DOI: 10.1101/509604Jan 2, 2019Paper

Plasticity in evolutionary games

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Slimane Dridi

Abstract

The ability to respond appropriately to environmental cues is fundamental to the success of all forms of life, but previous theoretical studies of the evolution of plasticity make so diverse assumptions that the conditions under which plasticity can emerge in evolving populations are unclear when fitness is frequency-dependent. We study the effect of adding plastic types to symmetric evolutionary games. Since frequency-dependence induces an evolutionary change in the environment of players, one might expect that plastic individuals who can adapt their phenotypes to the environment could have a fitness advantage over simpler purely genetically determined phenotypes. In our model, plastic individuals can detect the type of their opponent before an interaction and condition their action on it. Even though it might appear as an outstanding advantage, such an ability cannot guarantee global stability in all games for even the smallest positive plasticity costs. We identify classes of games where plasticity can or cannot be globally or locally stable. In games where the standard replicator dynamics converge to a pure state, costly plasticity cannot invade an equilibrium population. Costly plasticity can however be locally stable, but...Continue Reading

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