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ALIFE
2005

Transient Phenomena in Learning and Evolution: Genetic Assimilation and Genetic Redistribution

9 years 1 months ago
Transient Phenomena in Learning and Evolution: Genetic Assimilation and Genetic Redistribution
Deacon has recently proposed that complexes of genes can be integrated into functional groups as a result of environmental changes that mask and unmask selection pressures. For example, many animals endogenously synthesize ascorbic acid (vitamin C), but anthropoid primates have only a nonfunctional version of the crucial gene for this pathway. It is hypothesized that the loss of functionality occurred in the evolutionary past when a diet rich in vitamin C masked the effect of the gene, and its loss effectively trapped the animals in a fruit-eating lifestyle. As a result, the complex of abilities that support this lifestyle were evolutionarily bound together, forming a multilocus complex. In this study we use evolutionary computation simulations to explore the thesis that masking and unmasking can transfer dependence from one set of genes to many sets, and thereby integrate the whole complex of genes. We used a framework based on Hinton and Nowlan's 1987 simulation of the Baldwin e...
Janet Wiles, James Watson, Bradley Tonkes, Terrenc
Added 15 Dec 2010
Updated 15 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2005
Where ALIFE
Authors Janet Wiles, James Watson, Bradley Tonkes, Terrence W. Deacon
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