Bayesian natural selection and the evolution of perceptual systems

W. S. Geisler, R. L. Diehl
<span title="2002-04-29">2002</span> <i title="The Royal Society"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences</a> </i> &nbsp;
In recent years, there has been much interest in characterizing statistical properties of natural stimuli in order to better understand the design of perceptual systems. A fruitful approach has been to compare the processing of natural stimuli in real perceptual systems with that of ideal observers derived within the framework of Bayesian statistical decision theory. While this form of optimization theory has provided a deeper understanding of the information contained in natural stimuli as
more &raquo; ... as of the computational principles employed in perceptual systems, it does not directly consider the process of natural selection, which is ultimately responsible for design. Here we propose a formal framework for analysing how the statistics of natural stimuli and the process of natural selection interact to determine the design of perceptual systems. The framework consists of two complementary components. The rst is a maximum tness ideal observer, a standard Bayesian ideal observer with a utility function appropriate for natural selection. The second component is a formal version of natural selection based upon Bayesian statistical decision theory. Maximum tness ideal observers and Bayesian natural selection are demonstrated in several examples. We suggest that the Bayesian approach is appropriate not only for the study of perceptual systems but also for the study of many other systems in biology.
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1098/rstb.2001.1055</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">pmid:12028784</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">pmcid:PMC1692963</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:7wncr5ufhzbnfbhzvjlegpkheu</a> </span>
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