Every day, information washes over the world like so much weather. From casual conversations, tweets, texts, emails, advertisements and news stories, humanity processes countless discrete pieces of socially transmitted information.
Anthropologists call this process cultural transmission, and there was a time when it did not exist, when humans or more likely their smaller brained ancestors did not pass on knowledge. Luke Premo, an associate professor of anthropology at Washington State University, would like to know when that was. Writing in the October issue of Current Anthropology, he and three colleagues challenge a widely accepted notion that cultural transmission goes back more than 2 million years.