The Evolution of Cooperation

  • Mohammad Salahshour (MPI MiS, Leipzig)
A3 01 (Sophus-Lie room)


From multi-cellular organisms to social structures, cooperation is the pillar of the high level of organization observed in biological world. However, as cooperation incurs a cost to the cooperator for others to benefit, its evolution seems to contradict natural selection. How evolution has resolved this obstacle, and how high level of cooperation has evolved, have been among the most intensely studied problems in the evolutionary theory, in recent decades. In this presentation, I will introduce this problem in the framework of evolutionary game theory, and discuss different mechanisms, using which evolution can promote cooperation. In this regards, after briefly discussing well-established mechanisms, I discuss how strategic signaling, democratic decision making, and competition between resources can provide novel roads to the evolution of cooperation. In addition, I will discuss closely related problems, such as the evolution of language, the evolution of community structure and leadership, the evolution of moral norms, and the evolution of sanctioning institutions, and discuss how such institutions can evolve and help cooperation to flourish. Finally, I discuss how this problem can more subtly arise in a broader context. For this purpose, I consider the evolution of collective information acquisition, in a context where information production has a cost. I show, despite the temptation to free-ride by not producing information, collective information acquisition can evolve in a structured population due to network reciprocity, and discuss how such collective sensing population can make optimal use of information in a changing environment.


1/7/19 3/18/20

Seminar Structure of Evolution

MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences Live Stream

Katharina Matschke

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