Many Paths to Anticipatory Behavior: Anticipatory Model Acquisition Across Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Timescales

Biological Theory 18 (2):114-133 (2023)
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Abstract

Under the assumption that anticipatory models are required for anticipatory behavior, an important question arises about the different manners in which organisms acquire anticipatory models. This article aims to articulate four different non-exhaustive ways that anticipatory models might possibly be acquired over both phylogenetic and ontogenetic timescales and explore the relationships among them. To articulate these different model-acquisition mechanisms, four schematics will be introduced, each of which represents a particular acquisition structure that can be used for the purposes of comparison, analysis, and hypothesis formulation. By bringing to the fore the differences and similarities between each of the four ways that anticipatory models are acquired, a more complete picture of both anticipatory behavior and its pervasive role in biological self-maintenance can be offered. In doing so, this article helps not only to shed light on how anticipatory behavior might arise in the wide range of organisms that it has been observed in but also to throw into relief the subtle and often still overlooked causal interplay between ontogenetic and phylogenetic plasticity.

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