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The Fitness Value Of Information

Communication and information are central principles in evolutionary biology. Actually, it is hard to find a certain part of biology where these principles aren’t used. However, quantifying the information transferred in biological interactions has been difficult. Just how much information is transferred when the first spring rainfall hits a dormant seed, or whenever a chick begs for food from its parent? One measure that is often found in such cases is fitness value: by how much, typically, a person’s fitness would increase if it behaved optimally with the new information, in comparison to its average fitness without the info.

Another measure, used to describe neural reactions to sensory stimuli often, is the mutual information – a measure of reduction in uncertainty, as introduced by Shannon in communication theory. However, shared information has generally not been regarded as an appropriate measure for explaining developmental or behavioral reactions at the organismal level, since it is blind to operate; it generally does not distinguish between irrelevant and relevant information.

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In this paper we show that there surely is in truth a surprisingly limited connection between these two measures in the important context of advancement within an uncertain environment. In this case, a useful measure of fitness benefit is the upsurge in the longā€term growth rate, or the fold upsurge in the number of making it through lineages. We show that oftentimes the fitness value of a developmental cue, when measured this way, is exactly equal to the decrease in uncertainty about the environment, as explained by the shared information.

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Ironically, people who wish to lose weight will experience weight discrimination and feel convenient with people whose body mass is similar. But hanging out with them may undercut success at weight reduction, according to the study, published in the journal Obesity. That isn’t to recommend that someone seeking to lose fat should check their chunky chums, said lead writer Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., associate teacher of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Andersson, who conducted the research while at Yale University’s Center for Research on Inequalities and the life-span Course. The findings were predicated on an analysis of a Gallup Organization study of 9,335 people aged 18 to 65 in American households. Researchers supplemented the info with questions, tracking for one 12 months the participants’ self-reported interpersonal networking changes and body mass outcomes. Respondents recognized the four adults with whom they spent free time most regularly, whether family members, friends, or relatives.

They also rated each contact’s body mass relative to their own, Andersson said. Individuals were asked if they wanted to lose, maintain, or increase weight. The study also assessed how participants interacted with those they identified as frequent contacts often, whether personally or by telephone, email, texting, or social mass media, Andersson said. Frequency of contact performed a significant role. A 12 months With less than 100 connections with a person during changes in weight were linked to a fraction of a pound. But as relationships reached hundreds and even thousands, weight distinctions became bigger.