Plasticity affects the speed of novel phenotype acquisition. (a) Populations find a novel genotype network faster when plasticity is allowed. The symbol t*, plast refers to the number of generations that a population of circuits needs to discover a specific genotype network when we allow plasticity. The symbol t*, control refers to the same number, but for populations without plasticity. Wilcoxon signed-rank test; p < 2.2 × 10-16. (b) Plasticity slows the accumulation of individuals in the new genotype network. The symbol t0.25,plast stands for the number of generations that a population in which we allow plasticity needs to have at least 25 percent of its circuits in the new genotype network (after its discovery by a single individual); t0.25,control corresponds to the same number but without plastic phenotypes. Wilcoxon signed-rank test; p < 2.2 × 10-16. Both panels include data from 498 independent pairs of populations. Parameter values for both panels: N = 8, c ≈ 0.4, d = 0.25, μ = 0.5, α = 0.05, M = 1000, ωnative = 0.5.
Espinosa-Soto et al. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011 11:5 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-5