Wednesday, April 18, 2012

cooperation and the evolution of intelligence

Royal Society | The high levels of intelligence seen in humans, other primates, certain cetaceans and birds remain a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. It has long been held that social interactions provide the selection pressures necessary for the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities (the ‘social intelligence hypothesis’), and in recent years decision-making in the context of cooperative social interactions has been conjectured to be of particular importance. Here we use an artificial neural network model to show that selection for efficient decision-making in cooperative dilemmas can give rise to selection pressures for greater cognitive abilities, and that intelligent strategies can themselves select for greater intelligence, leading to a Machiavellian arms race. Our results provide mechanistic support for the social intelligence hypothesis, highlight the potential importance of cooperative behaviour in the evolution of intelligence and may help us to explain the distribution of cooperation with intelligence across taxa.

1 comments:

Ed Dunn said...

This is why when having a pet to have more than one of the same species so they can communicate with each other. At least dogs and cats in the inner city can talk to each other from the backyard or though the window. When I buy fish, i find they are more lively when in swarms versus by themselves. Probably the same can be said in regards to finches versus parrots...