Psychophysics and the evolution of behavior.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sensory information allows animals to interpret their environment and make decisions. The ways in which animals perceive and measure stimuli from the social and physical environment guide nearly every decision they make. Thus, sensory perception and associated cognitive processing have a strong impact on behavioral evolution. Research in this area often focuses on the unique properties of the sensory system of an individual species, yet certain relevant features of perception and cognition generally hold across taxa. One such general feature is the proportionally based translation of physical stimulus magnitude into perceived stimulus magnitude. This process has been recognized for over a century, but recent studies have begun to consider how a law of proportional psychophysics, Weber's law, exerts selective force in behavioral evolution.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Akre, KL; Johnsen, S

Published Date

  • May 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 291 - 300

PubMed ID

  • 24726346

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-8383

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0169-5347

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tree.2014.03.007


  • eng