Alexandria Digital Research Library

Reverse first principles : Weber's law and optimality in different senses

Author:
Wilkes, Jason
Degree Supervisor:
Leda Cosmides
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2015
Issued Date:
2015
Topics:
Cognitive psychology, Psychology, and Behavioral psychology
Keywords:
Evolvability
Weber's Law
Mathematical psychology
Psychophysics
Optimality
Genres:
Online resources and Dissertations, Academic
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Psychological & Brain Sciences
Dissertation:
M.A.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2015
Description:

The relationship between optimality and evolvability is analyzed through a case study of Weber's law, a common property of many sensory systems across a wide array of species. After demonstrating a variety of senses in which Weber's law is mathematically optimal, we ask whether principled methods exist for evaluating such optimality analyses. We argue that at least one such method exists: examining the evolvability of a trait with respect to each of the different metrics that it happens to optimize. Through evolvability analyses of Weber's law, it is demonstrated that optimality-equivalent measures of phenotypic quality need not be selectively equivalent: a trait that is optimal by two measures may have very different behavior under selection for each. This non-equivalence allows different optimality analyses of the same phenomenon to be assessed by a standard other than intuition, and in a manner requiring fewer degrees of freedom than are needed to model selection from scratch. Two qualitatively different models of selection are explored: phenotypic selection, a basic form in which mutations directly affect the model phenotype, and embryological selection, a more exotic form in which mutations affect the algorithm by which the phenotype is built.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (64 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f3125qt4
ISBN:
9781339084985
Catalog System Number:
990045716280203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Jason Wilkes
File Description
Access: Public access
Wilkes_ucsb_0035N_12567.pdf pdf (Portable Document Format)
supplementary-code.zip zip (ZIP Format)
supplementary-videos.zip zip (ZIP Format)