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The role of 'hidden preferences' in the artificial co-evolution of symmetrical signals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
DatePublished - 1997


Recently, within the biology literature, there has been some interest in exploring the evolutionary function of animal displays through computer simulations of evolutionary processes. Here we provide a critique of an exploration of the evolutionary function of complex symmetrical displays. We investigate the hypothesis that complex symmetrical signal form is the product of a `hidden preference' inherent in all sensory systems (i.e. a universal sensory bias). Through extending previous work and relaxing its assumptions we reveal that the posited `hidden preference' for complex symmetry is in reality a preference for homogeneity. The resulting implications for further accounts of the evolutionary function of complex symmetrical patterning are considered.



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