The Logic & Philosophy of Science Colloquium Series and Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences present
"The Evolution of Quorum Signaling"
with Jorge M. Pacheco, Department of Mathematics, University of Minho (Portugal), & ATP-Group, CMAF & CBMA, Institute for Interdisciplinary Investigation (Portugal)
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Social Science Plaza A, Room 2112
Signaling systems are found in a wide range of organisms - from bacteria to humans - that face collective action problems whose solution requires quorum sensing to coordinate the actions of the individuals present. The mechanisms involved, the quorum required, and the size of the group may vary, and these have been studied in detail for long. Less is known concerning how quorum signaling has evolved. Pacheco will address this problem by investigating the evolutionary dynamics of a finite population engaging in a signaling N-person game. Signals may be costless or costly, and individuals may cooperate or not, allowing the latter to behave as loners or as cheaters. He will show how natural selection, operating on a population of individuals endowed with simple strategies, is able to evolve a costly signaling system that mimics what is often observed in nature. Signaling robustly promotes cooperative collective action, in particular when coordinated action is most needed and difficult to achieve. Moreover, he finds that two different signaling systems may emerge depending on Nature’s most prevalent states.
*Work carried out in collaboration with Brian Skyrms, Vítor Vasconcelos and Francisco C. Santos.
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