Modelling the evolution of cognitive styles
Liedtke, Jannis; Fromhage, Lutz (2019). Modelling the evolution of cognitive styles. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19, 234. DOI: 10.1186/s12862-019-1565-2
Published inBMC Evolutionary Biology
© The Author(s). 2019
Background Individuals consistently differ in behaviour, exhibiting so-called personalities. In many species, individuals differ also in their cognitive abilities. When personalities and cognitive abilities occur in distinct combinations, they can be described as ‘cognitive styles’. Both empirical and theoretical investigations produced contradicting or mixed results regarding the complex interplay between cognitive styles and environmental conditions. Results Here we use individual-based simulations to show that, under just slightly different environmental conditions, different cognitive styles exist and under a variety of conditions, can also co-exist. Co-existences are based on individual specialization on different resources, or, more generally speaking, on individuals adopting different niches or microhabitats. Conclusions The results presented here suggest that in many species, individuals of the same population may adopt different cognitive styles. Thereby the present study may help to explain the variety of styles described in previous studies and why different, sometimes contradicting, results have been found under similar conditions. ...
Dataset related to the publicationhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.zw3r2284m
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Research costs of Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingJ.L. received funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project: 394327820. L. F. received funding from the Academy of Finland (grant 283486). The funding bodies played no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript.
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