Essential conditions for evolution of communication within a species

Alexander Feigel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A major obstacle in analyzing the evolution of information exchange and processing is our insufficient understanding of the underlying signaling and decision-making biological mechanisms. For instance, it is unclear why are humans unique in developing such extensive communication abilities. To treat this problem, a method based on the mutual information approach is developed that evaluates the information content of communication between interacting individuals through correlations of their behavior patterns (rather than calculating the information load of exchanged discrete signals, e.g. Shannon entropy). It predicts that correlated interactions of the indirect reciprocity type together with affective behavior and selection rules changing with time are necessary conditions for the emergence of significant information exchange. Population size variations accelerate this development. These results are supported by evidence of demographic bottlenecks, distinguishing human from other species' (e.g. apes) evolution line. They indicate as well new pathways for evolution of information based phenomena, such as intelligence and complexity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)768-774
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective behaviour
  • Correlated responses
  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Intelligence
  • Mutual information
  • Population size fluctuations


Dive into the research topics of 'Essential conditions for evolution of communication within a species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this