Reshared post from Bruno Gonçalves

"The social brain hypothesis has suggested that social network size (and structure) is constrained by a combination of cognitive processes and the time required to service social relationships. We test this hypothesis in humans using a unique 18-month mobile phone dataset by examining changes in the structure of social networks across a major change in subjects' social and geographical circumstances. Our analysis reveals that the time allocation patterns of call frequency by participants to network members have a distinctive overall shape, where a small number of top-ranked network members received a disproportionately large fraction of calls, with some individual variation. However, importantly, whilst there was a large turnover of individual network members, these changes have little effect on the time allocation patterns of each individual: individuals thus displayed a distinctive "social signature" that was both persistent over time and independent of the identities of the network members. *This provides the first direct evidence that social networks are constrained by a combination of cognitive constraints and the time individuals have available for social interaction, confirming one of the key assumptions of the social brain hypothesis.*"

Bruno Gonçalves originally shared this post:

The persistence of social signatures in human communication. (arXiv:1204.5602v1 [physics.soc-ph])

The social brain hypothesis has suggested that social network size (and
structure) is constrained by a combination of cognitive processes and the time
required to service social relationships. We test this hypothesis in humans
using a unique 18-month mobile phone dataset by examining changes in the
structure of social networks across a major change in subjects' social and
geographical circumstances. Our analysis reveals that the time allocation
patterns of call frequency by participants to ne…

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