | 42 Minutes

Discussing a variety of topics with Ricardo Lopes.
02:01 Large-scale human cooperation, biology and culture
04:38 Human culture, and cumulative culture
12:02 The Cultural Brain Hypothesis
24:39 The interplay between individual-level psychology and group-level traits
28:38 Genetic and cultural evolution
40:48 About group selection
47:05 The role that social institutions play in human societies
52:52 What is political corruption?
1:01:14 Social factors that promote political corruption
1:05:15 Anti-corruption measures that might backfire

Discussing research on whale and dolphin behaviour and society on CBC “The Broadcast” with Jane Adey based on Fox, K. C. R., Muthukrishna, M. & Shultz, S. (2017). The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1.  [Read More] [Download]

Discussing research on whale and dolphin behaviour and society on BBC World Service “Science in Action” with Roland Pease based on Fox, K. C. R., Muthukrishna, M. & Shultz, S. (2017). The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1.  [Read More] [Download]

Explaining research on how “Sociality influences cultural complexity” to Philip Till at CKNW based on from Muthukrishna, M., Shulman, B. W., Vasilescu, V., & Henrich, J. (2013). Sociality influences cultural complexity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1774). [Read More] [Download]

Images

Figure 2: Genetic heritability is a function of variability in the phenotypic trait, variability in the environment, including the cultural environment, and variability in genes from Uchiyama, R., Spicer, R. & Muthukrishna, M. (forthcoming). Cultural Evolution of Genetic Heritability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. [Download] [Summary Post] [Publisher]

Figure 1: An illustration of the effect of sunscreen and geographic location on the effect size of a skin pigmentation gene with respect to skin cancer risk from Uchiyama, R., Spicer, R. & Muthukrishna, M. (forthcoming). Cultural Evolution of Genetic Heritability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. [Download] [Summary Post] [Publisher]

Graphic produced for Scientific American by Amanda Montañez based on data from Fox, K. C. R., Muthukrishna, M., & Shultz, S. (2017). The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1, 1699–1705. [Read More] [Download]

02_michaelmuthukrishna_ltr
Graphic produced by LILA, Harvard based on my talk “Sources of Innovation: The Secret of Human Success”. [Read More]

06_michael_ltr
Graphic produced by LILA, Harvard based on my talk “Sources of Innovation: The Secret of Human Success”. [Read More]

F3.large
Relationship between sociality (number of speakers) and language efficiency from Muthukrishna, M. & Henrich, J. (2016). Innovation in the Collective Brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1690).  [Read More] [Download]

figure4
Experiment 2 showing difference between access to models on cultural loss and cultural complexity equlibrium from Muthukrishna, M., Shulman, B. W., Vasilescu, V., & Henrich, J. (2013). Sociality influences cultural complexity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1774). [Read More] [Download]

Experiment 1
Experiment 1 showing difference between access to models on cultural complexity from Muthukrishna, M., Shulman, B. W., Vasilescu, V., & Henrich, J. (2013). Sociality influences cultural complexity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1774). [Read More] [Download]