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The Stability of Strategic Plasticity University of California, Irvine

Summary: The Stability of Strategic Plasticity
Rory Smead
University of California, Irvine
Kevin J.S. Zollman
Carnegie Mellon University
April 30, 2009
Recent research into the evolution of higher cognition has piqued
an interest in the effect of natural selection on the ability of creatures
to respond to their environment (behavioral plasticity). It is believed
that environmental variation is required for plasticity to evolve in cases
where the ability to be plastic is costly. We investigate one form of
environmental variation: frequency dependent selection. Using tools
in game theory, we investigate a few models of plasticity and outline
the cases where selection would be expected to maintain it. Ultimately
we conclude that frequency dependent selection is likely insufficient to
maintain plasticity given reasonable assumptions about its costs. This
result is very similar to one aspect of the well-discussed Baldwin effect,
where plasticity is first selected for and then later selected against. We
show how in these models one would expect plasticity to grow in the


Source: Andrews, Peter B. - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University


Collections: Mathematics