Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University

Researcher

Kohei Tamura

Assistant ProfessorHuman and Society

Mentor Information
Professor
Kaoru Akoshima(Graduate School of Arts and Letters)
Research Fields Anthropology
Research Subjects
  • Cultural Evolution
Academic Society Membership The Anthropological Society of Nippon; Human Behavior and Evolution Society of Japan; Society of Evolutionary Studies, Japan; Ecological Society of Japan; Japanese Society for Mathematical Biology; World Archaeological Congress
Research Outline  

Humans are often called a “cultural species” because no other species depends so much on culture as humans. Various aspects of our behavior are influenced by culturally-transmitted beliefs. It has been considered that culture played a central role in our global expansion by promoting the adaptation to diverse environments. Therefore, understanding culture is an important step toward understanding humans.

Culture has been modeled as a system of information transmission as the genetic inheritance: culture can be viewed as transmitted information between individuals in a non-genetic manner, and genetic information is also transmitted from parents to offspring. Based on this similarity, methods and theory in evolutionary biology are applicable to cultural phenomena. This approach is called studies of “cultural evolution” as a cultural analogue of genetic evolution.

Using this approach, I'm investigating archaeological data to understand patterns and underlying processes of human cultural diversity in a quantitative manner. Besides, I’m developing methods and tools for cultural evolutionary studies in archaeology.

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