April 15 2015

12:00 LSB 2320

Jessica Flack
Center for Complexity and Collective Computation, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and Santa Fe Institute

Social Niche Construction through Collective Computation Social Niche Construction through Collective Computation


With niche construction, collective computation, and advances in evo-devo, we are seeing the beginnings of an evolutionary theory that can account for the origins and diversity of complex forms. The social evolution community, which tends to be very functionally oriented, has been slow to recognize these advances, as game theory, cultural evolution, and gene-culture co-evolution—the primary modeling and conceptual frameworks in social evolution—have so far largely neglected the study of the feed-forward, computational, collective process producing social structure. Required now are quantitative, empirical studies of the strategies individuals use to adaptively modify the environment—whether social or ecological, how these strategies are encoded in evolutionary or developmental time, and how they combine to produce social structure. Using data from an animal society model system, I will illustrate how this process can be studied. I will discuss the collective effects of multiple individuals estimating and attempting to control regularities in their environments and the conditions under which this process produces predictable, regular ecological or social environments. To do so, I will bring together tools and concepts from biology, statistical physics, and theoretical computer science.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































this is idtest: