Development and the Baldwin Effect

9 years 1 months ago
Development and the Baldwin Effect
Baldwin's classic hypothesis states that behavioral plasticity can speed evolution by (a) smoothing the fitness landscape and (b) indirect genetic assimilation of acquired characteristics. This latter phase demands a strong correlation between genotype and phenotype space. But the natural world shows signs of this correlation at only a very coarse level, since the intervening developmental process greatly complicates the mapping from genetics to physiology and ethology. Hence, development appears to preclude a strong Baldwin effect. However, by adding a simple developmental mechanism to Hinton and Nowlan's classic model of the Baldwin effect, and by allowing evolution to determine the proper balance between direct and indirect mapping of genome to phenotype, this research reveals several different effects of development on the Baldwin effect, some promoting and others inhibiting. Perhaps the most interesting result is an evolved cooperation between direct blueprints and indir...
Keith L. Downing
Added 16 Dec 2010
Updated 16 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2004
Authors Keith L. Downing
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