Game Theory Used to Explain Cooperative Behavior in Yeast

Go down

Game Theory Used to Explain Cooperative Behavior in Yeast

Post  James Yeung on Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:50 am

We've all heard of the idea of evolution, where in essence, it is simply the survival of the fittest. Now, cooperative behavior is where benefits to others come at a cost to an individual. With those two ideas in mind, how then, did cooperative behavior come to exist?

Researchers at MIT have been using game theory to explain the cooperative behavior in yeast. Why yeast? Because "yeast have no emotions or thoughts that interfere with rational decision-making; their actions are solely driven by their genetic response to the environment."

The article also talks about cooperators and cheaters. In the experiments, not matter what the starting condition is, there was alway an equilibrium of cooperators and cheaters in the end. At first, yeast started to cooperate. But then when there were too many of them cooperating, some started to cheat.

This can be tied to the first week of lectures where we learned about game theory with the example of the dating game (blonds and brunettes). If you think the other person is going to cooperate, you should cheat. If you think the other person is going to cheat, you should cooperate.

Link: "The games microbes play"

James Yeung

Posts : 16
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum