Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics

Harold P. de Vladar, Eörs Szathmáry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInterface Focus
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 6 2015

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Keywords

  • Darwinian neurodynamics
  • Evolutionary dynamics
  • Hebbian learning
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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