Saturday 15 February 2014

Environment affects organism complexity

Scientists have demonstrated that organisms with greater complexity are more likely to evolve in complex environments, according to research published this week in PLOS Computational Biology.

The conclusion of the paper is that each virtual organism was made using a particular form of genetic encoding to create three-dimensional models and then simulated in a physically-realistic virtual world. Creatures that evolved in flat landscapes had a simple shape, but could not adequately navigate more complex environments. Later environments were designed with elevated "ice blocks." These obstacles were constructed so that each organism had to reach inside the gaps between the blocks to move forwards.

For further details see:

Joshua E. Auerbach, Josh C. Bongard. Environmental Influence on the Evolution of Morphological Complexity in Machines. PLoS Computational Biology, 2014; 10 (1): e1003399 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003399

Posted by Tim Sandle

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