Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Infant crying in hunter-gatherer cultures

Hillary N. Fouts a1, Michael E. Lamb a1 and Barry S. Hewlett a2
a1 Section on Social and Emotional Development, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockledge One Center, Bethesda, MD 20892
a2 Department of Anthropology, Washington State University – Vancouver, Vancouver, WA 98686


By synthesizing evolutionary, attachment, and acoustic perspectives, Soltis has provided an innovative model of infant cry acoustics and parental responsiveness. We question some of his hypotheses, however, because of the limited extant data on infant crying among hunter-gatherers. We also question Soltis' distinction between manipulative and honest signaling based upon recent contributions from attachment theory.