The evolution of mutation, plasticity and culture in cyclically changing environments

  • Tony Hirst
Problem Structure and Fitness Landscapes
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1305)


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.


Mutation Rate Learning Rate High Mutation Rate Environmental Rate Rank Minimum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Hirst
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PsychologyOpen UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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