Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2004) 27:4 569-570. Copyright 2004 Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


Commentary on Gurven: "To give and to give not: The behavioral ecology of human food transfers"

Each of the food-sharing models that Gurven considers demands unique cognitive capacities. Reciprocal altruism, in particular, requires a suite of complex abilities not required by alternatives such as tolerated scrounging. Integrating cognitive constraints with comparative data from other species can illuminate the adaptive benefits of food sharing in humans.