Need for speed : short lifespan selects for increased learning ability
Liedtke, Jannis; Fromhage, Lutz (2019). Need for speed : short lifespan selects for increased learning ability. Scientific Reports, 9, 15197. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-51652-5
Published inScientific Reports
© The Author(s) 2019
It is generally assumed that an investment into cognitive abilities and their associated cost is particularly beneficial for long-lived species, as a prolonged lifespan allows to recoup the initial investment. However, ephemeral organisms possess astonishing cognitive abilities too. Invertebrates, for example, are capable of simple associative learning, reversal learning, and planning. How can this discrepancy between theory and evidence be explained? Using a simulation, we show that short lives can actually select for an increase in learning abilities. The rationale behind this is that when learning is needed to exploit otherwise inaccessible resources, one needs to learn fast in order to utilize the resources when constrained by short lifespans. And thus, increased cognitive abilities may evolve, not despite short lifespan, but because of it.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Dataset related to the publicationhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k0p2ngf43
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Additional information about fundingJ.L. received funding by the DFG (Project number: 394327820).
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