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  1. Tim W. Fawcett, Benja Fallenstein, Andrew D. Higginson, Alasdair I. Houston, Dave E. W. Mallpress, Pete C. Trimmer & John M. McNamara (2014). The Evolution of Decision Rules in Complex Environments. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18 (3):153-161.
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  2. Peter C. Trimmer & Alasdair I. Houston (2014). An Evolutionary Perspective on Information Processing. Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (2):312-330.
    Behavioral ecologists often assume that natural selection will produce organisms that make optimal decisions. In the context of information processing, this means that the behavior of animals will be consistent with models from fields such as signal detection theory and Bayesian decision theory. We discuss work that applies such models to animal behavior and use the case of Bayesian updating to make the distinction between a description of behavior at the level of optimal decisions and a mechanistic account of how (...)
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  3. Alasdair I. Houston & Karoline Wiesner (2013). Is Quantum Probability Rational? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):291 - 292.
    We concentrate on two aspects of the article by Pothos & Busemeyer (P&B): the relationship between classical and quantum probability and quantum probability as a basis for rational decisions. We argue that the mathematical relationship between classical and quantum probability is not quite what the authors claim. Furthermore, it might be premature to regard quantum probability as the best practical rational scheme for decision making.
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  4. Alasdair I. Houston (2009). San Marco and Evolutionary Biology. Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):215-230.
    Gould and Lewontin use San Marco, Venice, to criticise the adaptationist program in biology. Following their lead, the architectural term “spandrel” is now widely used in biology to denote a feature that is a necessary byproduct of other aspects of the organism. I review the debate over San Marco and argue that the spandrels are not necessary in the sense originally used by Gould and Lewontin. I conclude that almost all the claims that Gould makes about San Marco are wrong (...)
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  5. Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (2005). John Maynard Smith and the Importance of Consistency in Evolutionary Game Theory. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):933-950.
    John Maynard Smith was the founder of evolutionary game theory. He has also been the major influence on the direction of this field, which now pervades behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology. In its original formulation the theory had three components: a set of strategies, a payoff structure, and a concept of evolutionary stability. These three key components are still the basis of the theory, but what is assumed about each component is often different to the original assumptions. We review modern (...)
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  6. Innes C. Cuthill & Alasdair I. Houston (2000). Mating Systems and Fluctuating Asymmetry: Firm Foundations? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):600-600.
    Gangestad & Simpson review sexual selection theory and discuss their work on fluctuating asymmetry and mate preference in humans. We question some aspects of their account and mention problems with the data. We also suggest that more theoretical work on complex but realistic mating systems is required.
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  7. Alasdair I. Houston (2000). Decision Rules in Behavioural Ecology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):754-755.
    Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group give an interesting account of simple decision rules in a variety of contexts. I agree with their basic idea that animals use simple rules. In my commentary I concentrate on some aspects of their treatment of decision rules in behavioural ecology.
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  8. Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (2000). Adaptive Accounts of Physiology and Emotion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):201-202.
    Rolls discusses various adaptive explanations of physiological processes and the emotions. We give a critical analysis of some of these from the perspective of behavioural ecology. While agreeing with the approach adopted by Rolls, we identify topics that could have been better presented by making use of the existing literature.
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  9. Alasdair I. Houston (1996). Melioration and Addiction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):581.
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  10. David C. Krakauer & Alasdair I. Houston (1995). An Evolutionary Perspective on Hebb's Reverberatory Representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):636.
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  11. Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (1991). The Next State of the Art. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (1):100.
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  12. Deborah Hodgkin & Alasdair I. Houston (1990). “Consciousness” is the Name of a Nonentity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):611-612.
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  13. Deborah Hodgkin & Alasdair I. Houston (1990). Selecting for the Con in Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):668-669.
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  14. John M. McNamara & Alasdair I. Houston (1990). The Value of Fat Reserves and the Tradeoff Between Starvation and Predation. Acta Biotheoretica 38 (1).
    It is shown that in a range of models, the probability that a forager dies from starvation is, to a good approximation, an exponential function of energy reserves. Using a time and energy budget for a 19g passerine, we explore the consequences, in terms of starvation and predation, of various levels of energy reserves. It is shown that there exists an optimal level L of reserves at which total mortality (starvation plus predation) is minimized. L increases when the environment deteriorates (...)
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  15. Alasdair I. Houston & William D. Hamilton (1989). Selfishness Reexamined: No Man is an Island. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (4):709.
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  16. Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (1988). A Framework for the Functional Analysis of Behaviour. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):117.
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  17. Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (1988). In Delay There Lies No Plenty. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):686.
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  18. Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (1988). There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):154.
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  19. John M. McNamara & Alasdair I. Houston (1987). A General Framework for Understanding the Effects of Variability and Interruptions on Foraging Behaviour. Acta Biotheoretica 36 (1).
    A general framework for analysing the effects of variability and the effects of interruptions on foraging is presented. The animal is characterised by its level of energetic reserves, x. We consider behaviour over a period of time [0,T]. A terminal reward function R(x) determines the expected future reproductive success of an animal with reserves x at time T. For any state x at a time in the period, we give the animal a choice between various options and then constrain it (...)
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  20. Alasdair I. Houston (1985). Choice and Preference-You Can't Always Want What You Get. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):339.
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