Modeling the spatial dynamics of culture spreading in the presence of cultural strongholds

Ludvig Lizana, Namiko Mitarai, Kim Sneppen, Hiizu Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural competition has throughout our history shaped and reshaped the geography of boundaries between humans. Language and culture are intimately connected and linguists often use distinctive keywords to quantify the dynamics of information spreading in societies harboring strong culture centers. One prominent example, which is addressed here, is Kyoto's historical impact on Japanese culture. We construct a minimal model, based on shared properties of linguistic maps, to address the interplay between information flow and geography. We show that spreading of information over Japan in the premodern time can be described by an Eden growth process with noise levels corresponding to coherent spatial patches of sizes given by a single day's walk (∼15 km), and that new words appear in Kyoto at times comparable to the time between human generations (∼30 yr).

Original languageEnglish
Article number066116
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling the spatial dynamics of culture spreading in the presence of cultural strongholds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this