The evolution of mutation, plasticity and culture in cyclically changing environments
In this paper, I describe an experiment in which an evolving population is set the task of tracking an environmental value that cycles sinusoidally over several generations. The evolution of individual mutation rates is investigated for a range of cycle lengths. The effect on the evolutionary dynamic of plasticity in the form of simple learning, itself subject to evolution, is investigated, under conditions of both simple inheritance and the inheritance of acquired characteristics (IAC). Finally, the coevolution of mutation and plasticity rates is considered, and the interaction of plasticity and IAC described.
KeywordsMutation Rate Learning Rate High Mutation Rate Environmental Rate Rank Minimum
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